LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 12/14/12 -- We are a nation in need of laughter as Britain's top comedians including Stephen Fry, Paddy McGuiness, Miranda Heart, Paul O'Grady and Alan Carr dominate this year's Travelodge ideal Christmas lunch guest poll.
For the first time ever royalty, celebrity chefs and musicians have been snubbed in favour of our most loved comedians. In a quest for more laughter this year's poll leads with Stephen Fry, renowned for entertaining his five million Twitter followers with his intellectual wit and humorous tales. The comedian, also known as one half of the duo 'Fry & Laurie', moved up from last year's number two spot to this year's number one position.
In second place the nation opted to keep their light-on for 'Take Me Out' host Paddy McGuinness as their ideal Christmas dinner guest. Famous for his 'Paddy-isms' on his dating show, the Bolton born comic beat his sidekick, Peter Kay, who debuted much further up the list at number seven this year.
In third place Britons choose the self acclaimed 'giant' of comedy and award winning comedienne Miranda Hart, star of BBC Two's Sitcom 'Miranda' to join them for the most important meal of the year.
Other comedians making the top 10 ranking of ideal Christmas guests were Liverpudlian Paul O'Grady who reached fourth place followed by flamboyant comic and TV presenter Alan Carr. Taking sixth place was stand up comedian Russell Brand.
Stephanie Davies, Behavioural strategist & Author of Laughology: the science of laughter to improve your life commented on the research findings: "It's no surprise that Britons have chosen some of the UK's most popular comedians as their ideal Christmas dinner guests. This year has been a tough year and we are all in need of a belly full of laughter.
"Keeping your sense of humour and, most importantly having a good laugh, are important. Laughter is a natural way to release tension and creates happy hormones called endorphins. These help us to feel better, they make bonding with people easier and they help us relax - resulting in the perfect mindset to be in when we sit around the table enjoying Christmas lunch with our families.
"My top tip for avoiding any tension at the dinner table on Christmas Day is to remember to find the humour perspective and step back from a situation, take a deep breath and imagine how the scene might be played out in a sitcom. I always think of The Royle family and their comedy Christmas dinners, the reason why we find those programmes funny is because most of us can relate to them."
"My favourite Christmas joke is there are two snowmen in a field: one looks at the other one and says "can you smell carrots!?"
Outside of the comedians, the only other personalities to enter the chart were TV's golden girls Lorraine Kelly in eighth place and Holly Willoughby in ninth place. Completing the list and taking tenth place was Geordie princess Cheryl Cole.
The 2012 ideal Christmas dinner poll is listed below:
1. Stephen Fry2. Paddy McGuinness3. Miranda Hart4. Paul O'Grady5. Russell Brand6. Alan Carr7. Peter Kay8. Lorraine Kelly9. Holly Willoughby10. Cheryl Cole
The survey also delved further to investigate Britons views on the most important meal of the year. Key findings revealed we are traditionalists at heart as 87% of Britons still opt for a turkey lunch with all of the trimmings. This year Christmas lunch will be served nearly an hour earlier from last year at 2.23pm in British homes across the country. Three out of 10 adults will have to endure up to four Christmas dinners on the 25th December due to family commitments and pressures:
- Eighteen per cent of adults will be eating two Christmas dinners - Nine per cent of adults will have to endure three Christmas dinners - Three per cent of adults will have to the mammoth task of devouring four Christmas dinners in one day.
The research also revealed the Mother-In-Law is still the most dreaded Christmas guest, followed by Mum as both women know best and will interfere with the day's planned proceedings. Sixty eight per cent of women said it really annoys them when their Mother-In-Law or Mother tires to take over on Christmas Day. Thirty one per cent of respondents said it makes them feel inadequate and not a good host. A fifth of women said if it gets too much on Christmas day they will use the excuse of having a migraine so that they can have a sneaky catnap.
Father-In-Law takes third position of dreaded guest followed by Father and ex-partner in fourth and fifth position.
Listed below are Britons top 10 most dreaded guests for Christmas dinner:
1. Mother-In-Law2. Mother3. Father-In-Law4. Father5. Ex-Partner6. Brother7. Sister8. Cousins9. Grandparents10. Stepmother
British households can rely on the men in their family to keep them amused during Christmas dinner as Britons reported when it comes to providing the laughter and entertainment around the dinner table, brothers, dads and grandfathers win.
Six out of 10 British adults reported they find it very stressful keeping the conversation flowing around the Christmas dinner table and a quarter of hosts will plan an itinerary of conversation topics prior to the day. Listed below are the top 10 most popular topics of conversations taking place in British households over Christmas dinner.
1. Catching up on family gossip2. Running through the key events of the year3. Reminiscing past memories4. The cost of Christmas5. The Queen's speech and the royal family6. Discussing the story lines of the soaps7. The weather8. The football9. Politics10. How good or bad the food and presents are this year
Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman, said: "In 2012, we may be short of cash but we are certainly rich in Christmas spirit as 42% of Britons will be travelling around 99 miles to spend Christmas in the bosom of their family this year. However, savvy Britons are forgoing imposing on their families and avoiding the dodgy sofa and bed by booking themselves into a nearby cheap hotel. This actually gives both parties free time to enjoy the holiday season and make the most of their time together, rather than getting under each other's feet.
"This year we have seen a significant boost in room bookings for the festive season as consumers turn a family trip back home into a short festive break."
The research was conducted by One Poll in November 2012 with 2,000 adults.
About Travelodge: The first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge now operates over 500 hotels and over 35,400 rooms across the UK, Ireland (11) and Spain (4). Travelodge plans to grow its estate to 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025. Over 13 million people stayed with Travelodge last year and 90% of reservations are currently made online at travelodge.co.uk, where room rates start at GBP 19 per night. The chain employs over 6,000 staff.
Travelodge Press Office