THE BRIT PARADE; Our Greatest 10 of All Time

The Mirror (London, England), October 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

THE BRIT PARADE; Our Greatest 10 of All Time


Byline: ANDY RUDD and TOM PARRY

THE top 10 greatest Britons of all time were named yesterday.

The roll of honour chosen by the public has no living members. William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, Horatio Nelson, Charles Darwin, Princess Diana and John Lennon make the list.

But although the Queen, Prince Charles, Paul McCartney and David Beckham were in the top 100, they were not ranked with the greatest.

The top 10 are: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Churchill, Oliver Cromwell, Darwin, Diana, Queen Elizabeth I, Lennon, Nelson, Isaac Newton and Shakespeare.

All apart from Cromwell overcame miserable childhoods to achieve greatness.

More than 30,000 people voted. Over the next few weeks, historians and celebrities will profile their favourites in a series of BBC2 programmes before the greatest of them all is chosen by viewers.

BBC2 controller Jane Root said last night: "I think the top 10 is a really interesting mix of contenders.

"The debate will go on right across Britain."

ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL(1806-1859)

THE son of a French engineer, Portsmouth-born Brunel was educated in Paris. His famous engineering works included the Great Western Railway and the Clifton Suspension Bridge at Bristol.

CHARLES DARWIN(1809-1882)

AFTER spending years experimenting and collecting information around the world on board HMS Beagle, Darwin's theory of natural selection and his works The Voyage of the Beagle and The Origin of Species changed forever the biblical view that God created the Earth.

WINSTON CHURCHILL(1874-1965)

MASTER statesman and speechmaker, and Britain's greatest war-time Prime Minister. The British people turned to him to confront the Nazi threat to Europe and he inspired the nation to victory in the Second World War. He had a final stint as Premier aged 77.

OLIVER CROMWELL(1599-1658)

WHEN the English Civil War broke out, Cromwell became a natural leader of the Roundheads, defeating Charles I and becoming the first head of state outside the monarchy. …

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