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What do you think of your voice?
Attitudes towards accents
Languages other than English
Star quality or public nuisance?
In November 2004, the BBC commissioned a poll to find out how people feel about accents and languages across the British Isles. 5000 people took part in the online poll. Here's what we found.
Participants were asked to rank celebrities in order of how pleasant their voices sound.
Suave Scot Sean Connery swept the board, bowling people over with his dulcet Edinburgh tones. Throughout the UK, his voice was consistently voted the most pleasant in the BBC-commissioned poll.
Fellow Bond actor Pierce Brosnan - who was born in the Republic of Ireland, raised in England and has lived in the USA for over 20 years - was also high up the list. More popular, however, were newsreaders Moira Stewart and Trinidad-born Trevor McDonald. Sir Trevor's appealingly authoritative voice put him in second place overall.
Participants were asked to rank celebrities in order of how pleasant their voices sound
Respondents indicated a preference for accents relatively local to them: Scots said they loved Ewan McGregor's Perthshire accent, the English found Hugh Grant's voice attractive, people in Wales preferred listening to Welsh actor Richard Burton and newsreader Huw Edwards, while those in Northern Ireland found Terry Wogan's Limerick accent irresistible.
Northern Irish participants were the only group who found Ian Paisley's voice acceptable - his was voted 'least pleasant' by all other areas of the UK. In Northern Ireland, Janet Street-Porter's Estuary tongue was declared least attractive, and she fared little better among Scottish and Welsh voters.
It was a red card for David Beckham too, while Billy Connolly, Cilla Black and Paul O'Grady were also given the thumbs down.