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The Great British Grandmother: Scottish Friendly poll reveals Mary Berry as the UK’s most popular choice to be their celebrity grandparent

  • Berry topped the shortlist closely followed by Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley
  • Jeremy Corbyn was the least popular candidate
  • David Beckham voted most likely to be the coolest grandparent in the future

Mary Berry is the celebrity people in the UK would most want to be their grandparent according to research released today from ISA and savings provider Scottish Friendly. Berry led the way with just over one sixth (16.8%) of the vote followed closely by Helen Mirren (16.4%) and Joanna Lumley (13.3%). The poll, which was taken from a shortlist of 11 candidates and surveyed 2,000 respondents nationwide, reveals Jeremy Corbyn to be the least popular choice (3.8%), narrowly saving Mick Jagger from the ignominy of being last (4.2%).

Battle of Westminster

Theresa May narrowly got the upper hand over Jeremy Corbyn as 4.5% chose the Conservative leader as their preferred prospective grandparent over her Labour counterpart . Boris Johnson emerged as the most popular politician in the vote, with 5.8% saying they would want the Foreign Secretary as one of their grandparents.

‘Goldenballs’ coolest grandparent

When asked to pick which celebrity from a shortlist of 10 would make the coolest grandparent in the future, David Beckham came top with a third of the vote (32.9%) while Idris Elba polled second (15.1%) narrowly ahead of Adele who came third in the charts (14.9%). It also seems that those with a reputation perhaps for exuberant partying won’t make cool grandparents in the future. Popular A-listers such as Harry Styles (2.3%) Kate Moss (2.7%) and Lily Allen (4.2%) were seen as less likely to carry their ‘cool cache’ into later life as a grandparent.   

The findings come as Scottish Friendly has launched a campaign to raise awareness among grandparents interested in saving for their grandchildren, how they can do so without the hassle of nagging a parent (or guardian) to set up a Junior ISA. The ISA and savings provider has found that more than half (51.2%) of grandparents said they would leave money aside for their grandchildren, with an average expected gift of £10,225.

Calum Bennie, savings expert at Scottish Friendly, said: 

Mary Berry is quickly becoming a national treasure and her ability to make cakes and to sugar coat her criticisms of would-be bakers on The Great British Bake Off has left her firmly ingrained in the UK’s psyche. It seems the prospect of her and her cakes charmed our respondents into naming her the most popular choice as a celebrity grandparent.

While our survey is obviously tongue-in-cheek there is a serious message behind it. We want to let grandparents know that they don’t have to save or invest in a Junior ISA for their grandchildren.  A Junior ISA means only parents or guardians can open one before grandparents can contribute, something that at the very best causes delays and frustration.  

It is for that reason Scottish Friendly is letting grandparents know that if they are not already investing in an ISA, they can also invest for their grandchildren in named accounts by using their own ISA allowance thereby by-passing well-meaning, but time-poor, parents while also ensuring the money remains in their own control until their grandchild is of an appropriate age to receive the gift.

The value of the investment can fall as well as rise and the original value of the investment is not guaranteed.

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