A BBC poll to find the most “iconic” figure of the 20th century excludes Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, JFK and the Beatles.
Source BBC Viewers will be asked to choose their favourite from a longlist of 28 influential figures at the conclusion of the BBC2 Icons series.
Computer tool used for longlist A panel of academics and experts made the selection, which includes tennis champion Billie Jean King and primatologist Jane Goodall but omits several of the 20th century’s most “iconic” figures.
The i has learnt that a research tool, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, drawing on the prominence of individuals on the internet, was used to compile the list. The lists were sent to academic experts to assess against key criteria – legacy, achievement, impact, influence, contribution to their field, and public profile.
Expert panels then debated the longlists before agreeing on the four individual icons shortlisted for each category. Diana omitted When the BBC ran a 2002 poll to find the nation’s Greatest Britons in 2002, Princess Diana came third and was the highest-placed woman. Diana, Princess of Wales, not considered one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century .
John Lennon (number 8 in 2002), Sir Paul McCartney (19) and Queen Elizabeth II (24) are also snubbed. Bowie, Thatcher and Gandhi make the list The Icons list, opened up to global contenders, includes Winston Churchill, who topped the Greatest Briton poll.
Margaret Thatcher, David Bowie, Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi. There are seven categories: leaders, explorers, scientists, entertainers, activists, sports stars and artists and writers. Celebrities will present the cases for four contenders in each category. Less familiar names include Tu Youyou, a Chinese chemist who helped to create anti-malaria medication. David Bowie performing at Live Aid in 1985, makes the 28 longlist
” Bowie a ‘master of reinvention’ Hollywood star Kathleen Turner will make the case for David Bowie, over the Beatles and Elvis Presley. She said the Ziggy Stardust singer was a “master of reinvention, who repeatedly unsettled the norm.” Thatcher V Mandela Sir Trevor McDonald will weight the merits of Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela in the Leaders category. He said: “The ultimate icon should be a political leader due to the commitment of their desire to be of service to their community, to their society or to their nation.