BRITAIN has been voted the funniest nation in Europe.
The accolade was awarded because we have produced such legendary figures of fun as Mr Bean, Basil Fawlty and Margaret Thatcher.
We came tops in a survey of European readers of Reader's Digest as having the best sense of humour and contributing most laughter to the world.
Of course we have.
The nation has grown strong on the jokes of Ken Dodd and the Iron Lady.
"I don't know what I would do without Whitelaw," she once said. "Everyone should have a Willy."
And Whitelaw himself was no slouch when it came to one-liners. During an election, he commented: "Harold Wilson is going around the country stirring up apathy."
Humour has always been centre stage at that great variety theatre we know of as the House of Commons. And Winston Churchill was the master of the genre. He wouldn't have had a problem with hecklers while playing the Glasgow Empire on a Saturday night.
When Lady Astor said to him: "Winston, if you were my husband I would flavour your coffee with poison," he replied: "Madam, if I were your husband, I should drink it."
Bessie Braddock rebuked him for his apparent intoxication.
"Winston, you're drunk," she said.
And Churchill said: "Bessie, you're ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober."
Britain didn't do so well in the rest of the Reader's Digest survey.
Cuisine? We're on the same par as Belgium, the nation that puts mayonaisse on its chips.
Six nations beat us on sex appeal and we were the fourth least liked nation.
Germany was voted the most unpopular and the rudest, but then, that's no surprise.
If we don't want to slip down there with our Aryan cousins, we need to build on what we are good at. We should be working at turning the Mother of Parliaments into the Fun Factory of the Western World.
Sadly, today's politicians just don't make people laugh. They should draft in Peter Kay to give lessons and pass on a few gags.
"I'm not homophobic. I like my house."
"I phoned up for an Indian takeaway. I said do you deliver? He said, no only chicken and lamb."
Go on. Make them 'ave it.