The French view of Britain: Cloth caps and mobility scooters
A pensioner on a mobility scooter, a cloth cap and a cup of tea are some of the things the French most associate with Britishness, according to a survey.
Lancashire villagers from Gisburn were left fuming last week after their hamlet was mocked in an advertising campaign for Renault Megane cars.
Now a survey of cultural perceptions between the English and French, commissioned in support of the ongoing campaign, has revealed how old stereotypes die hard.
Almost a third (30 per cent) of French people questioned thought Britishness was associated with an image of an elderly man on a mobility scooter while nearly a quarter (23 per cent) chose an athletic Tour de France cyclist as one of the pictures representing themselves.
More than half (53 per cent) of the Continentals surveyed associated the UK with a flat cap and over three-quarters (79 per cent) with a cup of tea.
In contrast, when asked to choose from the 20 images which pictures reflected their culture, 90 per cent of the French selected a platter of cheese and 63 per cent a glass of champagne.
The poll by YouGov surveyed 4,048 French and 2,169 Britons about their opinions of one another.
When the Britons questioned were asked to pick three “French” images, 71 per cent chose the camembert cheese, 57 per cent selected champagne and 31 per cent picked the Tour de France racer.
Broadcaster Gyles Brandreth said he was not surprised by the views of the French respondents.