View Full Version : Greatest Living Englishman

10th Nov 2005, 02:06
1. Brian Blessed
2. Clarkson

10th Nov 2005, 02:13
Well, it's not Tony Blair. Can't even tie his tie properly. Choose Windsor knot or asymetric fiddle-faddle.

Buster Hyman
10th Nov 2005, 02:50
Germaine Greer!http://www.clicksmilies.com/s0105/spezial/Fool/daz.gif

10th Nov 2005, 03:01
He's an Aussie.

Buster Hyman
10th Nov 2005, 03:02
Still? Bloody hell!:suspect:

10th Nov 2005, 03:18
Clive James :hmm:

10th Nov 2005, 03:47
The cast of Neighbours


10th Nov 2005, 03:49
Clarkson gets my vote!:ok:

B Fraser
10th Nov 2005, 06:21
Easy question !

David Attenborough

Stirling Moss

Stephen Hawking

Keith Richards

Richard Noble

ummmmmmh, perhaps it's not so easy.

10th Nov 2005, 06:58
As an outsider :

Only Jeremy Clarkson of any Englishman always makes my day :ok:


10th Nov 2005, 07:36
:hmm: Greatest at what? :confused:

Curious Pax
10th Nov 2005, 07:58
The 'Duke'!! ;)

10th Nov 2005, 09:10
Blair is a Scot anyway

Greatest Englisham Living

Jonathan Woss

Eddie the Eagle

Stephen Fry

10th Nov 2005, 09:13
Blair is a Scot anyway
Nah; we're not taking the blame for that one. Born in Edinburgh, yes, but English dad, Irish mum. Brought up in County Durham until he was 14 before attending Fettes for 3 years. Considers himself English.

10th Nov 2005, 09:29
Victor Meldrew would've been mine, but they did im in. :( (though, personally, I don't be-e-e-e-e-lieve it)

10th Nov 2005, 09:32
Blair is a Scot anyway

... and "educated" in Sierra Leone :E:E:E

10th Nov 2005, 10:30
Victor Meldrew is a Scot as well.

Despite considering the topic an oxymoron ;) I would suggest Richard Branson.

While Jeremy Clarkson is a fine and gifted broadcaster, I wouldn't put him in the "great " category.

10th Nov 2005, 10:37
David Blunkett... I mean he's blind afterall and has held two cabinet posts - err.. been kicked out of two cabinet posts....ok.. Jeremy Clarkson....he's funny.

10th Nov 2005, 10:41
attending Fettes for 3 years and Fettes in't taking the blame, either!

Stockpicker (OF).

10th Nov 2005, 11:53
At the risk of being serious; I suspect that the greatest living Englishman is someone I've never heard of who is working 18 hours a day performing operations on earthquake victims in Pakistan, sorting out anti-personnel mines in Angola or building shelters in Darfur.

A friend of mine (doesn't count, because she's a she) has taken a year out of her hospital job to work in a refugee camp in an African conflict zone. She's lost a lot of sleep over the past few weeks because of the sound of fighting in the bush, but she is still saving lives. That's greatness!

Clarkson? He makes me laugh and he certainly makes fantastic television programmes, but great? Not a chance.

10th Nov 2005, 11:57
Good point, Gouabafla, but is it possible to be great without being inspirational for a broad cross-section of society? Your friend sounds like an amazing person, and those of us who have read about her here will doubtless agree, as would the people who know her. Maybe the task is to get more recognition for people who don't necessarily court it, but who would make even more of a difference to the world if their acts were known? More so than selling a lot of records or booting leather repeatedly and successfully towards a net! ;)

Tuned In
10th Nov 2005, 11:58
Isn't it a concern that no current politician could be taken seriously if suggested? The last one who could be taken seriously if suggested (I am not saying it would be right, opinion would be divided quite sharply!) was Margaret Thatcher, assuming we broadened the definition to include women. Not sure for a man, might have been no politician candidate since 1955!

10th Nov 2005, 12:07
Sadly passed away and not English, but John Smith had all the potential for being great. La Thatcher will only gain greatness due to the dimming of memories and selective history.

Hmm, the Thatcherite posse will be out to hang me again.

10th Nov 2005, 12:10
The man without whom none of us would be here:

Tim Berners-Lee (http://www.time.com/time/time100/scientist/profile/bernerslee.html)

10th Nov 2005, 12:11
I think there are quite a few people who would argue that Enoch Powell or Tony Benn could be considered great (though there wouldn't be many who would suggest both at once).

Dennis Healey is an example of someone who had a distinguished war record (beach master at Anzio if I remember rightly) and who was more than just a politician (good photographer and writer, too). There is a touch of greatness about a few of that generation on all sides of the house.

Of course a big question is always how we define greatness. I would argue that it must involve changing the lives of a large number of people for the better, introducing new ideas or thougths or a degree of self-sacrifice. Perhaps a touch of all three.

10th Nov 2005, 13:16
Just beat me to it!

Reading this thread, I was thinking of the much-maligned Enoch Powell - becoming all too accurate in his predictions.

Tuned In
10th Nov 2005, 13:32
Powell was great, and unfairly maligned, but he did have flaws and in the end did not succeed, so I don't think he could be considered "greatest". Benn proved wrong in just about every opinion he had that has subsequently been amenable to objective test, and just about everything he tried to do was a failure or a disaster.

10th Nov 2005, 13:36
Does Ian Paisley qualify?


10th Nov 2005, 13:43
I'd nominate anyone from Monty Pythons Flying Circus, also the men that invented cricket and rugby. Was football invented in England ?? If it was... he'd go to the top of the pile.

10th Nov 2005, 13:49
A legend that these games in England evolved from a more ancient and bloody ritual of kicking the "Dane's head"


10th Nov 2005, 13:55
Ian Paisley, an Englishman. Wash your mouth out with soap. :ooh:

10th Nov 2005, 14:03
Victor Meldrew is a Scot.........
Oh God-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d! I just don't beeeeeeeeelieve it! :*

Worrabout Ranulph Feinnes (sp)?......Scott-of-the-Antarctic-spirit sort of thing.

Suppose Richard Noble is at least equal in that respect.

Depressingly difficult is this.....all the great ones that come to mind are t!t$ up! :(

(which raises the question.....why can't we do "Living Englishwomen with great t!t$" instead?) :}

10th Nov 2005, 14:19
Rowan Atkinson and as such Black Adder I through IV!

Blackadder: If we lose, I'll be chopped into pieces. My arm'll end up in Essex, my torso in Norfolk and my genitalia stuck up a tree somewhere in Rutland.

10th Nov 2005, 14:21
Tuned In,

that seems like a very simplistic viewpoint
Powell good but misunderstood.
Benn bad.

Tony Benn campaigned for a No vote in the referendum on joining the EEC, are you saying that was wrong? Should he have campaigned for a yes vote? He also oversaw the development of Concorde, was that in your opinion a disaster? The Post Office tower was also one of his projects, another disaster?

Powell and Benn had common views on the USA and the EU. They distrusted both.

I'll be willing to wager that Benn has achieved more in his life than you will.

10th Nov 2005, 14:30
I would humbly propose that a goodly 80-90% of the population (provided wenches also count) would be suitable candidates for the award. :O

10th Nov 2005, 14:41
Actually, John Enoch Powell whilst great, was actually born in India. (and of course is not "living")

What about the man who has given many jobs to people on this forum, who took on the might of the bloated British Airways?

Sir Richard Branson

brain fade
10th Nov 2005, 15:12
Perhaps Maggie should be allowed.

Technically not a man but surely has considerably more balls than our Tone. Or any of his wanky entourage.

(can i say that?)

10th Nov 2005, 15:16
Nobody has mentioned Ken Livingstone . . .

Tuned In
10th Nov 2005, 15:21

Few people dispute the advantages we have gained from a free market in Europe, the EEC as it then was - that is a case where his judgement was objectively shown to be wrong. The problem is the subsequent development.

Concorde was clearly the wrong project, despite the pride we can take in it, and did not do what was desired of it - sell aircraft. The UK aviation industry would have done much better for investment in an efficient, short-haul jet or something with over 200 seats. The post-office tower hardly counts as the outstanding achievement of a candidate for "greatest living Englishman"! I am sure it was not his idea or design, so even there he can only take credit for supporting it.

I did not say Powell was simply misunderstood. If that were the case then I would have put him up as a candidate which I would not. I said he had his flaws and his failures, the misunderstanding was simply of the only thing most people remember about him!

10th Nov 2005, 15:25
I'd vote for Sir Ranulph Fiennes (http://www.gordonpoole.com/speakers/SirRanulphFiennesOBE.htm)

That little bio doesn't mention he got turfed out of the SAS for inappopriate use of explosives. I think he blew up a wall for a mate or something.

During one interview, the only time Ranulph was lost for words and got choked up was when he was asked about his deceased wife. He had acknowledged that without her support that he couldn't have done what he'd done.

Then there's Alan Hinkes (http://www.bluedome.co.uk/challenge8000/2005report5.html) who's not too shabby in the field of mountain climbing. He's a Yorkshire lad.

Oh how about David Attenborough (http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues05/nov05/35_attenborough.html). How many kids has he inspired to learn about science? How much of the natural world has been shown to us? A modest quiet achiever.

10th Nov 2005, 15:31
>Concorde was clearly the wrong project, despite the pride we can take in it, and did not do what was desired of it - sell aircraft.

Depends whether you're an engineer or an accountant.

>The post-office tower hardly counts as the outstanding achievement of a candidate for "greatest living Englishman"! I am sure it was not his idea or design, so even there he can only take credit for supporting it.

I saw a documentary on TV where the presenter took Wedgie back to the Post Office Tower and tried to gain access to the view from the rotating restaurant. A jobsworth 'security' man wouldn't let them in ("I don't care WHO you say you are - I've never heard of you.")
Sad . . .

10th Nov 2005, 15:54
Read it through! it says:

A legend that these games in England evolved from a more ancient and bloody ritual of kicking the "Dane's head" is unlikely to be true.

Now, us Dane's to this day use the word skål, that's chears in English. The word skål, litterally means to drink from the skull and that the vinkings did, the skull of the Britts.

Not being English, I don't know if my vote will count, but John Cleese, has given me the best laughs ever, especially in Faulty tower's. The visit of the Germans, oh that walk..., the Herman Göring.........


Honey Trucker
10th Nov 2005, 16:09
tuned in

you said that everything Tony Benn tried to do was a failure or a disaster. He was a commisioned officer in the RAF and flew as a pilot during the second world war, how about you?

Gr8 Englishmen are many but how about Francis Chichester? or Sir Christopher Cockerill inventor of the hovercraft?

Tuned In
10th Nov 2005, 16:56
So presumably he couldn't get into a decent service, Honey, like I did :p

African Tech Rep
10th Nov 2005, 17:00
Concorde didn’t sell due a lot to American interference.

May be anti campaigners EEC knew what it would become.

My vote = the very few WW1 veterans still alive and any WW2 veterans still alive – especially the “unsung ones” like the guys on the North Sea convoys and the much forgotten ones who fought in the Far East.

Honey Trucker
10th Nov 2005, 17:06
tuned in - the womens auxiliary ballon corps is not a superior service, and don't call me honey, you haven't bought me dinner yet.

Another great Englishman - John Farley the Harrier test pilot.

None of the above
10th Nov 2005, 17:10
Professor Lord Robert Winston.


Worthy of a nomination in anyone's book.

10th Nov 2005, 18:55
I feel a vote coming on............stop the urge.......deep breaths......in.......out........in.........out..........in. .........snap.....ogh dear

10th Nov 2005, 21:10
Sir Patrick Moore (http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons/patrick+moore/) - incomparable :ok:

10th Nov 2005, 21:33
Thank god the title wasn't Greatest Living Englishperson , we probably would have a load of twits here nominating the Queen....:rolleyes:

tony draper
10th Nov 2005, 21:39
Or a queen.

10th Nov 2005, 22:04
Good job there isn't a thread for the worst - site probably doesn't have the bandwidth!

10th Nov 2005, 22:07
Benny Hill

10th Nov 2005, 23:06
Clarkson - entertaining but hardly great
Blair - I wouldn't say he had led the country to greatness
Powell - came out with some predictions that we are paying a price for ignoring or casting off as pure racisim but again, didn't make us anything great

Francis Chichester - right up there, not just for his sailing but look at his navigation in the air

Ranulph Fiennes - gets my vote (if there were a vote). Amazing cv, as bold as they come. Compared to any (politician) a real inspiration

Buster Hyman
11th Nov 2005, 00:20
For a poll about Living Englishmen, there's an awfull lot of dead people nominated...says it all really!:rolleyes:

11th Nov 2005, 02:57
There isn't one. Originally there were five million of them but now there are only four left - plus one more who is Canadian. One of these greatest living Englishmen was interviewed on BBC this morning. He said "You were ordered over the top and you had just six seconds to make up your mind..."