Jalandhar-born pips British royals in Top 100 of English county

May 4th, 2008 - 12:00 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Prince William
By Jaideep Sarin
Jalandhar (Punjab), May 4 (IANS) Jalandhar-born Gloucester Mayor Harjit Gill has pipped British royals, including Prince Charles, and several top celebrities to emerge as the most popular person in the Gloucestershire county. Gill, the first Asian mayor of the 98 percent white dominated county that is a two-hour drive from London, has been declared the winner of an online poll conducted by Gloucestershire’s popular Weekend magazine after a four-week polling process.

As many as 200 personalities from the British royalty, showbiz, business, politics, sports and other fields were short-listed for the voting that started April 5.

The list included popular names, besides the British royals, like “Titanic” actress Kate Winslet and model and actress Liz Hurley - both residents of the upscale Cotswolds area of the county.

Other celebrities on the list were “Tele-tubbies” inventor Ann Wood, world gliding champ Leigh Wells, one of the youngest climbers of Mount Everest Jake Meyer, former cricketer Jack Russel and Cheltenham town mayor John Rawson.

Having started at an original rank of 77 in the list of top 200 people in the high-profile county, Gill, 54, steadily rose to the first rank in the second week of the contest and remained saddled there till the end.

The future king of Britain, Prince Charles, who had topped the charts last year, finished sixth in the overall ranking of Gloucestershire’s Top-100 people. Prince Charles is a resident of Highgrove in this county where he has business interests in organic farming and spends a lot of time.

He is behind his own sister, Princess Anne of Gatcombe area in the same county, who ranks fourth in the list. She has been involved in several social causes, especially the Save the Children charity.

Prince Charles’ sons, Prince William and Prince Harry - both also shown as residents of Highgrove - finished lower on the list.

“It’s a high point for me to have topped the list from among so many distinguished and world-famous personalities. I feel humbled. It shows that sincerity and hard work never go unnoticed,” Gill told IANS from his countryside residence near Gloucester city.

Gill has been a popular mayor of the city - the first Asian in its over 700 years history - and has undertaken charity walks to London and other places for days together for social causes.

“No. 1: Gloucester City mayor, Harjit Gill, is the readers’ favourite” - the Weekend magazine caption announced Saturday.

Following Gill closely is Charlie Chan - a leading breast cancer consultant in Britain and a tireless fundraiser for cancer research - at the second slot of the online polling. Haematologist and Leukemia charity fundraiser Gill Rouse finished third.

A postmaster by profession, Gill landed up in Britain in 1978 after his post-graduation in political science from a Jalandhar college to get married to Indian origin British national Jasminder Kaur. Gill, a hockey player who once played for the Rest of India team, has two children - Gurkamal (son) and Amrit (daughter). He was born in Dakoha village on the outskirts of Jalandhar city.

BBC’s Top Gear auto-show presenter Richard Hammond finished fifth on the list, ahead of Prince Charles. Gloucester chief constable Tim Brian ranked seventh.

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