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James Bond tops the greatest fictional playboys of all time

16th May 2013 Print
James Bond

The Great Gatsby has been named among the greatest fictional playboys of all time, research has been revealed. F Scott Fitzgerald’s lothario, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the latest big screen adaptation,  features in a list of the UK’s most popular imaginary ladies’ men, with James Bond topping the poll.

Other pleasure-seeking characters to make the top 10 include Iron Man’s Tony Stark and Batman’s Bruce Wayne.

The research, commissioned by AudioGO to mark the release of The Great Gatsby audio book, saw 1,000 Brits polled about their relationships with literature.

The survey also found that more than half of women admitted to being attracted to fictional bad boys — with one in ten feeling more intensely for a make-believe male than their own partner.

That could be why cinematic smooth operators such as Alfie, Arthur and even Austin Powers have proved to be such popular and enduring figures.

AudioGO Sales and Marketing Director, Rachel Josephson commented: “Fictional playboys’ mix of power and charm ensures they were a hit with both men and women – it’s the air of adventure and charm that make playboys so endearing and part of many great stories.

“Great leading men like Gatsby are never forgotten and as the new Baz Luhrmann film adaptation proves, still go on to inspire whole new generations alongside brand new characters.

“For men, playboys serve as a fantasy role model to try and emulate, while many women are excited by their devil-may-care demeanour.”

Dorian Gray, Don Juan and Shakespeare’s Romeo complete the list of the top 10 greatest fictional playboys.

Though sex appeal was unsurprisingly named as a key quality of fictional charmers, intelligence was deemed the most important attribute – a sense of adventure, carefree attitude and power were also key.

For men, James Bond was the fictional character they’d most like to be, with 30% wishing to step into the super spy’s shoes, followed by those of Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark and legendary lover Don Juan.

The larger-than-life playboys of novels and films prove to be just as appealing to women, with 63% of ladies saying they find them attractive.

Shockingly, 10% of women say they feel a stronger attachment to their favourite fictional playboy than they do for their boyfriend or husband.

No wonder then that one in 10 blokes admit to getting jealous about their partner’s obsessing over fictional lead men.

Nearly 20% of women, however, confess to feeling guilty about succumbing to these loveable rogues’ charms.

Rachel Josephson from AudioGO added: “The research shows just how much we invest in the characters we read, sometimes more than perhaps we should, but such is the power of great story telling.”

Top 10 fictional playboys

1. James Bond
2. Bruce Wayne
3. Tony Stark
4. Don Juan
5. Dorian Gray
6. Jay Gatsby
7. Austin Powers
8. Thomas Crown
9. Alfie
10. Arthur

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James Bond