Google reveals UK's most popular internet searches

The life and death of crocodile hunter Steve Irwin and tickets for Dirty Dancing appear to uppermost in the mind of Britain's internet users, according to a new survey.

Google, the US computer giant, has revealed the most popular interests during 2006 with a list of the fastest-growing queries entered into its famous rectangular search box.

Confirming the explosion of interest in moving pictures over the internet, video was the biggest online trend in the past 12 months. Millions of people now regularly log onto Youtube.com to view video clips ranging from pirouettes to pranks.

Predictably the sporting event of the summer, the football World Cup, fared well, in second place. In third came searches for Irwin, whose colourful life came to an end in September when a stingray's poisonous barb pierced his heart. His catchphrase was "crikey" as he crept up on dangerous wild animals. The Australian Prime Minister John Howard offered his family a state funeral. The drama Prison Break was the popular TV show, requested more than the epic survivor series Lost and Big Brother, both in the top 10.

Interest was intense in the Euro Millions lottery draw, whose jackpot rolled over 11 times to reach a record €183m(£122m) in November. There were multiple roll-overs, with prizes of €190m and €75m, in February and March.

Wikipedia, the free web encyclopaedia, came fifth in Google's list. Transport for London and the weather, were ninth and tenth.

This year Google compiled a table of searches for "carbon", the cheapest goods and the most interesting celebrity weddings and divorces.

Google listed the areas with the highest search for the term "carbon" per head of population. On this crude statistic, Oxford emerged as the greenest place, followed by Guildford, Cambridge, Exeter and Warwick. London did not feature. The only northern city in the list, Derby, was 10th.

The union of the world's most famous Scientologist, Tom Cruise, to fellow actor Katie Holmes in Bracciano, Italy, in November, was the wedding of the year.

Dirty Dancing, the West End show, headed the list of hottest tickets, ahead of George Michael - who returned to pop arenas with a 50-date world tour.

Travel dominated the minds of bargain hunters, with the leading searches for holidays, flights and car insurance, train tickets and hotels. Computer users also scoured the web for "cheap" glasses and LCD televisions.

Top 10

* video

* world cup

* steve irwin

* prison break

* wiki (online database)

* euro millions

* big brother

* lost

* tfl

* weather

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