For those inquisitive sorts who want to know how all this came together, let us explain. First there was the high50 panel, which consisted of editor Tim Willis, founder Robert Campbell and contributors Sally Brampton, Daniela Soave and Michael Prodger. Once they’d argued, fallen out, made up again and finally agreed on the 50 who should make the cut, they did the same again to pick a top ten.
This was then voted on by thousands of our dear readers and in a simultaneous poll by the nice people at YouGov. But finally, FINALLY, the high50 votes are in, the YouGov poll is complete, the UN election monitors have been consulted, and this is our proverbial golden envelope moment…
When we whittled down our top ten we did so by saying: “Being 50 isn’t about resting on your laurels, in our eyes. It’s about moving forward, trying something new, adding to your talents and knowledge base.” Now our results are in, it’s clear that our voters stuck to this principle too. So without further ado we give you the results of our inaugural poll of the most inspirational 50-somethings.
Step forward Sir Tim Berners-Lee, internet pioneer, computer scientist extraordinaire and arguably the most influential figure of the past three decades. A winner who proves, like we needed proof, that us 50-somethings are web-savvy, tech-hungry and more in awe of achievement than celebrity.
More on the man known as TimBL will follow next week, but let’s also raise a glass to Colin Firth, finally cementing his position as an acting heavyweight, and Hugh Grant, who has carved himself a new niche as the scourge of News International, completing our winner’s podium.
Our panel’s darling, Tom Ford, comes in at a respectable fourth place. Kim Cattrall heads things up for the women in sixth place, not least for her acclaimed switch from screen to stage.
The full list, in order, is below, but we’ll be returning next summer with new entries, non-movers, high-climbers and big dippers. Make sure you join us. Who knows, maybe you’ll be on it?
1. Tim Berners-Lee: physicist, inventor of the world wide web
2. Colin Firth: Academy award-winning actor, activist
3. Hugh Grant: actor, film producer, authority on ‘Hackgate’
4. Tom Ford: fashion designer, film director
5. Nick Cave: musician, author, screenwriter
6. Kim Cattrall: stage and screen actress
7. Grayson Perry: artist, curator
8. Tilda Swinton: Academy award-winning actress
9. Tina Brown: journalist, editor, columnist, publisher
10. Cath Kidston: fashion designer and entrepreneur