Whose face would you like to see on the £20 note?

You may not be familiar with the life and work of economist Adam Smith, but chances are you’ve seen his face more often than you realise. His image has featured on the £20 banknote since 2007, but earlier this year, the Bank of England have announced plans to replace him.

They have asked the British public to nominate “people of historical significance” from the world of visual arts, and over the past 2 months there have been just shy of 30,000 nominations and 592 eligible candidates from which to choose.

The category is a broad one, and the suggestions have been diverse, with painters, authors, architects, film-makers and even fashion designers in contention.

Living people, fictional characters and anyone “unduly divisive” are not permitted.

£20 note nominations

Some of the nominations (from left to right) include Alfred Hitchcock, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, William Hogarth, Richard Attenborough, Beatrix Potter and William Blake

Ultimately it will be the Bank’s Governor Mark Carney who makes the decision, and the winner will be announced in Spring 2016, with the new note being introduced in the next 3-5 years. Launching the nominations, he said:

“There are a wealth of individuals within the field of visual arts whose work shaped British thought, innovation, leadership, values and society and who continue to inspire people today”.

So who would you like to feature on the new £20 note?

We’ve narrowed the list down to 10 front runners, and you can have your say in our poll below…


  1. K J Morse on August 7, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Why only one women in the list?

    • Mark Liversidge on August 7, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      Hello, we have just picked 10 of the favourite candidates according to the bookies. Jane Austen could have been a strong contender, but she has already been confirmed as the new face of the £10 note.

  2. glen farrell on August 6, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    isambard kingdom brunel , a proper english gent and a great pioneer . it’s what being english is all about x