Anorak News | Great Britons

Great Britons

by | 22nd, August 2002

‘ROBBIE Williams. Michael Crawford. Boy George. What do these three have in common? There’s their gender of course, though even that is a little suspect in at least one case. Can’t guess? Come on, it’s obvious. All right, we’ll tell you – all three have made it into the BBC’s list of the 100 greatest Britons.

”What’s this I hear about The Beatles being more popular than me?”

A poll conducted late last year elicited 30,000 votes – most of them, apparently, from teenage girls, ageing New Romantics and TV viewers with dubious senses of humour. The Guardian struggles to hide its disdain as it publishes the list in full, and is not pleased to see that Julie Andrews, Cliff Richard and John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) have made the list, while such luminaries as Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley and Byron, Constable and Turner, and Gielgud, Guinness and Olivier, have been left off.

”Royals, pop stars and military figures feature highly in the list but poets, artists and women are woefully under-represented,” it says. The Queen, her late mother and Princess Diana all made it into the list, but their deserving male contemporaries have been sadly neglected. Three Beatles – Lennon, McCartney and Harrison – are included, but there are no Rolling Stones.

There is, however, one Tony Blair. But even he, at the height of his glory, could not topple Sir Winston Churchill, who is believed to have been voted our greatest ever Briton.

The Guardian writes that the top 10 subjects will each be the subject of one-hour documentaries on the BBC. ”A new poll for the ‘greatest Briton’ will be held throughout the series, and the results announced in a programme hosted by Anne Robinson,” it says.

Those not making the cut will be voted off as the weakest link, and consigned to historical obscurity.

Posted: 22nd, August 2002 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink