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Ladbrokes commission survey to coincide with Chris Kamara ad

| 07.09.2012

The average Brit embarrasses themselves four times a day, research has revealed.

Forgetting people’s names, tripping over in public and getting food stuck in your teeth are amongst the most common faux pas which leave us red-faced.

The study of 2,000 Brits found things are most likely to go wrong in the work place, while our own homes, shopping trips and the pub see us embarrassing ourselves regularly.

The research, which was commissioned by Ladbrokes to coincide with their new advertising campaign, also found sweat patches, someone trying to get in the bathroom when you’re occupying it and accidentally waving at a stranger as common gaffes that get us cringing.

A spokesman for Ladbrokes said: “Everyone does their best to be composed and cool wherever they are, but it isn’t always going to work and clearly there are many pitfalls.

“It’s understandable that the average Brit experiences these embarrassments four times in an average day as there are many little things that don’t always go to plan.

“The good thing is once the awkwardness clears the little things that throw us can eventually be looked back on and laughed about.”

Swallowing food the wrong way, running after public transport and it pulling away on you and battling with a supermarket self-service checkout also made the list of our biggest embarrassments.

While many of us have accidentally ‘liked’ a Facebook picture of someone we fancied or whose profile we really shouldn’t have been looking at.

Snoring while on a train, getting stuck in a revolving door or accidentally calling someone ‘Mum’ also featured in the top 50.

And one in seven Brits has been so embarrassed they’ve fled a room to avoid the stares.

A fifth of respondents have a public speaking nightmare that they’d rather forget – the biggest speaking blunder was having your voice break or squeak high-pitched unexpectedly.

The biggest embarrassments were most likely to have been work related for the majority of people, while stories involving things going wrong in front of the in-laws were also very common.

One in seven Brits says a relationship ended largely because something embarrassing happened.

Approaches vary when it comes to being embarrassed, a third of Brits say their response is to ‘want to disappear’, while over half say their natural reaction is to try and laugh it off.

The research marks the launch of a new Ladbrokes television advert – which sees popular football pundit Chris Kamara experience some strong bathroom embarrassment as his towel is whipped away.

Ladbrokes continued: “The good thing about this list is no one is immune and we’re all guilty of having done at least some of these things.

“That’s something we’ve tried to capture in our campaign – we’ve all had a moment like Kammy where things go against us and we wish no one was around to see.

“We don’t always bring them on ourselves of course, so it’s worth being aware of particular mates or people who might look to embarrass you when you’re off guard.

“Certain situations have more potential for embarrassment than others of course but the thing to take remember from all of it is there’s no point taking yourself too seriously.

“Look down the list and the results show there are many things that we can all relate to and some might have more embarrassing memories than others. With hindsight they can even be quite funny, even if at the time you just wanted the ground to swallow you up.”


1. Forgetting someone’s name when introducing them
2. Tripping over in public
3. Getting someone’s name wrong
4. Getting food stains/splashes on your top
5. Waving at someone and they don’t see you
6. Getting food stuck in your teeth
7. Thinking someone’s waving at you when they aren’t
8. Being late
9. Forgetting where you parked
10. Burping accidentally
11. Getting lost
12. Having sweat patches
13. Snorting while laughing
14. Flies/ trouser zip being undone
15. Swallowing food the wrong way
16. Talking about someone not knowing they’re in earshot
17. Accidentally texting the wrong person
18. Dropping things in shop/supermarket
19. Someone trying to get in bathroom when you’re using it
20. Stalling your car at traffic lights
21. Running for public transport and it pulling away
22. Being honked at by a car
23. Making an error on the self-checkout
24. Treading in dog muck
25. Wearing odd socks
26. Being ID’d
27. Having bits of food on your face
28. Locking yourself out of the house
29. Getting stuck in clothing while trying it on
30. Getting too drunk at a wedding
31. Forgetting important documents
32. Having lipstick on your teeth
33. Dropping a drink in a pub
34. Treading on someone else’s shoes
35. Accidentally ‘liking’ someone’s Facebook picture you fancy/shouldn’t have looked at
36. Snoring on train
37. Putting clothes on inside out/upside down
38. Walking into lamppost
39. Accidentally calling someone mum/dad
40. Falling off a bike
41. Dribbling while sleeping on train
42. Seeing ink marks on your face
43. Leaving blobs of shaving foam on your face
44. Mum kissing you goodbye in public
45. Getting stuck in revolving doors
46. Accidentally cc’ing someone in an email about them
47. Shared something on social media that was meant to be a private message
48. Socks being tucked into your trousers
49. Accidentally sent a revealing picture to the wrong person
50. Having your towel stolen or taken while showering



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.