The Irish News Archive: Sep 17 1998: DUP leader Ian Paisley beats Gazza in the smart stakes

English soccer star Paul Gascoigne
The Irish News Archive

DEMOCRATIC Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley is the fourth least intelligent personality in the UK, according to a new survey carried out for the Focus scientific lifestyle magazine.

Ahead of him in the least intelligent stakes was soccer star Paul Gascoigne who was voted the most stupid of them all.

The Middlesbrough midfielder polled 31 per cent and topped the list ahead of Page 3 model Melinda Messenger with 10 per cent.

Former Lottery presenter Anthea Turner came third with eight per cent, closely followed by Mr Paisley on seven per cent.

The same research revealed Virgin’s tycoon boss Richard Branson is seen as the country’s most intelligent person, securing a 20 per cent backing and pipping author Stephen Hawking into second place by just one per cent.

TV brainbox Carol Vorderman finished third on 17 per cent, ahead of wildlife expert David Attenborough and inventor Clive Sinclair.

The 1,004 people quizzed for the survey for the Focus scientific lifestyle magazine were also asked who they thought was the most intelligent politician in the UK.

Prime Minister Tony Blair topped the poll with 25 per cent of the votes with Margaret Thatcher following in second place with 22 per cent.

The full survey: Top five least intelligent personalities in Britain: 1 Paul Gascoigne 31 per cent; 2 Melinda Messenger 10 per cent; 3 Anthea Turner eight per cent; 4 Ian Paisley seven per cent; 5 Geri Halliwell six per cent

Top five most intelligent sportsmen: 1 Imran Khan 17 per cent; Gary Lineker 15 per cent; 3 Glenn Hoddle nine per cent; 4 Roger Black seven per cent; 5 Michael Atherton six per cent.


PLANS to develop a gaelic football pitch in one of county Down’s most scenic parks have outraged residents in Rostrevor.

Villagers have claimed that Kilbroney Park will be destroyed if Newry and Mourne council go ahead with its proposals to build a new GAA pitch.

They are furious that the £250,000 development will border the Fairy Glen a well known scenic walk within the park and have urged council officials to reconsider the location.

he new playing field will replace the current pitch used by St Bronagh’s GAC at Pettit Park which is now considered to be overused by the club’s 16 football, hurling and camogie teams.

Efforts were made by the club to find an alternative venue before the council earmarked the Kilbroney Park site.

A statement from St Bronagh’s GAC said it welcomed the initiative to develop new modern facilities for Rostrevor and congratulated those councillors who had backed the proposal.

“In this age when health and safety are paramount especially when working with youth it is only right that this modern provision envisaged by the council will be greatly appreciated not only by the sports loving people of Rostrevor but further afield in the council area,” it said.


DERMOT Donnelly sent a message to the British selectors last night in Kuala Lumpur when he ran a magnificent race to finish fifth in the Commonwealth games 10,000m race.

It was undoubtedly the highlight of the Annadale Strider’s career to date, leaving British selectors with egg on their faces after leaving him out of their European Championship team for the 5000m in Budapest.

Donnelly finished ahead of five Africans in conditions which were much better suited to that calibre of opposition.

The thermometer read 27 degrees centigrade and the humidity soared to 86 per cent, despite the fact that the contest was staged at 8.10pm local time.

Indeed, Donnelly, was just sixteen hundredths of a second behind South African Tsunuki Kalamore, who beat him to the line in a sprint finish.

The west Belfast man is now almost certain to rest on his considerable laurels and sit out the 5000m.

Before the race, he had insisted that a place in the top 10 or, at best the top eight, was his target so he had every reason to have a small celebration in the Malaysian capital.

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