Hawking voted Greatest Disabled Briton in BBC poll
Stephen Hawking, the scientist, has been voted Britain's Greatest
Disabled Person in an online poll by Ouch,
the BBC's website which reflects life as a disabled person.
Hawking has captured the popular imagination for many years, shedding
light on the mysteries of the universe.
said: "I'm very pleased to receive this acknowledgment from
were made by the public last year for the greatest disabled Briton,
and votes have since been cast on a shortlisted top ten.
Eagle, Minister for Disabled People said: "Stephen Hawking
and Ian Dury would figure high on many people's list of greatest
public's choices for Greatest Disabled Briton show that disability
is certainly no barrier to greatness. In fact, in a lot of cases
it acts as a spur. There's a lesson to be learnt here that disabled
people have as much - if not more - to offer society as anyone else."
remaining nine in the poll came in the following order:
Dury (28.6 per cent of the vote), who combined rock 'n'
roll, humour, wit and a stage presence that did not deny his disability.
In fact, strutting around stage with a stick, he confidently used
disability as part of his stage act.
Grey-Thompson (9.1 per cent), who has won fourteen paralympic
medals including nine golds, and has broken over twenty world records.
As a wheelchair athlete she was also the winner of five London marathons
- in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2001.
Bader (7.5 per cent), who famously overcame losing both
legs in an accident to pursue a career with the RAF.
Winston Churchill (3.8 per cent), who experienced depression
for most of his life but particularly in his later years. Famously
he came to call these dark moods his "black dog".
sixth were David Blunkett (3.6 per cent), Home
Secretary, and Britain's most famous guide dog owner, and Mike
Oliver (3.6 per cent), who, as Professor of Disability
Studies at the University of Greenwich, has produced books and papers
that set out the social model of disability - the idea that it is
society which disables disabled people.
Byron (3.5 per cent), Britain's great romantic who was
"mad, bad and dangerous to know", was also born with talipes,
or a club foot.
Nelson (3.3 per cent), who was going ashore in Corsica
following the fall of Toulon, when a French shot flung debris into
his face leaving him without sight in his right eye.
George VI (1.4 per cent), who was arguably Britain's most
information on the poll is available at www.bbc.co.uk/ouch,
the BBC's website that reflects life as a disabled person.
is a site about life, living, creativity, community, humour and
the wider view of life as a disabled person.
main aim is to reflect experiences, thoughts and give alternative
slants on all things, big and small, that are important to disabled
people, and is aimed at everyone.
quotes regarding the poll:
Dury remains our most famous disabled musician, Stephen Hawking
our most famous scientist and Tanni our most famous sports person.
Not taking anything away from them, their replacements are long
overdue." - Mat Fraser, disabled actor who starred in Sealo
the Seal Boy, Metrosexuality, Urban Myth, Born Freak and Virgin
call! I've never understood a word of what Hawking says but he's
a great achiever and has always been happy to talk about disability
without backing away. Where is Blind Jack of Knaresborough? Not
much historical perspective here like having Diana on the Great
Britons list. I tremble to think what Disability Studies academic
Mike Oliver feels about tying with David Blunkett!" - Peter
White, the BBC's Disability Affairs Correspondent.