Greatest Britons

In 2002, the BBC conducted a poll to find out whom the British public considered the greatest British people in history. You can read the Wikipedia article about it here and see the full list of the top 100, in order, here.

On Friday 18th May 2012, the QuizQuizQuiz Friday Quiz asked for people to name any 5 of the top 10. (If you want to be on the mailing list for the Friday Quiz, sign up here). We’ve taken a look at the results from our quiz, and compared them to the BBC survey. At the bottom of this post I’ve pasted the results, showing those who were mentioned more than once in the responses on the Friday Quiz.

Bearing in mind that we weren’t asking people to list their 5 Greatest Britons, we were asking them to try and remember any 5 of the top 10 from the BBC poll, here are a few observations:

  • Stephen Fry came 17th in our list, but was unranked back in 2002.
  • The Queen came 7th in our list, but only 24th in 2002.
  • Sir Christopher Wren came 24th in our list, but was unranked in the BBC poll (which is pretty extraordinary, considering some of the people who were in the top 100 on the BBC list like Tony Blair and Robbie Williams).
  • Scooby-Doo, Albert Einstein and Christopher Columbus were on our list, but not on the BBC list, but none of them are/were British so that seems reasonable – I imagine they would all have been in the list otherwise.

Here is the list from our Friday Quiz:

QQQ RankNameBBC Poll
1Winston Churchill1
2Isambard Kingdom Brunel2
3William Shakespeare5
4Isaac Newton6
5Charles Darwin4
6Princess Diana3
7The Queen24
8Lord Nelson9
8Margaret Thatcher16
10Queen Victoria18
11Charles Dickens41
12Elizabeth I7
12David Beckham33
14John Lennon8
15Oliver Cromwell10
15Richard Branson85
17Stephen Fryunranked
17Florence Nightingale52
17Alexander Graham Bell57
17Henry VIII40
21George Stephenson65
21Stephen Hawking25
21Bobby Moore69
24The Unknown Warrior76
24Steven Redgrave36
24Walter Raleigh93
24Francis Drake49
24Alexander Fleming20
24Jane Austen70
24David Attenborough63
24Christopher Wrenunranked
24Albert Einsteinnot British
33Robbie Williams77
33Neville Chamberlainunranked
33Tom Jonesunranked
33Scooby Donot British
33Richard Hammondunranked
33Christopher Columbusnot British
33Alan Turing21
33Francis Crickunranked
33Bob Geldof75
33John Logie Baird44
33John Peel43
33Robert Baden Powell13
33Del Boyunranked
33WG Graceunranked
33JK Rowling83
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