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Icon: do you want this man on your money?

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Beckham scores votes for notes
31 July 2003

A third of Britons today said they would like to see David Beckham's picture on their money as the Charles Dickens £10 note ceased to be legal tender.

The notes, which have been replaced by ones with Charles Darwin on them, will continue be accepted by most banks, building societies and post offices for several months, and will be accepted by the Bank of England indefinitely.

But research carried out for Virgin Money found 25% people think the figures we have on our bank notes, such as composer Edward Elgar, social reformer Elizabeth Fry and Sir John Houblon, the first governor of the Bank of England, are now irrelevant and should be replaced with modern heroes and celebrities.

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Footballer David Beckham and wartime leader Winston Churchill are the figures most people would like to see on their bank notes, with 37% and 29% respectively voting for them.

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, attracted 21% of the vote, while William Shakespeare got 13%, and Welsh actress Catherine Zeta Jones and singer Robbie Williams each got 8%.

But Prime Minister Tony Blair was the person those questioned would least like to see on their money, with 16% saying they did not think his picture should appear on a note, followed by 11% who would not want to see disgraced Tory peer Jeffrey Archer on their cash.

One in 10 people also said they would most dislike seeing Victoria Beckham's face on a note.

Research carried out by financial website MSN Money produced similar results, with people favouring modern celebrities over historically figures.

Singer Kylie Minogue was the most popular choice for the £5 note, attracting 30% of the vote, followed by Mother Teresa at 23%.

Nearly a third of people wanted to see entertainer Eric Morecambe on the £10 note, while 26% thought it should have Olympic rower Steve Redgrave on it and 20% would like see author JK Rowling's picture on it.

Actor Sean Connery topped the poll for the £20 note attracting 57% of the vote, followed by musician Bob Geldof at 22%.

Beckham was the second most popular choice for the £50 note at 34%, after naturalist David Attenborough at 35%.

  • Taylor Nelson Sofres questioned 1,002 people for Virgin Money during July, and MSM Money questioned 50,000 online during June, giving them a list of suggestions for each note.

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