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