It seems to work for Hollywood stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence – and now a study has found that for six in 10 women in the UK, their best friend is a male.

The findings of the nationwide British survey reveal 60% of women prefer the company of men to women.

Claudia Crosse, 23 and Charles Gibbon, 24 met two years ago when they started working for a London-based marketing company and have become best friends.

Claudia, who’s been in a relationship for three years, said the idea of a romantic relationship with Charlie had never crossed her mind.

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“Charlie is definitely my best friend and we hang out together all the time. But taking things further has simply never occurred to either of us.

“I think at first Fred (her boyfriend) was slightly concerned when I kept mentioning Charlie, but he’s met him and now they’re good friends as well.

“I think it’s an old-fashioned notion that men and women can’t ever be ‘just friends’.”

Charlie, who lives with his partner Charlotte, 23, in south London, added that Claudia is the best fun ever.

“We immediately clicked when we started working together and started hanging out, just the two of us, outside work.

“My girlfriend is absolutely fine with it. She trusts me and knows I’d never be unfaithful. Men and women can definitely be friends without the sex part getting in the way.”

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But it isn’t plain sailing for all heterosexual guys and girls in relationships who have platonic pals, it seems.

Between 10% and 13% of women surveyed said their husband or partner wasn’t impressed by their friendship with males, and that it caused regular arguments and bust-ups.

A further 16% said their other half don’t like it one bit but tried to brush it under the carpet.

However, 37% said their friendship was no issue as they have complete trust in their relationship or marriage.

According to the report – commissioned by Prezzo, a chain of British-owned restaurants serving food inspired by Italian cuisine in the UK and Ireland – the average British female has eight friends in her social circle.

Of the 2 000 females polled, 59% said the group was mixed rather than single-sex.

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More 11% said they like hanging out with guys more because they trusted their male friends more than their female ones.

A spokesman for Prezzo said, “We wanted to look into what modern friendships are like and how the dynamic changed over the generations, but the thing that struck us most about the findings is that we don’t see our true best friends nearly enough.”

When asked how many of their friends they truly relied on, most females said there were only four people in their friendship circle they could really trust, while 7% of women said they have a “frenemy” – someone in their social group they secretly despise.

A quarter were convinced their frenemy talks about them behind their back.