Brits want Churchill's face on the fiver

Churchill on a fiverMost Brits want a new face on the fiver and Winston Churchill, Princess Diana, and Kate Middleton are the public's favourites for the job.

After the Bank of England announced a redesign of the ten pound note last week, 68% of Britons told independent cash machine operator Bank Machine that they would also like to see 18th century philanthropist Elizabeth Fry replaced on the five pound note.Names put forward for the job included sportspeople, artists, scientists and political leaders.

Topping the poll was wartime leader Winston Churchill, proving Britain's finest hour remains far from forgotten. Brits seemed less keen to remember another more recent prime minister, Tony Blair, who wound up at the bottom of the list of candidates.

The public's choices

  • Winston Churchill
  • Princess Diana
  • Kate Middleton
  • Emmeline Pankhurst
  • The Beatles
  • Pippa Middleton
  • Stephen Fry
  • Morecambe and Wise
  • Richard Branson
  • Alexander Fleming
  • David Beckham
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Caitlin Moran
  • Roger Bannister
  • JRR Tolkien
  • Dr Robert Winston
  • John Constable
  • Brian Cox
  • JK Rowling
  • Torville and Dean
  • Bruce Forsyth
  • Simon Cowell
  • Cliff Richard
  • Damien Hirst
  • Tony Blair

Right Royal rumpus

A big tussle was for second place. Princess Diana narrowly edged out the Duchess of Cambridge in the poll by less than one percentage point, proving that while both have captured the hearts of the nation, the Queen of Hearts still reigns. Mind you Pippa Middleton came in in fifth place.

Princess Diana on a fiverBut political figures had a strong showing. Reinforcing a strong showing for strong women, suffragette Emmeline Pankurst claimed fourth place.

Entertainers proved the next most popular choices, with strong showings for the Beatles, Morecombe and Wise, and well beloved polymath Stephen Fry. Scientists Alexander Fleming and Stephen Hawking came in close behind.

Writers and artists were less popular, with neither JRR Tolkien nor JK Rowling casting a spell over the British public: neither garnered more than 1% of the vote. Perhaps reinforcing this week's widespread criticism of his work, Brit-Art pioneer Damien Hirst's showing was so low as to be statistically inconsiderable.

There was a clear gender split in preferences for the face of the fiver, with men placing Churchill at the top of their list whilst women favoured Princess Diana.

Fivers favoured

Ron Delnevo, director of the UK Payments Council and managing director of Bank Machine, said: "In Britain, we take our banknotes very seriously. It is clear that the British public want new faces on the cash they use to lead their daily live. Not surprising really: if you are going to see a face many times a day, you want it to be one you like looking at.

"We're proud to have played a part in the resurgence of the five pound note with our fiver-only machines issuing over six million fivers last month alone, and strongly agree with the majority of the UK population that if the tenner is getting a new face, the fiver deserves one too."
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