Whose face on the new £10 note?

July 20, 2012, 3:38 PM GMT+0

The £10 note is due for an upgrade. Charles Darwin is featured on the current design, but it is due to be withdrawn in the next few years and the Bank of England will need to find a new prominent (and deceased) Briton to adorn the new tenner…

In YouGov’s Shopping Lab, we invited our panellists to submit their suggestions for who should replace Charles Darwin on the £10 note.

We received some eclectic suggestions, from Amy Winehouse to Lawrence of Arabia, but the highest proportion of those of you who took part in the discussion chose two Britons who were most famous for their contributions during World War II.

1st: Sir Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister who led Britain through the Second World War, was put forward by the highest proportion of participants as the famous Briton they would most like to see featured on the £10 note.

  • Those who chose Churchill said they had made their choice because he was a great leader and statesman, and were particularly admiring of his leadership during WWII.
  • Many of you told us that Churchill’s personal character and leadership qualities ‘embodied’ the best of what it means to be British – in nostalgia for, and aspiration to, a ‘golden age’.

2nd: Alan Turing, the father of computer science who was instrumental in breaking Nazi codes during WWII, was chosen by the second highest proportion of participants to be the new face of the £10 note.

  • Those of you who chose Turing said that he has never received the recognition he deserves for his contributions to computer science, and in particular the instrumental role he played in helping Britain fight off the Nazis during WWII.
  • Many also cited his poor treatment by the British government – Turing was convicted of homosexuality and was subjected to ‘chemical castration’, ultimately leading him to commit suicide – and said that putting his portrait on the £10 note would be a positive step in righting the wrongs that were committed against him.

And 3rd: William Shakespeare, the world famous playwright.

  • Those who chose Shakespeare said he deserved to be on the £10 note for his contribution to English literature.
  • Participants said he was an enduring symbol of British culture known throughout the world.

Read what you panellists had to say below:

VIEWPOINT: 'Sir Winston Churchill should be on the £10 note'

A great Statesman who led the Country through the Second World War, raising morale and making courageous decisionsAnon

He was the greatest modern day Politician, who led our nation through the worst threat it had ever facedSimon, North Cornwall

He was an excellent leader who led from the front. Had he been allowed to he would have fought on the front linesDaniel O'D, Cardiff

He was a quintessentially British, charismatic figure, and one of the most significant politicians of modern times. He is also one of very few politicians to have been truly uniting and almost apolitical, inspiring admiration and respect from across the political spectrum. … This demands permanent recognition that will continue through the ages. The printing of his portrait on £10 notes would satisfy this requirementHenry de T, London

I believe that he is Britain. He was the focal point for most people during the war; he was our firm rock upon which the nation pinned their hopes upon. His stirring words uplifted our hearts in the dark hours; he was the embodiment of Britishness. His leadership was vital to our winning the war. For that I can think of no better man to be on the £10 noteAlexander B, North Yorkshire

“He was great at keeping people's spirits up during the dark times of the Second World War. He was a national hero, who was a good peacetime prime minister as he was re-elected in the 50's” Joshua, Swansea

VIEWPOINT: 'Alan Turing should be on the £10 note'

He was a mathematics and cryptography genius whose work helped win us the Second World War, and he fathered the computer and all modern technology we now take for granted. He was grossly wronged by the state in his life and perhaps honouring him with the £10 can go some of the way to right that wrongJ Palmer, London

Despite all the influential work he did in his life, he is not a well-known household name, which is a shame. His work on computers, technology and code-breaking demonstrated that he had a great mind that I think is often underappreciated” Anon

He was a mathematical genius who created the Enigma machine in WW2, and if he had lived longer and not been hounded to his death would have contributed even more to the post-war worldLinda, Newport

The nature of the contribution he made to the war effort was such that it couldn't be properly recognised at the time, and that was only one part of the contribution he made to science. His subsequent treatment by the state is now recognised as having been inappropriate, and including him on the nation's currency would be an excellent sign of contrition – of no use to him, of course, but immensely significant for those treated in a similar way” Rob G, Swindon

He cracked the Enigma code which helped us win the war. He was persecuted for being gay and has only just been pardoned for this. It could go some way in correcting the wrong that was done to himJoey, Leeds

He was a mathematical genius who invented what was the first computer with which this country at its lowest period during World War II was able to break the Enigma code. … He has never been posthumously awarded the honour he rightfully should have had, whilst actors and entertainers receive knighthoods for doing something they enjoy and earn huge fortunes in so doing. So, at the very least recognise his brilliance and his work that helped us defeat the NazisJean S, Cranfield

VIEWPOINT: 'William Shakespeare should be on the £10 note'

He is so famous and was so talented, and is seen by foreigners as the face of British culture in many respectsAnon

The finest of British literature – one of our finest and longest lasting exportsG Baines, Hawarden

The greatest writer and dramatist in the English language, he is known, read, studied and performed all over the worldRod, Newcastle upon Tyne

He is an enduring symbol of Britain's cultural heritage and contributions to the worldFrances, Burton on Trent

“I cannot recall him being on any bank notes previously, and he is very much a world renowned figure. … I believe he is a very worthy face to grace the £10 bank note because of his contribution to literature and the English language. Plus, he's from the Midlands, my neck of the woods, and we could always do with better publicity” Amy, Birmingham

He is the most well-known British person, so it would make sense for him to be on a £10 noteAnon

Which famous Britain do you think should be on the new £10 note?

Should it be limited to those who have died, or should Britons who are still living also be considered?