Tonight millions of viewers will be glued to their television sets to find out who has been voted Britain's greatest living cultural icon.

But for two Charming Men' from Bradford, the final countdown will have extra special significance.

Mike Cartwright, who is policy director of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, and his friend, Peter Finan, have been chosen to lobby the case for Morrissey, former lead singer of influential 1980s band The Smiths.

The often controversial vocalist has been the surprise inclusion in the three-strong final, after the public voted for him along with former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

And Mr Cartwright and Mr Finan, both Morrissey fans, are determined the famed Boy With a Thorn in His Side will take the top honour.

They travelled down to London for the filming of the show, with Mr Finan being interviewed on camera by host Lauren Laverne, explaining why he feels the be-quiffed frontman has made the greatest cultural impact of any living Briton.

Mr Cartwright saw The Smiths play one of their first UK tours in 1983 and has been a devoted fan ever since, seeing Morrissey with the band and a solo artist countless times.

He said: "The impact he has had has reached far beyond his own natural field of being a singer.

"His views on politics, vegetarianism, the Moors murders or patriotism are all part of what I feel is an icon - someone who pushes the boundaries."

Mr Finan, who works in technical support and product development at chemical producers the Stephenson Group, helps to run a Morrissey website called

He has been a high profile fan for many years, recently appearing on Mastermind with The Smiths as his specialist subject.

He said: "Morrissey's ability to create a mystical relationship between himself and his audience, coupled with the fact that he really speaks his mind, is what makes a him a real icon.

"I think he really embodies Britishness and this is reflected in the impact he makes on peoples' day-to-day lives."

The Manchester-born singer is renowned for his fanatical following. He recently returned with two of the best-selling albums of his career and is in the middle of a high-profile tour, culminating in two nights at the Gmex arena in his home city.

Needless to say, Mr Cartwright and Mr Finan will be there.

The Culture Show is on BBC2 at 7.50pm today.

e-mail: mark.casci