Lancastrians were today waking up to the surprise news that Fred Dibnah has taken an early and commanding lead in a poll to determine the Greatest Lancastrian.
With 400 votes already recorded, the result seems to point to a runaway victory for the Bolton-born steeplejack and steam engine enthusiast - although there are almost three weeks before the poll closes.
Dibnah's vote even outstrips the combined vote of Wigan boys George Formby and Gerard Winstanley and popular BBC Radio 2 folk presenter Mike Harding has been pushed into fourth place.
The poll results will be announced on Lancashire Day and organisers TMB Books have put out an appeal to any Lancastrians yet to vote to visit the poll website and exercise their democratic right to choose the person they think has made the greatest contribution to Lancashire.
A spokesman for TMB Books said: "We have had one or two issues with the poll which we believe are down to the Yorkshire company which is organising it for us. Now that the election in the US is completed, we hope the eyes of the world can shift to the more important matter of determining who deserves this great honour."