Television presenter Carol Vorderman was today crowned female winner of Rear of the Year - and the prize's organiser claims she beat Pippa Middleton by ten votes to one, RadioTimes.com can reveal.
Many believed the highly prestigious award would go to Kate's sister, after the world watched her walk down the aisle as maid of honour at the royal wedding in April.
Publicity consultant Tony Edwards, who founded the award in 1976, told RadioTimes.com he wasn’t shocked at the result, as voting takes place all year round. “Carol Vorderman had been getting massive votes from Christmas through to now, so although Pippa came in with a bang, in six weeks she couldn’t hope to catch up,” he said.
“Carol outscored Pippa 10 to 1 in the final count," Edwards added. "There’s a much bigger following for Carol. She had a championship bum this year, no doubt about it. And she's been very close to winning quite often in the past.”
Fifty-year-old Vorderman said, “I am really surprised and flattered to get this award, particularly at this stage of my life." She added: “I always suspected there were a lot of people out there who were glad to see the back of me, so this has turned out to be very funny indeed.”
Strictly Come Dancing star Anton du Beke took the men’s title in the competition, which is now into its 29th year. The award is sponsored by Wizard Jeans and voted for by members of the public, with approximately 10,000 nominations submitted annually, according to Edwards.
Edwards refused to state exactly which position Pippa came in at, explaining that the runners-up are never announced to avoid bookmakers becoming involved in the title race.
He did admit, however, that votes are not the only factor in the process of naming a winner. "It isn't just the most votes. There’s a fashion element as well. The fashionable female rear now reflects a more womanly shape, with rounded curves. Pippa’s rear is gamine, boyish.”
Asked whether Rear of the Year was really in the public's minds enough throughout the year to explain the steady stream of votes for Vorderman, Edwards said: “I can’t believe how many newspapers mention ‘rear of the year’ on a daily basis.” (A Google News search on the phrase returned six results for July 2010-April 2011 inclusive. A search for 1 May to 7 June 2011 returned 329 results, nearly all of them Pippa-related.)
He added that the competition was probably so popular because people don’t take it too seriously. “It’s not the Nobel Peace Prize and it’s a chance for celebrities to loosen up and show their funny side,” he said.
Previous winners include singer Charlotte Church, TV presenter Carol Smillie and actress Sarah Lancashire. Fiona Bruce took the title last year, alongside Hollyoaks actor Ricky Whittle.
The voting for the 2012 title is now open.
Additional reporting: Jack Seale