With his gentle voice, ethical outlook and incomparably beautiful wildlife documentaries, Sir David Attenborough has transcended his national treasure status to become a 21st century icon.
It’s therefore no surprise whatsoever the 91-year-old naturalist has topped the list of ‘ethical champions’ Brits want to see looking out at them from the next £20 pound note.
With a staggering 40% of votes, Sir David was the clear, and well deserved, favourite by a long chalk.
The unstoppable nonagenarian has kicked relative whippersnappers Prince Charles and JK Rowing to the curb, who as second and third choice candidates, won 7 per cent and 4 per cent of the votes respectively.
Other notable candidates included the late Body Shop founder Anita Roddick and the archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who each received 3 per cent of the vote.
Jamie Oliver, Richard Branson and Stella McCartney, who are all involved with good causes, were also mentioned on the list.
The poll was carried out by YouGov to mark Good Money Week (8-14 October), and asked participants to choose from a list of 15 potential candidates who would ‘remind the public to be ethical in how they spend their money’.
Petition to invent harry potter style photos so we can add this gif of sir David Attenborough to the new £20 note. pic.twitter.com/KIpVtMa1L8
— David Riley (@Davidjrj123) October 8, 2017
Wildlife lovers however may be disappointed to know the face of the next £20 note, which will make an appearance in 2020, is expected to be that of, non lion watching, painter JMW Turner.
Good Money Week is now supporting a petition to get The Bank of England to rethink their choice and use Sir David’s much loved image instead. (Sorry JMW, maybe come back when you’ve found a dancing bear scratching it’s back against a tree?).
According to the petition:
It’s no surprise that Sir David Attenborough came out top in this poll. With his tireless conservation work, he would act as a constant reminder to the public to make ‘ethical’ money choices every single day.
Sir David has long been an active campaigner for environmental and conservationist causes and would be a worthy and perfect choice for the next £20 note.
— Trending Polls (@Pollizer) October 8, 2017
At the end of Planet Earth II, he gave the following powerful and much discussed speech:
Now, over half of us live in an urban environment.
My home, too, is here – in the city of London. Looking down on this great metropolis, the ingenuity with which we continue to reshape the surface of our planet is very striking.
But it’s also sobering. It reminds me of just how easy it is for us to lose our connection with the natural world.
It is, surely, our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on Earth.
If David Attenborough isn't on the new £20 note then it's a travesty
— WorldFirst (@World_First) May 19, 2015
Through his documentaries, we get to see the deepest parts of the oceans and learn about, and empathise with, the lives of endangered species.
He has been bringing warmth and wisdom to our television screens since the 1950s, instilling in so many of us a sincere fascination and love of the wilder parts of our planet.
If they don't put #DavidAttenborough on the new £20 note . . . Put him on a £50 ???
— IG: @OfficialMNIB (@OfficialMNIB) October 8, 2017
Here’s hoping the great TV presenter will be considered in the future. In the meantime, there’s always the new instalment of the Planet Earth documentary series to look forward to.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.