Nosy widower Harold Bishop, from the Australian soap Neighbours, is the person most UK householders would like as their neighbour.

The interfering Aussie beat other soap characters, including Coronation Street's Vera Duckworth and Eastenders' Pat Butcher, in a poll conducted by Norwich Union (NU). The insurer said the survey, to promote its neigh-bourhood watch awards, showed neighbours were thought to be the best kind of crime prevention.

On the flipside, Emmerdale's fearsome Dingle family topped the poll as most people's idea of nightmare neighbours. Perhaps they should move to London, which NU's survey says has the least friendly neighbourhoods. One in five Londoners say they have never met or talked to their next-door kin.