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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Churchill tipped for Great Briton crown
Churchill, Darwin, Shakespeare, Brunel, Newton, Nelson, Cromwell, Princess Diana, Lennon, Elizabeth I
Politics, science and the arts are all represented
Sir Winston Churchill has been tipped as the bookmakers' favourite to win the title of the greatest Briton of all time.

The prime minister who led Britain through World War II is one of 10 people on the shortlist for the BBC Two series Great Britons.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes has put Sir Winston as 2-1 favourite to win the public vote, ahead of William Shakespeare at 3-1 and Isaac Newton at 5-1.

Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill is the only modern day prime minister to make the list
A Ladbrokes spokesman said: "We make Churchill our favourite because he crosses all political divides and he epitomised the British spirit throughout the war."

A list of 100 people from past and present were originally shortlisted, including surprises such as music stars John Lydon and Boy George.

These were eventually whittled down to 10, cutting names such as Sir Paul McCartney and Captain James Cook.

    The full list is:
  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel
  • Winston Churchill
  • Oliver Cromwell
  • Charles Darwin
  • Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Queen Elizabeth I
  • John Lennon
  • Horatio Nelson
  • Isaac Newton
  • William Shakespeare

Ladbrokes have given odds for the final 10 with Charles Darwin currently in fourth place on 6-1 and John Lennon on 9-1.

Outsiders include Horatio Nelson on 14-1, Diana, Princess of Wales at 20-1 and Oliver Cromwell at 25-1.

A weekly series presented by Anne Robinson will profile each of the 10 finalists with celebrities and commentators arguing the case for their own particular favourites.

Weakest Link presenter Robinson has already made her opinion of the Princess of Wales's inclusion in the final 10 clear, saying her nomination had "dumbfounded" her.

BBC Two controller Jane Root said: "I think the top 10 is a really interesting mix of contenders and we've got some fantastic presenters all desperate for their Great Briton to win so we're in for a really exciting competition.

"I hope people all around the country will be moved by the passion in their argument and will join in the debate and get voting."

See also:

14 Oct 02 | TV and Radio
21 Aug 02 | TV and Radio
22 Aug 02 | TV and Radio
20 Oct 02 | TV and Radio
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