I began to wonder what makes someone 'nice'. The Concise Oxford Dictionary has it that one must be 'pleasant in manner; good-natured; kind'. I remembered a conversation with my Dad once about 'kindness' as a quality in fiction. He contended that in real life one never admired someone's kind quality as one did in literature. I begged to differ, and I still do. I've never held with that theory that nice guys finish last.
Perhaps when we were young and foolish, we preferred the wild and reckless to the polite and generous, but try watching Casablanca now and I'll bet you've changed your mind about what you would do at the end if you were Ilsa Lund.
For my own stipulations, the nicest man in Britain must not only be nice, a man, and British (which discounts Rolf Harris, who might otherwise have been a contender), but also to have achieved some sort of fame in their chosen field (random friends and relations don't count).
5 Nicest Men in Britain:
- Michael Palin (CBE)
- Sir David Attenborough
- Sir Steve Redgrave
- Hugh Laurie (OBE)
- Jamie Oliver (MBE)