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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: August ::
World Rates Shakespeare Twice as High as Brits Do
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1669  Monday, 25 August 2003

From:           Al Magary <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 22 Aug 2003 13:01:49 -0700
Subject:        World Rates Shakespeare Twice as High as Brits Do

Do people around the world think better of Shakespeare than the folks in
his home land?  BBC polling in connection with its "Great Briton"
program series seems to show something along that line.  Here's the
latest from the Beeb:

---

Sir Isaac Newton wins the battle of the Britons in BBC World's global
poll

BBC (press release), August 15, 2003

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/commercial/worldwidestories/pressreleases/2003/08_august/bbcworld_great_britons.shtml

(or click here:  http://tinyurl.com/kvrv)

Viewers of BBC World have voted the scientist Sir Isaac Newton as their
Greatest Briton, following a 10-week series that profiled some of the
most eminent British men and women in history.

The man who calculated the theory of gravity won the poll with 21.4% of
the votes, beating Sir Winston Churchill, who attracted 17.0%, into
second place. Diana, Princess of Wales came third, taking 13.0% of all
entries.

Tristram Hunt, the historian who presented the Great Britons profile of
Newton, said he was delighted that his choice had won. "Newton's
achievements affected all mankind and I think it is a proper reflection
of his genius that a global audience has voted him the Greatest Briton.
Indeed, it was Newton's advances in physics - his understanding of
gravity and planetary motion - that have sent satellites into space and
allowed the series to be beamed round the globe. The world has now
repaid the favour."
...
Great Britons was launched in June on BBC World. It followed a highly
successful series on BBC Television in the UK, in which viewers selected
Sir Winston Churchill as their Greatest Briton.  BBC World's global
version kept the original shortlist of 10, which had been chosen through
a separate public vote. Full biographies of all nominees are available
online at www.bbcworld.com/greatbritons. The final result is as follows:

1 Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727) 21.4%
2 Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) 17.0%
3 Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 97) 13.0%
4 William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) 12.1%
5 Charles Darwin (1809 - 82) 10.1%
6 John Lennon (1940 - 80) 8.0%
7 Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806 - 59) 7.9%
8 Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603) 6.1%
9 Oliver Cromwell (1599 - 1658) 2.2%
10 Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson (1758 - 1805) 2.1%

Narendhra Morar, the Commissioning Editor of Great Britons for BBC
World, added: "I think one of the reasons for Newton's victory was that
the poll was conducted online and he would appeal to younger,
computer-savvy voters. It's fascinating that our viewers chose a
different greatest Briton to the original series, although Churchill
still had a strong following and actually came first among BBC World's
ex-pat viewers."

---

Here are the results from the UK-only polling in late 2002
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/greatbritons/index_final.shtml):

1.  Churchill           456,498 (28.1%)
2.  Brunel               398,526 (24.6%)
3.  Diana                 225,584 (13.9%)
4.  Darwin               112,496 (6.9%)
5.  Shakespeare      109,919 (6.8%)
6.  Newton              84,628 (5.2%)
7.  Elizabeth I         71,928 (4.4%)
8.  Lennon              68,445 (4.2%)
9.  Nelson                49,171 (3%)
10. Cromwell           45,053 (2.8%)

--
Conveyed by
Al Magary
("voted #1 news browser of all time")

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