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Last Updated: Monday, 4 August, 2003, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Scientists seek UK's friendliest region
Ricky Tomlinson as Jim Royle
Are Northerners, such as Ricky Tomlinson, the UK's friendliest people?
Scientists have begun a study to discover which region is the UK's friendliest.

Members of the public are being invited to log on to a website and complete a survey detailing their experiences.

Researchers at Manchester's UMIST university hope to find out which part of the country smiles the most and what people's definitions of friendliness are.

Questions asked include: How often do other drivers "cut you up" on the road and how many people would help someone carry their heavy shopping up stairs?

The survey has been launched in conjunction with the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) and the North West Development Agency (NWDA), which says it expects its region to be near the top of the friendly league.

Malcolm Hebden (Norris) and Samia Ghadie (Maria) from Coronation Street
It's so much more friendly in the North, everyone's sort of happy to see you and it's a bit like living in Cheers, everyone's friendly
Samia Ghadie, Maria in Coronation Street
The NWDA's Peter Mearns said: "Obviously, I hope we are going to come out top.

"I certainly think we will do better than London and the South East but I think it will be tough when we are up against Yorkshire and the North East, which also have reputations as friendly regions."

Salford-born actress Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria in Coronation Street, said she believed Northerners were friendlier than their counterparts in the Midlands and the South.

She said: "It's so much more friendly in the North, everyone's sort of happy to see you and it's a bit like living in Cheers, everyone's friendly.

"It's a lot down to the down to earth sense of humour and their sunny outlook on life."

Dr Mike Smith, of UMIST, said: "This is a fun thing and it focuses on the fact that social science has a part in that.

"We can actually compare the different areas of the UK and also different aspects of friendliness.

"We can actually work out what friendliness means to most people and, I guess, some of the unfriendly people ought to learn that."

The BBC's Mat Trewern
"If you're on the look out for friendly faces then I guess you could do a lot worse than outside the Rover's Return"


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