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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 12:54 GMT
Glasgow smiles better
Mary and Rab C Nesbitt
Glasgow's Rab C Nesbitt shows he has plenty to smile about
Intense rivalry between Glasgow and Edinburgh has become a laughing matter with the results of a smiling survey.

The Comic Relief study showed Glasgow was near the top of cities in a "smiles per hour census", while Edinburgh came bottom.

The census counted the number of smiles returned to the researcher carrying out the study for every 100 people smiled at.

Edinburgh found itself propping up the league of mirth with just 4% grinning back, while Glasgow came in second with a score of 68%.

The study, commissioned by Mr Kipling ahead of Red Nose Day 2003 on 14 March, was carried out in December and January by a team of 28 psychology students from universities in the cities surveyed.

Smile Census /100
Bristol - 70
Glasgow - 68
Exeter - 54
Manchester - 54
Wrexham - 42
Cardiff - 41
Liverpool - 41
Norwich - 35
Newcastle - 32
Birmingham - 31
Southampton - 24
London - 18
Nottingham - 12
Edinburgh - 4
The month-long project involved pairs of researchers standing in the centres of 14 cities around Britain smiling at 100 strangers in each - which took about one hour - and logging their responses.

Other results showed the cheerful folk of Bristol are nearly four times as friendly as the citizens of London.

The study found that the south west was one of the chirpiest places to be, with Exeter also scoring well.

But researchers aiming their grins at strangers on the streets of London received some of the chilliest responses, with only 18% of smiles returned, compared to Bristol's 70%.

Glaswegian TV presenter Carol Smillie said her home city had influenced her sense of humour.

"We call a spade a spade and can laugh at ourselves. I still live there now and I love it," she said.

Dr Pat Spungin, the expert in social psychology who led the research team, said smiling was partly "determined by social setting and context".



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