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I recall this being on TV, at the time but, had never perused the whole list - possibly the biggest case of WTFery I've ever come across and the worst case for any sort of democracy.
Various celebrities championed some worthy contenders and they feature prominently but unless I've missed it there are incredible omissions Sir Christopher Wren doesn't seem to be on there. For science it's how long is a piece of string and given the popularity of 20th century figures Francis Crick is surprisingly absent, I think.
Now for the WTFery and why you could never have direct democracy. Michael Crawford features at 17, which actually I don't have a problem with as he isn't pushed as a national treasure (and thank fuck the beatification of Stephen Fry wasn't in full swing so he's not on there and any potential Jimmy Savile related embarrassment seems to have been escaped).
One of the most troubling entries is King Arthur, at 51, he might be great but I do feel he was somewhat held back. from true greatness, by being entirely mythical. Alexander Graham Bell, with his telephone, was considered one place less great than Cliff Richard - I think anyone who voted for Cliff should have their phone disconnected from the network entirely and modified to only play Living Doll on a continuous loop. J K Rowling beat Tolkien comfortably by nearly ten places. Robbie Williams beat Edward Jenner, by one place, which possibly implies some part of the population would rather suffer Smallpox than be deprived of Angels and Let Me Entertain You - to be honest these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Frankly, I think this travesty needs urgent revision.
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