MOTÖRHEAD guitarist Phil Campbell has shot up the list of candidates to be named greatest Welsh hero following an Internet campaign by fans of the band, the BBC reports. Campbell, originally from Pontypridd, is now fifth in the list of nominees on the Welsh Heroes web site after the official MOTÖRHEAD site put a link on it and urged fans to vote for him.
But the move has bemused some at the Welsh assembly, who set up the poll to find the best leaders, thinkers, performers and sports greats.
Campbell, 42, is closing fast on the father of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan — on Sunday, he had 294 votes to the Labour man's 333.
However, he is not a lone figure from the world of pop and rock by any means.
No less than five musicians and singers from the past forty years have made the list, with veteran popster Tom Jones leading the nominations so far.
THE ALARM's Mike Peters comes in at number two, nearly 100 votes ahead of Owain Glyndwr.
Campbell said the poll results were "totally unbelievable" and thanked those who were supporting him.
A spokesperson for the assembly was reported as saying: "It's crazy — we expected heroes like Dylan Thomas, Archbishop Rowan Williams or even Neil Kinnock to be in the top five."
"To have a rock star...was not the idea at all."
The web site, 100 Welsh Heroes, was officially launched by Alun Pugh AM, the minister for culture, sport and languages in Wales, three weeks ago and invites people to nominate their heroes in five areas.
Nominations close on 1 December, when a top 100 list will be drawn up for people to vote for the Welsh person they most admire.
The top ten will be announced on St. David's Day, 1 March 2004.
Phil Campbell will be interviewed on the Nicola Heywood Thomas program on BBC Radio Wales on Tuesday, September 30 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.