Top 30 British obsessions include the weather, complaining and the perfect brew

A list of Britain's top 30 greatest obsessions has been revealed – with the weather being at the top of the list.

A study of 2,000 adults found discussing football results and moaning about the state of traffic and queues are also typical preoccupations – as are adoring pets and going to the pub for a refreshing pint or two.

A beloved Sunday roast, the infamous British sense of humour and triumphal periods in our nation's history have also been ranked in the list.

Always wanting the sun to come out, but then complaining when it is too hot, how expensive things are, and soap operas are other obsessions.

Sky HISTORY commissioned the research to mark the launch of Britain’s Greatest Obsessions on Monday, September 12, which will see celebrities including Harry Hill, Reginald D Hunter, Chris Packham, Suggs, Liza Tarbuck and Lorraine Kelly explore uniquely British passions.

Liza Tarbuck said: “I started my foray into the weather with the light-hearted attitude that in the UK the weather is essentially small talk.

"It’s anything but. Weather is everything, it governs daily choices, food, mood and history – everything.”

Madness frontman Suggs, who also explores Britain’s love of pubs in the new series, said: “It’s no secret that I am a connoisseur of the pub.

"I jumped at the chance to unearth and share stories of these great British institutions, and of course accepted my duties to sample some of their delights along the way.”

The study found 41% adults will talk about their favourite topics with their partner and 40% regularly chat with friends.

But a third will strike up conversation with their own children about these obsessions, while 21% will happily talk to a stranger about things like their telly habits, having a cup of tea or queuing.

It also emerged 52% admit the UK is a ‘very obsessive’ nation when it comes to a certain topic to talk about – with chat about the weather coming up at least six times a week.

While 51% will never be satisfied even if it’s snowing, raining or a heat wave.

The average person also sends 23 text messages a day and makes 14 cups of tea a week to start a conversation with another person.

For those who own a pet, 24 are obsessed with buying them treats all the time while 19% take photos of their favourite animal to post on social media.

And when going to the pub, 23% enjoy visiting their local tavern – spending on average £29 a month.

The research, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed the nation is obsessed with aspects of its own history and heritage, including England’s 1966 World Cup win, victory in World War II and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s time in office from 1979-1990.

Other game-changing moments include the London Olympics of 2012, Queen’s electrifying Live Aid performance back in 1985, and Prince William and Kate Middleton ’s wedding in 2011.

And the cultural landmark that was the Spice Girls’ movie of 1997 is apparently still being talked about to this day.

While 88% think humour is central to British culture and identity – with sarcasm coming out top as the best form of satire.

London was considered the funniest region in the UK, followed by the North West, South East and West Midlands.

Nearly one in five (19%) named dad as having the best humour in the family closely followed by mum.

Harry Hill, who features in the series exploring British humour, said: “We in this country are so proud and pleased with our sense of humour, for some reason we see it as another thing we’ve got over the rest of the World. Where did that come from?"


  1. Talking about the weather
  2. Football
  3. Moaning about traffic
  4. Wanting the sun to come out, but then complaining it's too hot
  5. Queueing
  6. How expensive everything is
  7. Tea
  8. Our pets
  9. Complaining in general
  10. Politics
  11. Reality TV shows
  12. Christmas
  13. Holidays
  14. Going to the pub
  15. Chanting 'it's coming home' whenever the football is on
  16. Telly
  17. The Royal Family
  18. Fish and chips
  19. Celebrity gossip
  20. Apologising
  21. Soaps
  22. Having a roast dinner on Sunday
  23. Complaining about bad driving
  24. Our sense of humour
  25. Sarcasm
  26. Taking selfies
  27. Wearing shorts and flipflops the second the sun comes out
  28. British history
  29. People not saying thank you if you let them pass
  30. Constantly texting

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