Cowell 'more famous than God'

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The Independent Online

X Factor judge Simon Cowell is more famous than God or the Queen, according to a survey of British children aged under 10 released today.

The multi-millionaire television personality rose from number five in last year's ratings to knock The Queen off the top spot.



God was in second place.



The fourth annual survey of 1,600 under-10s also put good looks at the top of their list of the very best things in the world, for the first time.



Riches and fame came in second and third positions.



Being fat topped the list of worst things in the world, rising from number three last year. It was number nine in 2006, but was not featured in the 2005 list.



Asked what rules they would make if they were king or queen of the world, the number one response, for the first time, was to ban divorce.



Divorce was also in the number two slot in the worst things in the world, rising from number seven last year and eight the year before. It was not featured in 2005.



Bullying would also be banned and has risen to the number two slot from number three last year and number five the year before.



Over 80 per cent of the children questioned thought they would probably marry when they grow up although 17 per cent gave a definite "no" on the subject.



Sixty six per cent wanted to have children, with most of them stopping at one or two. Nearly a third (29 per cent) were unsure about becoming parents.



Perceptions of wealth vary greatly and, asked how much money was needed to be rich, the figures ranged from £100,000 to "trillions" - substantially up on 2007 when true wealth had a ceiling of £1bn.



Nearly all had a best friend who is kind, but many said they were in love - the number two reason for having a best friend this year, rising from number five last year and seven the year before. "We are in love" was at number nine in 2005.



Love also creeps into the list of the best things in the world for the first time at number seven.



Saturday remains the best day of the week for most, because there is no school and they can stay up late to watch television.



Around two thirds of the children who took part said they were happy, but 27 per cent were not and a further 7 per cent were unsure.



The nationwide research was carried out by Luton First, sponsors and organisers of the fourth annual National Kids' Day.



Patricia Murchie, of Luton First, said: "It seems clear that many pre-teens are more concerned than ever with their looks and weight - possibly reflecting media images of glamour, and new educational initiatives in nutrition and healthy eating."



She said: "The idea of the special Kids' Day is to give pre-teens a national voice for their opinions in a very simple format.



"This particular age group has some very clear ideas on how the world could be changed for the better, but are very rarely given the opportunity to express them."

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