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EDITIONS
Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 10:05 GMT
Gromit could be Bristol's finest
Wallace and Gromit
Wallace and Gromit are Bristol's most popular residents
Cracking news, Gromit - you're Bristol's favourite resident.

Not content with having one entry in the BBC's Great Britons top ten, Bristol has launched its own version of the poll - with surprising results.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the city's Clifton Suspension Bridge, is currently in first position in the national contest.

But the local council's online Great Bristolians vote has revealed Wallace and Gromit, created by animator Nick Park, are the city's favourite sons.


Wallace is going to celebrate with an extra piece of Wensleydale tonight

Arthur Sheriff
Aardman Animation
The clay pair are up against some fierce competition including Hollywood star Cary Grant.

But so far they are way out in front, with 54% of the vote, compared to movie idol Grant's three percent.

Aardman spokesman Arthur Sheriff said: ''How wonderful - thank you to everyone who has voted.

"It's hard to believe that Wallace and Gromit are so far out in front, we are all very flattered.

"We've passed the news onto both Wallace and Gromit.

Cary Grant
Cary Grant: Bristol-born
"Wallace is going to celebrate with an extra piece of Wensleydale tonight and says: 'Keep up the voting'."

Cary Grant was born Archibald Leach in Bristol in 1904, and grew up in the city before moving to America in 1920 with a troupe of acrobats.

He went on to become one of Hollywood's biggest names, featuring in classics such as North by Northwest and The Philadelpia Story.

Wallace and Gromit and their Bristol-based creators Aardman Animation have already beaten the actor in the Oscar stakes - they have three to his one.

Other famous Bristolians
WG Grace (1848-1915) - cricketer, scored an unparalleled 126 centuries
Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1897) - sculptor, created Nelson's Column
Robert Southey (1774-1873) - Poet Laureate, contemporary of Wordsworth
Sir Michael Redgrave (1908-1985) actor, star of The Dambusters
Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898) inventor of the Plimsoll line - 'the sailor's friend'
Bristol, which is among the cities shortlisted for the title of European Capital of Culture 2008, has been home to Aardman Animations since the 1970s.

So far, their duo's closest competition comes from yet another imaginary character - Princess Caraboo - who has 24% of the vote.

In 1817, cobbler's daughter Mary Willcocks tricked the city's high society into believing she was a foreign aristocrat - Princess Caraboo of Javasu - by speaking in a made-up language.

Although she was eventually found out and forced to move to America, her story is one of the city's most enduring local tales.


Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

23 Oct 02 | Entertainment
21 Oct 02 | England
15 Oct 02 | Entertainment
14 Oct 02 | Entertainment
08 Dec 01 | England
Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


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