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When it comes to the nation’s favourite Christmas film, classic family favourites are top of the bill according to research carried out by over 50s insurer and proud sponsor of ODEON senior screen, RIAS. 'Miracle on 34th Street' was voted as our best-loved film with the story, first-released on the silver screen in 1947, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

The 1947 version of the Academy Award-winning Christmas classic, starring Maureen O’Hara and John Payne, tells the story of a single mother and her daughter who are left wondering whether a department store Father Christmas is actually the real Mr Claus. In the seasonal survey conducted by RIAS, 'Miracle on 34th Street' came in first, followed by 'The Snowman', the 1980s animated classic. 'White Christmas' and 'A Christmas Carol' jointly share third place in the nations affections this Christmas.

The results follow a survey earlier in the year, which saw RIAS revealing the nation’s favourite happy-ending film* as the 61-year-old 'It’s a Wonderful Life', a film also strongly associated with Christmas.

Janet Connor, Managing Director of RIAS, commented: “Britain certainly seems to love the age-old classics. Despite a combined age of 121 years, the nation’s favourite happy ending film – 'It’s a Wonderful Life' – and favourite Christmas film – 'Miracle on 34th Street' – shows no signs of ageing. The secret seems to be that these are traditional, feel-good classics; films the whole family can sit down together and enjoy, be it at Christmas or any other time of the year.”

The nation’s best-loved Christmas films are:

1. Miracle on 34th Street
2. The Snowman
3. White Christmas
4. A Christmas Carol
5. Santa Claus – The Movie
6. Scrooge
7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
8. The Muppets’ Christmas Carol
9. The Nightmare Before Christmas
10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The favourite Christmas film survey was carried out to mark RIAS’ highly successful first six months sponsorship of ODEON Senior Screen, which offers mature guests the opportunity to meet friends for a mid-morning screening of the best recent films and some classics from over the years. The admission price is reduced and free tea and coffee is available before the screening.
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Editor’s Notes:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1, 996 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th – 19th November 2007. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
*The RIAS Happy Endings Survey was conducted by YouGov Plc. The nation’s top 10 happy ending films were
1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
2. Pretty Woman (1990)
3. Dirty Dancing (1987)
4. The Sound of Music (1965)
5. Shrek (2001)
6. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
7. Grease (1978)
8. ET (1982)
9. Love Actually (2003)
10. Ghost (1990)
Total sample size was 2,379 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th - 23rd July 2007
The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About RIAS
· RIAS was established in 1992 and is a specialist provider of insurance products for the over 50s age group
· RIAS negotiates with a panel of insurers to secure competitive, value for money products
· RIAS has over 880,000 customers and employs over 1,200 people across two locations - Bournemouth and Belfast
· In July 2007 RIAS’ home insurance contents and buildings policies received four ‘Best Buy’ awards from Which? magazine

RIAS is part of Fortis (Insurance), a leading provider of award-winning personal and commercial lines insurance solutions in the UK and was named 2007 General Insurer of the Year at the British Insurance Awards. The insurer’s successful customer-centric strategy has been founded on aligning its activities to how customers want to buy insurance, combined with delivering high quality products, manufactured at costs better than market norms.

Fortis’s unique multi-distribution capability enables it to deliver products face-to-face, by phone (inbound and outbound), over the Internet and via SMS technology. Aligning its business activities with its partners' general insurance strategies enables Fortis to offer end-to-end white label capabilities in product development, marketing, campaign management, sales, fulfilment and claims - providing a seamless integration with partner brands.

Insuring in excess of 6.6 million customers and working with a range of partners, Fortis is recognised for delivering consistent and high-quality customer experiences. It employs 2,901 people as of 30/09/07 with a head office based in Eastleigh and others in Belfast, Bournemouth, Gloucester, Haywards Heath, Redditch, and Stoke-on-Trent. In 2006, its profit before tax and interest was GBP77.5 million and its GWP was 688.3 million.

For more information, contact:
James Bishop/Louise Gough
JBA Public Relations
Tel: 020 8875 5460
Email: james.bishop@jbapr.com or louise.gough@jbapr.com

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