Richard Worth 28th January 2019
Presumably, the upstanding people at the Bank of England have never heard of Britain’s Got Talent, Boaty McBoatface or Brexit. If they had, they might have realised letting the British public decide things isn’t always a brilliant idea.
Last year, the Think Science campaign invited Britons, with our national love of history, science, the arts, wit and stupidity, to send in nominations for who will feature on the new £50. Nominees had to be British, a scientist, uncontroversial and dead. The Bank will announce the new face of the note in the summer.
There were over 225,000 entries, resulting in 989 eligible nominees who will be debated by a special committee. The Overtake was able to obtain the list of the 4,617 ineligible candidates. Some are not British, not scientists, still living, highly controversial or just humorous misspellings. Others are fictional, people’s mates with famous scientist surnames, and in one case, a phrase.
You can play with our tool at the bottom of the article to see if you were nominated by a friend or if your favourite musician/actor/newsworthy pet/imaginary character made the list. In the meantime, here are just a few of our highlights from the mega-list of £50 quid losers.
- ABBA and Mr Bean — Not only did whoever send in this entry want five individuals on the back of the note, but what a set of five. And so specific. Who was this person? What is their life like?
- Ben Kenobi — He’s not real and that’s not even his name.
- Dr Who — This one appears a few times but it’s clearly not some cheeky fan who sent it in as any good Whovian knows DR WHO IS THE NAME OF THE SHOW NOT THE NAME OF THE CHARACTER.
- Benedict Cumberbatch — Come on guys. If you’re going to make up people at least give them a believable name.
- Benne Diktat Cucumberbatch — That’s more like it!
- Frank Grimes — Whatever happened to that guy?
- Yogi Beard — This could be a misspelling of a popular cartoon bear’s name or it could be a wise man’s facial hair. We’ll just never know.
- Dr Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker — Actually a solid choice and a crime that they’ll be ignored just because they are muppets.
- Hilter — A bunch of idiots and/or racists (as if the latter doesn’t automatically include the former) sent in a bunch of edgelord entries they either a) think are good ideas or b) knew were never going to accepted but still, somehow, found hilarious. That said, the entry “Hilter” is pretty funny as it proves that racists are so stupid, they can’t spell the six-letter surname of the most infamous man in history.
- A bunch of royals — There are a lot of royals on this list. Henry VIII is on there with three of his wives (Catherines Howard and Parr missed the list, along with Anne of Cleaves — but let’s face it, it’s not the worst thing that happened to them). Princess Dianna Spencer got nominated in a superb bit of shade. King Arthur is up there and fair dos, he has a magical sword, but the best royal nominee is the Queen. She has two birthdays so why not two sides of the note?
- Other queens — Boudicca or Boudicea, or whatever you’re calling the Queen of the Iceni, is pretty fierce, but so are drag entries Trixie Mattel and Farrah Moan.
- Thomas the Tank Engine — He’s a train. That’s simply too silly.
- The Chuckle Brothers — Long live King Barry!
- G’day — Literally just an Australian way of saying hello. And we’re allowed to vote in real elections. Good grief.
- Religious figures — Allah and God made the list but the best religious entry has to be Baby Jesus. Whoever sent this entry in feels that Jesus — the British scientist — deserves to be on the note but only in his baby form, before he’s actually done any of the crazy shit that’s in the Bible.
Frank Reynolds was noticeable by his absence given that both the actor that portrays him, Danny Devito, and his alter-ego Mantis Toboggan feature on the list. Is that enough to get him on the note?
We poured through this ridiculous list for hours weeding out the dumb from the incredibly dumb. Because we are not sadists, we’ve made that a little easier for you. Either use the search bar to find specific individuals or if you have hours to spare, you can flick through the thousands of entries manually. It counts as reading. Kind of.
Let us know who you think was robbed of the title (and which of the entries prove you can’t trust your fellow Britons) at @TheOvertake.
Richard Worth 28th January 2019