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Chantelle and Church among happiest Brits

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Chantelle and Church among happiest Brits
Chantelle Houghton and Charlotte Church are amongst the top ten happiest people in Britain, according to a newspaper's survey.

The Independent on Sunday decided put together a panel of judges from different walks of life to compile a happy top 50.

Though it aimed to avoid looking at wealth, several celebrities feature on the list. Chantelle, who was rocketed from lowly hopeful model to international celebrity by Celebrity Big Brother, makes number two. Church came in at eight, having secured a successful pop career and relationship with rugby star Gavin Henson.

The newspaper's agony aunt Virginia Ironside declares: "Over the past decade or so, money and getting ahead have been our two aims in life. But having spent all our time trying to get rich in order to gain security and power, suddenly the goalposts change.

"And just to push the point home to those poor losers who have wasted their lives sacrificing family life and friendship in the relentless pursuit of lucre, it turns out that happiness can be enjoyed just as easily by someone living in a cardboard box by the Thames as by someone who manages to scrape into that fascinating but fundamentally revolting table of wealth, The Sunday Times Rich List, published today."

Celebs in the top 50:

2. Chantelle: "'Oh my God!' - pop star fiancé Preston and a career as a tabloid 'It' girl. The nobody who won Celebrity Big Brother lives her dream."
6. Anna Ford: "About to retire from news reading and head off to enticing new pastures. Once, satisfyingly, threw wine over Jonathan Aitken."
8. Charlotte Church: "Turned childhood stardom into adult success. Having a ball now she's a pop star rather than a classical diva. Still in touch with Cardiff roots.
9. Timothy Spall: "Just played a hangman, but nine years after beating leukaemia the family man is far from sombre. Now a national treasure."
11. Carol Smillie: "Much sent-up, but you can't take away that smile. Married to a restaurateur, has three children and a satisfyingly varied career."
15. James Blunt: "Sings as if he's about to burst into tears, but the ex-soldier is said to be deliriously content after a year in which he suddenly became a very big star indeed, here and in America."
16. Meera Syal: "Comedienne, writer and actress. Had a number one with Gareth Gates and the Kumars cast. Married to co-star Sanjeev Bhaskar, has a daughter, expecting again."
18. Pete Waterman: "More than 200 hit songs in 25 years. Used his money to pursue his railway preservation dreams."
19. Billie Piper: "Former teen pop star with a failed marriage to DJ Chris Evans. Now at 23 an acclaimed actress and the first assistant in history of Doctor Who to be bigger than the Time Lord."
21. Dame Maggie Smith: "Theatrical dame, still has world at her feet at 71. The twinkliest eyes in the country."
26. Lesley Garrett: "Glamorous soprano, Strictly Come Dancing star and, entirely incidentally, 51 years old. Busy family life, skiing and horse riding.
35. Sian Lloyd: "Weather presenter for ITV, sports a bright smile on the gloomiest of days. Married Lembit Opik MP."
36. Ian Wright: "Striker turned TV face, has been smiling broadly ever since his first goal. Has five children, including three footballers, and is patron of the African-Caribbean Leukaemia Trust."
38. Keira Knightley: "One of Hollywood's brightest stars at 21. The Oscar nominee doesn't even have to work hard, putting her meteoric rise down to luck."
39. Humphrey Lyttelton: "Britain's favourite Old Etonian, musician, and, at 85, still the funniest (and filthiest) man on radio."
40. Andrew Marr: "Irrepressible television presenter and journalist. Guinea pig devotee, happy family man, and a smile almost as wide as his ears."
41. Beverley Knight: "One of Britain's best soul sisters, R&B singer/performer, three-time Mobo award winner - and she's only in her 30s."
43. Rolf Harris: "Musician, painter, composer, didgeridoo player and so enthusiastic he seems, even at 76, like a puppy waiting for walkies."
44. Kate Humble: "Former model, safari driver and crocodile farm hand, the qualified scuba diver is the ever-smiling enthusiast beside Bill Oddie on BBC's Springwatch."
46. Leslie Phillips: "Well hello! The actor who almost made leering respectable. To hear his chuckle is to hear fun."
48. Ainsley Harriott: "Comedian-cum-chef, perfect blend of laughs and legumes. When he's not stirring things up in the kitchen, he helps to fight world hunger."

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