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Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
What's the most boring place on Earth?
A British correspondent at the World Athletics Championships in Edmonton has found himself in the news after describing the host city as a "Deadmonton".

Daily Telegraph reporter Robert Philip wrote that Edmonton's charms were "less than obvious", and described it as a "visually unappealing corner of Canada".

The local press is outraged, and the state premier has said Mr Phillip is "probably mad".

The Telegraph man says he is now looking forward to visiting Edmonton's main tourist attraction: the world's largest shopping mall.

What do you think is the most boring place on Earth?

This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.



How about the drive from Houston to Dallas?

Tony Sorace, Grenada
How about the drive from Houston to Dallas, or vice versa? 200 some odd miles, terrain as flat as a pancake and when you see either Dallas or Houston, both cities look like clones of each other, same strip malls, same skyline. Come to think of it, the same applies to most cities in the USA.
Tony Sorace, Grenada

I'm surprised that a few people have named Singapore as being boring. I lived in Singapore for over five years and found it quite the opposite. It has an abundance of 24 hour night-clubs and live bands. The only thing, which I found boring apart from the political aspect of the country, were some of the expats, who refused to mix with the local people and experience the different cultures of S.E.A. I think that these expats might be the ones who are inclined to say Singapore is boring. There is life outside your condominiums and expat clubs, you just need to participate in the real world!
Julian, Australia (Welsh expat)


I have laughed so hard at these bored and desperate people's expense

Emma, Britain
I don't know where the most boring place on earth is but this Talking Point page isn't it. I have laughed so hard at these bored and desperate people's expense, I almost feel guilty. I might even start to sponsor them with train tickets to somewhere more exciting.
Emma, Britain

No contest - Harlow Town, Essex. Beggars belief.
David, England

Offshore Nova Scotia, Canada. On board a drilling rig has to be the most boring and foggy place on the face of the earth. Boooooor-ring!
Howard Laughland, England

Wait till you get married - you can't escape boredom wherever you are.
M. M. Zaman, UK in USA

I once spent 2 weeks in Hemel Hempstead and wished I'd stuck forks in my eyes instead!
Dave Mustaine, UK


Nowhere is boring as long as you have access to an international airport, a sense of adventure or a good set of friends

Mark, Hong Kong
Nowhere is boring as long as you have access to an international airport, a sense of adventure or a good set of friends.
My favourite boring place is Dubai, UAE. Friends rave about it. I've been there twice recently looking for excitement. The city sucks. Awful. Absolutely dreadful place. The new airport is the best thing about it.
Mark, Hong Kong

The most boring place on Earth? Where the most boring person on Earth happens to be.
Vern Norbury, Canada

One word: Ballymena
Niall Kennedy, UK

Middlewich in Cheshire is the most boring place ever. It has 2 bus stops and 2 shops and that's it.
TJ, UK

Singapore most definitely. Its citizens need to be reminded to 'smile' from government campaigns.
Zac, Singapore

Britain is the most boring place. Its high criminal activity and ugly personality of its mainstream "Thatcherised" population proves this.
Iveson, Edmonton, Canada

I lived in Bonn for 6 years and thought it was quite a nice provincial town. Although it was the federal capital, the locals called it the federal village. I liked it. A US journalist, whilst stationed there about 20 years ago, described it as "being half the size of Chicago's main cemetary and twice as dead". I suppose your view is formed by previous experience.
Colin, Germany


A place where the locals still point at aeroplanes

Clive, Australia (ex Luton)
A few contenders - Redruth in Cornwall - a place where the locals still point at aeroplanes, Hemel Hempstead - so dull it makes Milton Keynes look like Disney World. Hatfield is also mind-numbingly bland and must have employed some of the most unimaginative architects ever to sit at a drawing board.
Clive, Australia (ex Luton)

The small seaside town of St Helens in Tasmania. The vacant stares of its citizens (especially at sunset when they gather on the street corners, like extras from Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers. Don't miss booking a room in the principal motel, where the multi-coloured acrylic carpet runs not only across the floor, but also up the walls - no doubt to prevent injuries as guests throw themselves against them in existential despair.
James Petersen, Australia

Hull - It's sooo boring the highlight of the day is deciding which hand to use when covering one's nose to avoid the smell of an old fishing town.
Christopher Dalby, UK

Runcorn in the North West of England HAS to be, by far, hands down, the winner. High crime, high teenage pregnancies, one shopping complex, and one night club for 60 thousand+ people. Need I say more!
John, Edinburgh

Whilst serving in Cyprus in the 70's we had servicemen and women sitting around complaining that there is nothing to do, but they were to lazy to get up and do something. People can be boring but not places, a place is only what you make of it unless you live on the Isle of Wight
Phil Davies, UK

Thank you everyone who has mentioned MK. It is without doubt the biggest hell-hole on earth. No character, no nightlife, no interesting people, no worthwhile architecture or history - need I go on. It should be bulldozed and forgotten about. Writing this is the most exciting thing that's happened to me this year!
Keith, Milton Keynes

If Phillips thinks Edmonton is boring, he should take a look around his home country, any place in Southeast England is by far more boring. Pubs seem to be the defining element of cultural attraction around here. Guess you have to drink yourself silly to enjoy the place.
Max, UK

If Singapore is as boring as some people think, why are there more than a million foreigners from all over the world working in this small country of only 3 million people? In contrast, Darwin attracts no foreigners because it is such a boring, boring place.
Freddie Tan, Singapore

Nothing wrong with Singapore - plenty of fun to be had if you know where to look. Try Brunei or Kuwait if you're after real boredom!
Richard Bottomley,UK

I once drove round and round Bracknell, hyperventilating with rage because I couldn't find a street that was clearly marked on my map. When I finally thrust the map at a passer-by she nervously informed me that I was actually in Basingstoke! Surely nobody who has visited these places truly blame me: Malls, fast food outlets, ring-roads, distinguishing between them is like distinguishing between one fast-food outlet and another, they are identical in a hideous kind of way. Oh, and I've also worked in Slough, Barnsley and Luton. Can you blame me for emigrating?
Catherine, Australia

As a Canadian with a European background, I can clearly understand the reasoning behind renaming Alberta's capital to 'Deadmonton'. Unfortunately, too many Canadians are obsessed with mass-market sports as opposed to the beauty of individual athleticism.
Lukasz Grodzicki, Canada

Being an ex-pat Brit I am lucky to live in one of the most scenic parts of the world - The Okanagan Valley (British Columbia). But my main office is based out of Edmonton and I could name many other worse places in Britain and Europe - leave Edmonton alone and worry about somewhere else!
David Gould, Canada


Kuala Lumpur could be twinned with Milton Keynes

Steve Scott, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I've been to Basingstoke, Bracknell, Luton, Bedford and Milton Keynes in the past few years (what does that say about my life?!). Having moved to Malaysia, I expected Kuala Lumpur to be a bit more cosmopolitan. Nope. Kuala Lumpur could be twinned with Milton Keynes. There are hardly any buildings here that are more than 10 years old (with more being built every day), an incomprehensible road network, and countless numbers of soulless shopping complexes. Come back Bedford et al - all is forgiven!
Steve Scott,Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Born in a small town in England. I agree that they are very boring indeed. I am lucky to live in one of the most EXCITING places on earth - Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. There is so much to do here, whether indoors or outdoors that I don't have enough time in the day to do it all, so I am NEVER bored. If you are bored in your hometown, try turning off the TV and get involved in a hobby or sport!
Paul, Hawaii USA

There are many boring places on earth (most of them English speaking). Here are some warning signs. Claims at "world's biggest", "world's longest", "world's tallest" (ask yourself why are they trying so hard). Boasts of a vibrant multicultural atmosphere (outside of Reykjavik, what city isn't multicultural now). Any place with a monorail or a revolving restaurant. Any mention of equally second rate "sister cities" (clearly they're desperate). Can you think of anyone truly interesting from that city (and do they still live there)? The one city that wins (or loses) in all of these categories is Toronto (any city that has a shoe museum as its second biggest attraction should really be avoided).
Blair, Sydney Australia

Bedworth, in Warwickshire, is possibly the only place that makes Nuneaton seem glamorous. The pubs are like something out of League of Gentlemen. This is the town that fashion forgot - stonewash skin-tight jeans, white socks and mullet haircuts are still common. Swindon comes a close second though.
Noam Bleicher, England


The most boring place is any baseball stadium

Mac, USA
Take it from me, the most boring place is any baseball stadium, a close second would be a computer room full of operators and a distant third, an English cricket ground especially as recent test results indicate.
Mac, USA

Adelaide, South Australia is the "hole" of the earth.
Alex la Volpicella, Australia

Most people in Singapore have no real political or social opinions, and some even require the government's assistance in getting a date for a Saturday night, let alone just trying to meet someone. Everyone is too busy worrying (or scared) about what everyone else thinks about them, and neglect their own unique individuality and their expressions. Although it's great that crime is under control and the country is very pretty and litter-free, it just feels like the citizens are living within a sterile and clinical bubble-dome.
Alyssa-Ann, Australia

By far, Temple City, California is the most boring place on the planet . . . we probably have the largest concentration of bridal shops in the country. I believe last count was 19 within a 3 mile radius . . . It's a strange little place
Danielle, USA

The most boring place on earth is London W12 8QT.
David Jackson, England/Bahrain

Saitama Prefecture, the northern overspill of Tokyo, is acknowledged the most boring place in this "the ugliest country in the world". A municipality with a population of over a million was created there last year. They polled the inhabitants to suggest names for the city. The story goes the most popular suggestion was "Dasai-tama", which means "Naff lump".
George Lee, Japan, ex-UK

I certainly second the idea of Basingstoke being one of the worst in the UK, but just try anywhere in Denmark, specifically Jutland. I've had more fun at the dentist!
Alan Coleman, UK


Ever since the ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky left for L.A., Edmonton has truly been a one-show town

Nicolas Zekulin, United Kingdom
I am forced by nature to agree with Robert Philip. Ever since the ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky left for L.A., Edmonton has truly been a one-show town - the West Edmonton Mall! Admittedly, it's some mall, but I think that says it all right there, doesn't it?
Nicolas Zekulin, United Kingdom

Hale, Cheshire is without doubt the most boring place. Copious amounts of rich people concentrated in one small village serious destroys any community spirit. No one knows his or her neighbours.
David Todd, Hale, England

March, Cambs. in the Fens, and unlike Luton is not easy to get out of.
David Chamberlain, England

I'm working in Basingstoke at the moment, wondering what I've done in a previous life to deserve it. You can spend a night at the Bowlplex with 17-year old boy racers, or, if you're really bored, there is a pub somewhere in town, with a big screen and everything!
Someone get me out of here!
Jim, UK


I remember Bernard Manning causing similar levels of laughter and offence with a series of comments about an English seaside town

Kevin, UK
I remember Bernard Manning causing similar levels of laughter and offence with a series of comments about an English seaside town (Lytham St Annes). They included such gems as 'the only entertainment on a Saturday night is watching the traffic lights change' and 'they don't bury the dead, they prop them up in bus shelters to make the place seem more active'.
Kevin, UK

You have obviously never been to Gran Canaria! It is just a big pile of rock!
Juan, UK

Chichester, Sussex -
Exclusive, snobbish and conservative. Result - no nightlife, no fun, no hope.
John, UK

Bracknell. It is without doubt the most uninspiring place on earth.
Jonathan, UK


Luton must come top - there is no reason for it too be there at all!

Mike, Cardiff, Wales
Definately Jacksonville in Arizona, a one horse town, without a horse! In the UK, I agree with Matthew, Luton must come top - there is no reason for it too be there at all!
Mike, Cardiff, Wales

Only boring people get bored.
Russell Ayres, Australia

Swindon, where even the pigeons are on anti-depressants.
Chris Thorpe, UK

Hull, after the shops have shut there really is absolutely nothing to do (except leave!)
Karl Johnson, UK

As the old joke goes: What have the Moon and Derby got in common?
No atmosphere!
Pete, Nottigham, UK

Judging by his comment, It has to be Gareth "rasher" Dart's house.
Davie Barbour, Scotland

Crayford in Kent. A place so boring that the residents regard a traffic jam as something worth looking out of your window to watch.
Lucy J, England


I lived in Basingstoke for 3 years and I thought that was bad enough, until, I went to Milton Keynes for a weekend

Emma, London
I lived in Basingstoke for 3 years and I thought that was bad enough, until, I went to Milton Keynes for a weekend. Now that really is THE most boring place on Earth!
Emma, London

Dumbarton of Strathclyde is medically proven to be sufficiently dull as to actually induce coma. That is, when I'm not there to liven things up a bit.
Ronald Stewart, Scotland

My place of work: Long corridors, few pretty women, no one to flirt with, terrible view, grey skies outside, no laughter, terribly dressed colleagues, no tales to tell on our bosses and colleagues concerned basically about themselves and their PCs!
Anthony, Norway

Nowhere is boring, just situations. Bored? Do something!
Tim Rose, UK


I'm still trying to scrape enough money together to achieve escape velocity

Phil, UK
Bracknell. I'm still trying to scrape enough money together to achieve escape velocity.
Phil, UK

Grimsby: been there, done that, wouldn't be seen dead in the T-shirt...
Paul, UK

It's easy to name millions of boring places. We should be naming boring places that have "an obligation" not to be boring because of their size, importance of their country and number of people who actually visit it. So Singapore has the obligation not to be boring - but according to David Thomas, it is. That's the kind of entries I would be looking for. In that case, try Calgary (south of Edmonton) when the stampede's not on... Phoenix, Arizona, is also pretty lifeless outdoors (too hot in summer) and there isn't anything for anyone to do except work or watch TV - which is also boring there.
Norberto Amaral, Portugal

There are no boring places. There are boring people.
G, UK

I have never seen boredom etched on people's faces quite so distinctly as those listening to speeches in The House of Lords.
Simon Clarke, UK

Norfolk is the dullest place on earth, with possibly the exception of Birmingham.
David, UK

I would have to say that the dull and mediocre, medium sized town is a certain English forte. It is for these places that the phrase "soulless" was first coined.
Wendy, UK

Has anybody ever visited the capital of Europe, Brussels? Definitely for me this should get gold medal for the dull-a-thon.
Danny, Brussels

Yeovil in Somerset is definitely the most boring place in England. At least Luton has a bit of ethnic diversity and a carnival once a year! Yeovil is just so dull.
David Gray, UK

Ambridge. You can compress everything that has happened during the week into an hour and it's still not interesting!
Tim Owen, UK


I like to think that every place has something interesting about it

Jay, Wales
I like to think that every place has something interesting about it. Maybe you have to be local to get it, but there is some interest everywhere. Even Swindon, Milton Keynes and Barrow in Furness.
Jay, Wales

Web-sites that ask boring questions. As for Luton it's not that bad and we do have an athletics track, which I use weekly and international meets just up the road in Bedford
Paul, Luton, UK

Singapore is ok. Australia is boring, big and empty
Stephen Bradley, UK

Without a doubt the most boring place in the world is Loughborough. The residents have to resort to homophobia, racism and downright rudeness to break the monotony.
Steve, UK


Try Solihull

NE, UK
Try Solihull, no atmosphere and a dumping ground for middle class executive-types.
NE, UK

My girlfriend's place.
Kevin, Exeter, UK

I absolutely, categorically, unambiguously deny that it is Linköping. We have no less than two cinemas, 6 pubs, and the bus service is very efficient. It's fun. I would much rather live here than Helsinki.
G, Sweden

Don't bother stopping over in Folkestone on your way to France. Car parks close at 6pm - that says it all!
Sophie Jordan

The Big Brother house.
JS, UK

Edmonton.
Uga, Canada


I used to live in Basingstoke

Simon, Brussels
I used to live in Basingstoke. It has the well-known nickname of "Boringjoke", but what was NOT so well known: the local newsagents sold postcards of the biggest office buildings in the centre of town because there was literally nothing else However, this does beg the question of who on EARTH was buying them?!
Simon, Brussels

The most boring place on earth is, without doubt, any cricket ground in England.
Andrew Kelly, UK

Barnet.
Ian Tolfree, England

Try any small German city on a Sunday...
Joanna, UK


Robert Philip should visit Luton if he thinks Edmonton is boring

Matthew, UK
Robert Philip should visit Luton if he thinks Edmonton is boring. We have the oldest shopping centre in Europe (it was the first, and looks it), and a Vauxhall factory that is about to close. We don't have international athletics facilities. The one saving grace is that Luton is easy to get out of, with the airport, M1 and the excellent Thameslink trains leaving every few minutes.
Matthew, UK

Singapore is the most boring place on earth. No life, no individuality, no fun... BORING!!!
David Thomas, Australia

That area just outside the ozone layer. There really is no atmosphere at all.
Gareth "rasher" Dart, Wales

Without doubt - Milton Keynes!!
Terry Amis, UK


In DepthIN DEPTH
World Athletics Championship siteWorld Athletics
A look back at the Edmonton extravaganza


Links to more Talking Point stories