Mobility scooter 'typifies Britain'

A new survey has shown that French people consider a mobility scooter, a cloth cap and a cup of tea as some of the iconic images associated with Britishness.

The YouGov poll of 4,048 French people was conducted following a TV advert for Renault Megane cars.

In what was perhaps abreakdown in communications and a lack of understanding between two cultures, residents in the Lancashire village of Gisburn were left angry over how they were represented.

In the Renault car advert, images from Gisburn were contrasted with those from Menton on France's Cote d'Azur, with a swimming pool compared with a puddle, designer heels with slippers, and a glamorous couple sipping wine in a restaurant with a frumpy couple sitting on a bench.

And according to the new survey, old perceptions die hard.

Around 30% of French people questioned associated Britishness with the image an old man on a mobility scooter, while 23% chose an athletic Tour de France cyclist as something that represented themselves.

More than half (53%) of the Continentals surveyed associated the UK with a flat cap and over three-quarters (79%) with a cup of tea.

In contrast, when asked to choose from the 20 images which reflected their culture, 90% of the French selected a platter of cheese and 63% a glass of champagne.

When the Britons questioned were asked to pick three "French" images 71% chose the camembert cheese, 57% selected champagne and 31% picked the Tour de France racer.

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