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100 Greatest Britons (BBC Poll, 2002)

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100 Greatest Britons (BBC Poll, 2002)

100 Greatest Britons was broadcast in 2002 by the BBC. The programme was based on a television poll conducted to determine whom the United Kingdom public considered the greatest British people in history. The series, Great Britons, included individual programmes featuring the individuals who featured in the top ten, with viewers having further opportunities to vote after each programme. It concluded with a debate. All of the top 10 were dead by the year of broadcast.

The poll resulted in nominees including Guy Fawkes, who was executed for trying to blow up the Parliament of England; Oliver Cromwell who created a republican England; Richard III, suspected of murdering his nephews; James Connolly, an Irish nationalist and socialist who was executed by the Crown in 1916; and a surprisingly high ranking of 17th for actor and singer Michael Crawford (the second highest-ranked entertainer, after John Lennon). Diana, Princess of Wales was judged to be a greater historical British figure than William Shakespeare by BBC respondents to the survey.

Although the BBC's original ranked list has been removed from their web server and what remains is only an alphabetical list of the Top 100, several other sources have preserved the original ranked list.

There was some question as to whether the Richard Burton listed at #96 is the actor or the explorer. A BBC press release makes it clear that they intended it to be the actor. Source

BBC Poll 100 Greatest Britons

  1. Sir Winston Churchill
  2. Isambard Kingdom Brunel
  3. Diana, Princess of Wales
  4. Charles Darwin
  5. William Shakespeare
  6. Sir Isaac Newton
  7. Elizabeth I
  8. John Lennon
  9. Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
  10. Oliver Cromwell
  11. Sir Ernest Shackleton
  12. Captain James Cook
  13. Robert Baden-Powell
  14. Alfred the Great
  15. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
  16. Margaret Thatcher
  17. Michael Crawford
  18. Queen Victoria
  19. Sir Paul McCartney
  20. Sir Alexander Fleming
  21. Alan Turing
  22. Michael Faraday
  23. Owain Glyndŵr
  24. Elizabeth II
  25. Stephen Hawking
  26. William Tyndale
  27. Emmeline Pankhurst
  28. William Wilberforce
  29. David Bowie
  30. Guy Fawkes
  31. Leonard Cheshire
  32. Eric Morecambe
  33. David Beckham
  34. Thomas Paine
  35. Boudica
  36. Sir Steve Redgrave
  37. Sir Thomas More
  38. William Blake
  39. John Harrison
  40. Henry VIII
  41. Charles Dickens
  42. Sir Frank Whittle
  43. John Peel
  44. John Logie Baird
  45. Aneurin Bevan
  46. Boy George
  47. Sir Douglas Bader
  48. Sir William Wallace
  49. Sir Francis Drake
  50. John Wesley
  51. King Arthur (more detailed: Arthurian-Fiction project)
  52. Florence Nightingale
  53. Thomas Edward Lawrence
  54. Robert Falcon Scott
  55. Enoch Powell
  56. Sir Cliff Richard
  57. Sir Alexander Graham Bell
  58. Freddie Mercury
  59. Dame Julie Andrews
  60. Sir Edward Elgar
  61. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
  62. George Harrison
  63. Sir David Attenborough
  64. James Connolly
  65. George Stephenson
  66. Sir Charles Chaplin
  67. Tony Blair
  68. William Caxton
  69. Bobby Moore
  70. Jane Austen
  71. William Booth
  72. Henry V
  73. Aleister Crowley
  74. Robert the Bruce
  75. Bob Geldof
  76. The Unknown Warrior (wikipedia)
  77. Robbie Williams
  78. Edward Jenner
  79. David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor
  80. Charles Babbage
  81. Geoffrey Chaucer
  82. Richard III
  83. Joanne K. Rowling
  84. James Watt
  85. Sir Richard Branson
  86. Bono
  87. John Lydon (Johnny Rotten)
  88. Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein ('Monty')
  89. Donald Campbell
  90. Henry II
  91. James Clerk Maxwell
  92. J. R. R. Tolkien
  93. Sir Walter Raleigh
  94. Edward I
  95. Sir Barnes Wallis
  96. Richard Burton
  97. Tony Benn
  98. David Livingstone
  99. Sir Tim Berners-Lee
  100. Marie Stopes