Despite being out of the media spotlight recently, Robbie Williams is still the one whom most British motor sport fans would select as their dream co-driver for this weekend’s Wales Rally GB.
Presumably, male respondents were looking to compensate for the stereo-free interior of a rally car, whilst female counterparts had their minds fixed on the opportunities afforded by the romantically remote locations in which rallying is usually staged.
The results are from a poll conducted by Fiat Auto UK, in conjunction with motor sport portal, Crash.net, in advance of this weekend’s Wales Rally of Great Britain, in which Fiat is entering a three-car team.
Site visitors were invited to imagine that they had been entered for the Wales Rally GB and, at the last minute, had been let down by their co-driver. Who would they select as a replacement to sit beside them, throughout three days of gruelling forest rally action? Respondents were asked to select from a list of six categories: TV, Comedy, Glamour, Film, History and Music, and then to pick one overall favourite.
As well as the Overall title, Robbie proved too strong for the opposition in the Music category, where he saw off feisty challenges from both Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, and a surprising number of votes for the Manchester moaner, Morrissey. Robbie was selected as the ideal musical companion by an impressive 36% of those questioned.
The most closely contested category was Comedy, where Phoenix Nights’ Peter Kay narrowly edged out Lee Evans, by one percentage point, to be the funny-man most people would want beside them on a foggy Welsh hillside at dawn.
In the glamour stakes, Kylie Minogue is still in a league of her own, 24% wanting her perfect posterior parked next to them, instead of younger challengers, Kelly Brook (22%) and Rachel Stevens (19%), in 2nd and 3rd position respectively.
From the list of historical figures, Albert Einstein finished head and shoulders above the rest, his problem-solving ability eclipsing both Winston Churchill’s leadership qualities and JFK’s charisma.
Jonathan Ross’s motor mouth was reckoned to be a strong co-driver’s asset, Wossie’s irrepressible good humour seeing him home ahead of Cat Deeley’s demure charms and BBC Radio Norwich’s very own, know-it-all irritant, Alan Partridge.
Finally, Tom Cruise (32%) won the battle of the silver screen, proving too popular for both Cameron Diaz (26%) and Halle Berry (22%).
Commenting upon these results, professional co-driver, Tim Sturla, who will be hoping to guide the Fiat Stilo of lead driver, Leon Pesticcio, to a strong finish this weekend, offered:
‘Not sure Robbie would have been top of my list! Successful co-driving is about teamwork, trust and attention to detail, not qualities you’d immediately attribute to a rock star. Still, given the chance, it might show he had hidden depths!’Published 14 September 2004