Happy St David’s Day to our Welsh brethren. On this day, 1,424 years ago (so tradition states), the man who was to become the patron saint of Wales died, uttering the final words “brothers be ye constant” to his fellow monks before slipping into history.

To celebrate this historic British day, we list the best ten things to come out of the small yet hugely influential country…

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  • Errol The Hamster

    Roland Rat’s sidekick, Errol the Hamster dwelled in the rat cave, and was best known for a dour demeanour and an ability to fix radios. Errol’s current whereabouts are unknown, however rumours suggest he retired to Benidorm to run a bar with Kevin the Gerbil.

  • Dylan Thomas

    "Do not go gentle into that good night," wrote poet Thomas, begging his father to fight again death. The refrain, along with the line “Rage, rage against the dying of the light" secured the Swansea-born wordsmith an indelible place in English-speaking popular culture, despite the poet’s death just two years after the poem was published.

  • Shakin' Stevens

    The Welsh Elvis... That's all we need to say.

  • Shirley Bassey

    Fresh from the Oscars, Shirley Bassey remains one of Wales’ favourite daughters, best known for belting out Goldfinger, as well as falling through stairs for Morecambe and Wise. Born in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, the 76-year-old is a true Welsh icon, still capable of spectacular vocal feats as she proved last week.

  • Gareth Bale

    Gareth Bale, the third best player on the planet, according to some critics of the beautiful game, hails from Cardiff and currently knocks the ball around for Spurs, although a host of European clubs are known to crave his signature.

  • Lawn Tennis

    A Welshman invested lawn tennis (according to the Internet) with the game possibly derived from the old Welsh pass time of ‘Cerrig y Drudion’. This may be wrong, but we’re sticking it the gallery anyway…

  • Mount Everest

    That's right - Mount Everest is Welsh. Or at least George Everest, the Welsh surveyor and geographer, after whom the mountain was named, is...

  • Anthony Hopkins

    For Lecter alone, Hopkins makes it into the list. The fact that the Port Talbot-born actor has enjoyed a career spanning 50-years, including turn in A Bridge Too Far (with umbrella) cements his place as one of Wales greatest ever exports...

  • Tommy Cooper

    “Just like that” was to become the comedic catchphrase of the Seventies, as the Caerphilly-born magician rose to national and international prominence with his bizarre act and trademark fez. Like Burton and Thomas, Cooper too liked a drink and tragically died on stage in 1984.

  • Richard Burton

    One of the best British actors ever, and certainly one of the best boozers, Burton enjoyed a career on screen that was lead to six Oscar nominations (he never won), and a tempestuous love affair with Elizabeth Taylor that has come to define Hollywood extravagance. He died aged 58, and was buried in Switzerland with a copy of Dylan Thomas' poems.