May 28, 2013 04:00 ET

HomeServe: The Perfect Plumber: Ross Kemp, Gary Barlow and Brian Cox Named as UK's Ideal Tradesmen

- Ideal tradesman is a 41-year-old Yorkshireman

- A friendly smile and being well-spoken among the key characteristics

- Just 28% turned off by builders' bum

WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - May 28, 2013) - Ross Kemp, Gary Barlow and Brian Cox may not, on the face of it, have much in common. But the actor, musician and physics professor have been named as the top three celebrities Britons think would make the ideal tradesman - with Kirstie Allsopp the country's first-choice female engineer.

New research from HomeServe, the home emergency specialists, reveals what the UK looks for in its plumbers, electricians and engineers. And the findings suggest British views are fairly traditional - with the perfect plumber a well-spoken, smiley, 41-year-old Yorkshireman.

But although one in two people (53%) claim they are not bothered what a tradesman is like as long as they get the job done, it seems we nevertheless put a strong premium on personal and communication skills.

Brits cite a welcoming smile as the most important thing for a positive first impression (30%), with being well-spoken the most important personal quality (23%).

One reason for this emphasis may be that Britons are not content to let their engineer simply get on with it. Seven out of 10 (70%) want their tradesman to explain what they're doing, with 42% citing jargon as one of their top turn-offs.

And although a Yorkshire (5%) or Scottish (4%) accent is music to their customers' ears, tradesmen who are local and know the area (53%) are also highly valued.

Being neat and tidy is also important, with tradesmen who leave a mess (72%) the biggest bugbear, following by unhygienic hired help (60%). Yet perhaps surprisingly, just 28% of people object to the good-old fashioned builders' bum.

HomeServe Memberships CEO Jonathan King said: "Being a plumber or electrician is often about more than just the technical skills of the trade. When people let an engineer into their home they want someone who they'll feel comfortable with, and if a job is going to take several hours that means someone they can talk to. That's why at HomeServe, as well as making sure our engineers' skills are up to scratch, we also pride ourselves on making sure we have polite, personable staff who can put customers at their ease - having a natter over a cuppa can mean as much as getting someone's heating back on line."

And it seems being friendly is good for business. Eight out of 10 people (84%) would refer their ideal tradesman to their friends and relatives - and a fifth (18%) would be willing to pay a premium of up to 10 per cent more for perfect plumber.

Notes to editors:

All research conducted online by Canadean Consumer on behalf of HomeServe, February 2013 among a representative sample of 2,005 UK adults.

About HomeServe

HomeServe was established in 1993, with the aim of being the first place people turn to for home emergencies and repairs. With over 1,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national home emergency repair company backed by a 24 hour claims handling team.

HomeServe offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. Our product range also includes locksmith servicing and boiler servicing.

HomeServe work with many major utility companies, boiler manufacturers and other companies that have an affinity with our products.

HomeServe also has a strong international presence with 4.9m customers across the UK, US, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. For more information see

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