BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
Press Office
Search the BBC and Web
Search BBC Press Office

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Press Releases

Britain's top three Living Icons revealed by The Culture Show

Two legendary pop stars and a TV giant are battling it out to see who will get the public's vote as the nation's greatest Living Icon.


The top three - Sir David Attenborough, Sir Paul McCartney and Morrissey - are revealed on tomorrow's episode of The Culture Show (BBC Two, Saturday 2 December, 6.40pm) after 75,000 votes were cast by the public.


The top ten icons were announced on Saturday 11 November after The Culture Show invited the public to nominate individuals who they believe have made the greatest impact on cultural life in the UK.


The Culture Show can reveal that the nation ranked the remaining seven icons in the following order:

4 David Bowie

5 Sir Michael Caine

6 Stephen Fry

7 Kate Bush

8 Alan Bennett

9 Kate Moss

10 Dame Vivienne Westwood.


The public voted resoundingly in favour of men with all three shortlisted women in the bottom half of the list.


Well-known advocates championed the icons.


Bill Oddie said of David Attenborough: "David has affected the lives of people and wildlife for many years. With his amazing amount of knowledge, his achievement is to recommend life, wildlife and human life to the people of this earth."


Jeremy Vine on Morrissey: "Well one reason to vote for Morrissey is that he would really hate to win this. But what's most important to remember is that he did what every great artist should do. He came from nowhere and changed the way we think. Basically he took a torpedo and slammed into the heart of British pop."


Katie Melua on Sir Paul McCartney: "He is the only surviving songwriter member of The Beatles who inspired so many generations with their music. He took British culture, with The Beatles, to America and the rest of the world. And he is such a good person with a lot of humanity and belief in what he does."


On 2 December Lauren Laverne will be at the National Portrait Gallery, London to announce the finalists, on the 150th anniversary of the day the gallery was formally established.


Pictures of the three icons, specially chosen from the National Portrait Gallery's Photography Collection, will be on display in the gallery and the National Gallery of Scotland from Monday until the end of December; there will also be voting facilities.


The winner will be announced on the final Culture Show in the series on Saturday 16 December.


Voting for the winner closes at midday on Monday 11 December 2006.


The public can vote for their favourite in the top three by phone (09015 22 33 44); by text (icon + surname of the icon to 83199) or online at









The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Category: Factual & Arts TV; BBC Two
Date: 01.12.2006
Printable version

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy