Snow White, the classic story of a beautiful heroine, evil queen and seven dwarves, has been named the nation's favourite fairy tale.

The famous tale has topped a new poll, seeing off competition from other well loved yarns such as Cinderella and Jack and The Beanstalk.

It also wins the award for best villain, with the Evil Queen considered to be the scariest fairy tale character of all time.

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The survey, which questioned just over 2,000 adults, was published to mark the final week to enter the National Young Writers' Award.

Almost three in 10 (28.98%) of those surveyed picked Snow White as their favourite fairy tale, while around a fifth (21.02%) chose Cinderella and 13.67% picked Jack and The Beanstalk.

Around a third (32.21%) cited the Evil Queen from Snow White as the scariest character, followed by the witch from Hansel and Gretel (27.49%) and the Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood (19.78%).

The poll also found that around two thirds (65.71%) of adults think that today's stories are too "sanitised" for children, while 83.5% agreed that the development of technology has diminished children's imagination and interest in reading.

Explore Learning, which commissioned the survey, said that the findings had also shown that 62% of the parents questioned said that they did not read to their young children every night.

Carey Ann Dodah, head of curriculum at Explore Learning,said: "No matter how old you are, the UK loves a good fairy tale and partly due to the classics being made into blockbuster movies, their popularity has endured through the generations.

"However, it is worrying to see that parents are not taking quality time out of their day to read a story to their children. Reading to your child instils a love of books from a young age and is a fantastic way to bond with your child before bedtime."

the National Young Writers' Award is for children aged five to 14. To enter they must write a 500 word story on the theme 'fairy tales and fables'. The closing date is Tuesday June 3.

:: The survey questioned 2,012 people in May.