Television

Scientist Newton is the 'Greatest Briton' according to BBC World viewers

LONDON: Scientist Sir Isaac Newton has been voted the Greatest Briton by viewers of BBC World, following a 10-week series that profiled some of the most eminent British men and women in history, a company release stated yesterday

The results will be broadcast in Great Britons: The World's Greatest Briton on BBC World at 7.40 pm this evening and repeated thrice tomorrow, at 2.40 am, 2.40 pm and 11.40 pm.

The man who calculated the theory of gravity won the poll with 21.4 per cent of votes, beating Sir Winston Churchill, who attracted 17 per cent. Princess Diana of Wales came third, with 13 per cent votes.



The BBC release said, 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 this 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.

Commissioning editor of Great Britons for BBC World Narendhra Morar said, "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."

The final BBC World result is as follows:

Name and year    Percentage votes

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)    21.4

Sir Winston Churchill (1874- 1965)    17

Princess Diana (1961- '97)    13

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)    12.1

Charles Darwin (1809 -'82)    10.1

John Lennon (1940 - '80)    8

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-'59)    7.9

Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603)    

6.1

Oliver Cromwell (1599 - 1658)    2.2

Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson (1758 - 1805)    2.1

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