Simon Cowell is today's New Elizabethan. Cowell started out on Pop Idol in 2001, before devising X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent. Franchised around the world, these programmes have helped Cowell into the top ten of the Sunday Times music rich list, estimated worth £200-million. Known for offering his blunt opinions to less than talented wannabes, he chose a mirror as his luxury item when he appeared on Desert Island Discs in 2006.
The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings.
They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse."
Producer, Sukey Firth.