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Mary Beard voted top travel companion

41% of readers would rather go on holiday with the Cambridge classicist than any other TV traveller

Published: Tuesday, 9th February 2016 at 8:40 am

Only two years after she was named pin-up of the year, Mary Beard has scooped another august award: top travel companion.


As we suspected, readers are an erudite lot. 41% of you would rather go on holiday with the Cambridge classics professors than any other TV traveller. At one point Mary Beard and Jeremy Clarkson were neck-and-neck, but the classicist's fans rallied, leaving the former Top Gear globetrotter languishing in fifth place.

Despite taking an early lead, Michael Palin was runner-up but trailed way behind with just 15% of the votes. Sue Perkins pipped Joanna Lumley to third place with 10%.

The most surprising result was Bear Grylls' measly 6%. Then again, it's hard to imagine Grylls ordering a pina colada and letting his hair down after a hard day of surviving (whereas we imagine Beard would have plenty of raucous anecdotes about the Greek goddess Caligula up her sleeve).

Politician-turned-trainspotter Michael Portillo brought up the rear. Perhaps you were worried that his penchant for wearing clashing colours would induce a permanent headache?

The bad news: Mary Beard is far too busy to be a tour guide. The good news is that she'll be back on the BBC later this month with a programme about Pompeii.

The full list of winners:

Mary Beard 41%

Michael Palin 15%

Sue Perkins 10%

Joanna Lumley 8%

Jeremy Clarkson 7%

Bear Grylls 6%

Karl Pilkington 4%

Levison Wood 4%

Simon Reeve 3%

Michael Portillo 2%

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