Björk tops BBC list of the world's most eccentric celebrities

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The Independent Online

She professes to be partial to munching on a spot of roast puffin. Her clothes sense - witness the astonishing "swan-like" creation in which she floated along the red carpet to the 2001 Oscars - can only be described as individualistic. Then there is her "unique" accent - acquired, presumably, somewhere on her travels between the Arctic circle and London's East End. And finally what of her "unpredictable" behaviour? Such antics reportedly nearly drove the director Lars von Trier to the point of madness while trying to coax a performance out of her in Dancer in the Dark. Or then there is the journalist who found her head being repeatedly smashed against the floor of the Bangkok airport terminal by the diminutive singer after she accused her of getting too close to her daughter.Such is the mad and occasionally just plain bad world of Björk Gudmundsdottir.

Better known to her millions of fans by her first name Björk, the pop star turned actress, yesterday topped a poll seeking to discover the identity of the world's most eccentric celebrity. The question was posed to nearly 6,000 people who voted in the survey. It was commissioned - bizarrely enough in itself - by the BBC's Homes & Antiques magazine. The former Sugarcubes star saw off strong opposition from the former world middleweight boxing champion, Chris Eubank. The lisping pugilist who drives an articulated HGV as his preferred mode of transport, has built a post-fight career bewildering television audiences with his impenetrable line in wit and wisdom.

Despite having slipped out of the public eye for more than a decade, it seems that respondents to the survey found it hard to forget the celebrated public utterances of "son of God" David Icke. The former professional goalkeeper turned sports commentator began what he describes as an "amazing journey of self and collective discovery" in 1990. He now makes a living alerting the world to the fact that it is run by a cabal of giant lizards disguised as corporate, military and political leaders.

The Dr Who actor and Little Britain narrator Tom Baker was in fourth place, while foul-mouthed reality television star and former Black Sabbath front man Ozzy Osbourne came fifth.

He is followed by racing pundit and Celebrity Big Brother housemate John McCririck whose tweed deer stalker has become his trademark.

Homes & Antiques editor Bernie Herlihy said the public had a soft spot for gentle outlandishness. She said: "Björk's eclectic fashion sense and amazing but quirky music secured her the top slot in our poll. Most of our top 20 eccentrics are unconventional in one way or another, and some are wonderfully lovable." Lovable they may be, but claims to being the world's most eccentric people are doubtful, with all but Björk and Israeli-born Uri Geller, coming from Britain. Alongside the smattering of old school mad boffins - Sir Patrick Moore and David Bellamy - there are the new foodie-wierdies, Keith Floyd, Clarissa Dickson-Wright, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Politics' first couple, the absurd Neil and Christine Hamilton also make the top 20 - they now ply their "act" to audiences across the UK. Fashion has its share too - Zandra Rhodes is among them, as is Vivienne Westwood. She is in joint eighth position with disquietingly flamboyant DJ Sir Jimmy Savile. And while once there was a time when Johnny Rotten, along with his band the Sex Pistols, was considered a threat to the very fabric of society. Today he is merely a loveable eccentric, featuring at number 20 in the poll. The other pop star on the list is Sir Elton John. His once outrageous stage wear has been replaced by the more sober look favoured at his recent wedding. Yet the Rocket Man still zooms into the charts at number 11.

The top 20

* 1 Björk

* 2 Chris Eubank

* 3 David Icke

* 4 Tom Baker

* 5 Ozzy Osbourne

* 6 John McCririck

* 7 Sir Patrick Moore

* =8 Vivienne Westwood

* =8 Sir Jimmy Savile

* 10 Uri Geller

* 11 Sir Elton John

* 12 Clarissa Dickson-Wright

* 13 Ken Dodd

* 14 David Bellamy

* 15 Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

* 16 Neil and Christine Hamilton

* 17 Zandra Rhodes

* 18 Adam Hart-Davies

* 19 Keith Floyd

* 20 Johnny Rotten

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