Belfast Telegraph

West Wing's Bartlett voted for PM

The West Wing's US President Josiah Bartlett has been voted the fictional head of state people would most like to see take over from David Cameron to run Britain.

Bartlett, played in the long-running series by Martin Sheen, picked up almost a fifth (18%) of votes in the poll carried out to celebrate the arrival of the Lady Thatcher biopic, The Iron Lady, in cinemas tomorrow.

Fictional White House residents took the top five places with Tom Beck, played by Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact, and Harrison Ford's James Marshall from Air Force One in second and third place respectively with 16% and 12% of the votes.

A less obvious choice was President Merkin Muffley, played by Peter Sellers in Stanley Kubrick's cold war black comedy Dr Strangelove, who got 7% of the vote in a poll of 1,515 people.

Helen Cowley, editor of film rental firm LOVEFiLM, which carried out the poll, said: "From presidents to prime ministers, countless charismatic political leaders have graced our screens, all with varying degrees of success.

"The release of a movie about one of the most famous British prime ministers of all time prompted us to ask LOVEFiLM members which fictional leader they would like to see at 10 Downing Street.

"For Martin Sheen's long-serving President Bartlett to come out on top is proof that all that walking and talking is key to popular appeal."

The Iron Lady, which switches focus between Lady Thatcher's pomp in Downing Street in the 1980s and the frail former politician of the present day, had its European premiere in London last night. It stars Meryl Streep in the title role.

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