Tour de France and Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has picked up yet another award – he’s been named Britain’s wittiest celebrity by TV channel Dave, which has published the results of a poll to coincide with the Leicester Comedy Festival it is sponsoring.
Among the Wiggo witticisms highlighted by Dave was his comment, standing on the Champs-Elysées podium as the first ever Briton to win the Tour de France, that “We’re just going to draw the raffle numbers now,” as well as his observation, when asked his opinion of a climb in the Pyrenees, that “It goes uphill like all the others, doesn't it?"
The poll, which didn’t mention that Wiggins is equally adept at having an audience in stitches in French – remember that press conference at the Tour of Romandie last year? – was conducted among 2,000 adults who were asked to choose from a list of 25 celebrities to choose the funniest one. Professional comics weren’t included.
There is a cycling connection to the runner-up, too, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson – even Wiggins doesn’t have thousands of bikes named after him just yet – who yesterday pledged to take part in the RideLondon-Surrey 100 in August, with Crystal Palace football manager Ian Holloway coming third.
Others featuring in the top five include Pinarello and Assos fan Lord Sugar, plus petrolhead-in-chief and cyclists’ bête noire Jeremy Clarkson, although last year he did admit that he would move to Copenhagen “in a heartbeat” thanks to the city putting bikes before cars and making it a nicer place to live.
Making the top ten was TV personality Ant McPartlin - worthy of note if only for the fact that it's the first time we have ever seen his name mentioned without the apparently conjoined Declan Donnelly.
No women placed in the top ten, with TV presenter Claudia Winkleman the highest-ranked female ahead of singer Lily Allen.
Steve North, general manager of Dave, commented: "Britain is a hotbed of comedy talent and it's clear you don't have to be on the comedy payroll to get the nation laughing, as our top ten of Britain's greatest living wits encompasses celebrities from diverse fields including the worlds of sport, music, film and politics.
"Our winner, Bradley Wiggins, has a special place in the nation's heart which seems to be on account of his red-hot wit as well as his incredible sporting abilities."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.