CHILDREN looking for role models would turn to Nelson Mandela or Richard Branson before God, according to a new survey.
But at least the Lord came higher up in their estimation than the late Princess of Wales, Tony Blair or pop star Britney Spears.
The disclosures come in a survey by Christian youth charity YMCA, which asked teenagers to choose their dream mentor following Government plans for the new career and support service, Connexions, which will provide personal advisers.
The YMCA questioned more than 1,000 13 to 19-year-olds during August in locations including fesivals, youth clubs and on outdoor activities courses.
Just under 10 per cent - 92 teenagers - said they would prefer no mentor but mums got a big show of support with 64 votes.
Dads were close behind with 34 votes but only just beat Nelson Mandela on 32 votes. Richard Branson and Martin Luther King were tied on 28. Nick Bateman, Nasty Nick from Channel 4's Big Brother scored eight votes while the Pope managed just six.
Friends, sisters, grandparents, teachers, youth workers and partners were all popular choices but no one chose their brother as an ideal mentor.