Money: Trusty Brown beats Del Boy

The Iron Chancellor tops the poll for financial advice.

GORDON BROWN'S reputation as the Iron Chancellor appears to be engraved in the hearts of the UK population - Mr Brown won 41 per cent of the vote among those taking part in a poll, as the "celebrity" people would most like to invite into their homes to give them financial advice.

The Chancellor easily held off challenges from the Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman, who gained 12 per cent of the vote, and Esther Rantzen, with 10 per cent - though Rantzen was more popular with lower-income households, with 14 per cent to Paxman's 5 per cent. Paxman picked up 21 per cent of the AB socio-economic group's vote.

More surprisingly, given that he is a fictional character from the television comedy Only Fools and Horses, "Del Boy" Trotter came in at 9 per cent, while the TV presenter Jill Dando managed just 8 per cent.

The survey was carried out by Mori for Royal London Insurance. Stephen Humphries, head of communications at the company, says: "The survey was intended as a bit of fun, though there are a number of trends that do come to light. First, most people are looking for advisers who have maturity and knowledge and will be on their side. Second, and perhaps more important, less than 3 per cent of people said they wouldn't look for anyone to advise them on their finances.

"With the Government urging people to take greater responsibility for their financial future, it is important that the public are receptive to receiving financial advice."

If so, the evidence suggests that young people are prepared to consider receiving financial advice from less weighty personalities than those favoured by their elders. Geri Halliwell, the former Spice Girl, received 12 per cent of votes among under-25s, though she failed to impress the population as a whole, which gave her 5 per cent of the vote.

Des Lynam, the sports presenter, and Dale Winton, presenter of Supermarket Sweep, failed to engage with the public. Lynam picked up 7 per cent of the vote, while Winton managed just 3 per cent.

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