Entertainment

David Bowie named greatest entertainer of 20th century in TV poll

He is now in contention to be crowned the greatest person of the 20th century as part of a BBC series.

David Bowie has been named a greater entertainer than Charlie Chaplin in a vote by members of the British public.

The late singer-songwriter was chosen as the greatest entertainer in a poll conducted by BBC Two for their historical series Icons, also competing against Marilyn Monroe and Billie Holiday in the category.

The Life On Mars singer, who died in January 2016, will now compete against the likes of Nelson Mandela and Ernest Shackleton in an additional poll to be named the greatest icon of the 20th century overall.

Actress Kathleen Turner submitted Bowie, Chaplin, Monroe and Holiday as the nominees in the entertainer category, making an impassioned case for each of them to win the accolade.

Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner nominated David Bowie (Ian West/PA)

Turner said: “David Bowie raised the creative bar for all entertainers and that is why he truly deserves to be crowned the ultimate icon of the 20th century by the British public.”

Bowie is often considered one of the most influential and revered musicians of all time.

His albums include The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Heroes and Let’s Dance.

Elsewhere, Alan Turing has been chosen as the greatest scientist in a category that included Marie Curie, Albert Einstein and Tu Youyou.

One of the most influential figures in the development of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing also played a vital part in the development of the Enigma Machine at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

Broadcaster Chris Packham presented the scientists episode of Icons.

Chris Packham
Chris Packham presented the scientists episode (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Of Turing’s win, which was announced on BBC One’s The One Show along with Bowie, Packham said: “Alan Turing’s genius brought Britain back from the brink during World War II.

“While he was punished for being different, his work celebrated diversity. Under the circumstances, that makes him truly iconic.”

The series continues next Monday, with further categories including sports stars and activists.

A final public vote will then follow, with seven finalists competing to be named the greatest icon of the 20th century.

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