BBC Two searches for the greatest person of the 20th Century in Icons

In January, BBC Two will start its search for the greatest person of the 20th Century, inviting audiences to get involved and vote for their favourite icon in the most ambitious BBC history series in over a decade



Ambitious new history series will present the most influential figures in the categories of: Leaders, Explorers, Scientists, Entertainers, Activists, Sports Stars, and Artists & Writers.

Impassioned advocates Sir Trevor McDonald, Dermot O’Leary, Chris Packham, Kathleen Turner, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Clare Balding and Lily Cole will guide viewers through hour-long episodes dedicated to four shortlisted Icons in each category

The public will decide the winner of each episode, with the finalist from each category going head-to-head in a grand finale on Tuesday 5 February where the greatest person of the century will be named live on BBC Two following a final public vote

Icons, a co-production with The Open University, will tell the definitive story of a century of change through the people who had the most impact on it. There are 28 shortlisted icons, carefully selected by a panel of experts and academics. Destined to ignite discussion and debate, from this shortlist Icons will ask the public to decide their greatest icon of the 20th Century.

Across seven episodes, celebrity advocates will celebrate the achievements of the some of the greatest figures of the 20th Century, from seven different categories of human excellence:

Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela
Presented by Sir Trevor McDonald
Ernest Shackleton, Gertrude Bell, Neil Armstrong and Jane Goodall
Presented by Dermot O’Leary
Marie Curie, Alan Turing, Albert Einstein and Tu Youyou
Presented by Chris Packham
Charlie Chaplin, Billie Holiday, Marilyn Monroe, David Bowie
Presented by Kathleen Turner
Emmeline Pankhurst, Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Keller and Martin Luther King Jr
Presented by Sanjeev Bhaskar
Sport stars
Muhammad Ali, Pelé, Billie Jean King and Tanni Grey-Thompson
Presented by Clare Balding
Artists & writers
Virginia Woolf, Pablo Picasso, Alfred Hitchcock and Andy Warhol
Presented by Lily Cole
Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, says: “This is a brilliantly ambitious and wide ranging series that seeks to explore the people and the forces responsible for the world we live in today. We are really excited to see how the audience engages with this debate and who wins the vote as the most influential individual of the 20th Century.”

Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual, says: “Over a month of programming, Icons will bring an entire century of history to our screens. Each of our icons achieved extraordinary things in their lifetimes. I can’t wait to find out who the nation chooses as the greatest of them all.”

The shortlisted icons in each category were debated and selected by a panel of experts in each category’s field based on their achievements, impact and legacy.

With the shortlisting complete, it is up to the public to decide on their favourite icon from each category.

Icons (7x60' and 1x60' live final) is being made by 72 Films, co-produced with The Open University, for BBC Two.

It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. The Executive Producers for 72 Films are Cate Hall, Francesca Maudslay and David Glover. The Commissioning Editors for the BBC are Tom McDonald and Jack Bootle.

Source BBC TWO

December 31, 2018 4:00am ET by BBC TWO  


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