Jay Kay thinks Britain is "the poor man of Europe".

The 40-year-old Jamiroquai singer thinks the UK has "dumbed down" because of popular culture and believes other nations mock his home country because it is inhabited by "chatterers and shoppers".

He said: "The nation is being dumbed down by popular culture and we are turning into a country of gossips, this isn't Great Britain anymore. We keep talking about 1966 when we won the world cup and winning WW2, which is nice to talk about, but it isn't great now.

"Britain is the poor man of Europe, Italy laughs at us - they call us the nation of chatterers and shoppers, and that's what we are. All we talk about is the Beckhams and Jordan. It really is Little Britain. All we get fed from television and magazines is rubbish."

The 'Canned Heat' hitmaker believes National Service - where people undergo a compulsory stint in the armed forces - should be brought back to the UK to make young people "learn a trade".

He told Recognise magazine: "If a kid gets caught with a knife, send them to work in the army. There they can learn a trade and earn some respect for themselves."