Tuesday 19 May 2015 1:22 pm

As the Bank of England calls for ideas, these are the artists who could feature on the new £20 note (spoiler: it’s unlikely to be a woman)


I am City A.M.'s digital editor. Having previously worked at Property Week and Management Today, my areas of expertise are housing, entrepreneurs and leadership, as well as cars and the automotive industry. In 2015 I won the British Media Awards' Rising Star of the Year award.

I am City A.M.'s digital editor. Having previously worked at Property Week and Management Today, my areas of expertise are housing, entrepreneurs and leadership, as well as cars and the automotive industry. In 2015 I won the British Media Awards' Rising Star of the Year award.

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The Bank of England today put out a call for ideas as to who could feature on its next £20 note. The Bank said the note will "celebrate Britain's achievements in the visual arts" – and asked for the public's ideas as to who should feature.

Mark Carney, the Bank's governor, said the note could feature "artists, sculptors, printmakers, designers, craftspeople, ceramicists, architects, fashion designers, photographers and filmmakers". 

Who could feature? The Bank's criteria states that the person or people in question must have made "accomplishments or contributions [which] have been recognised widely at the time, or judged subsequently to have been of lasting benefit to the United Kingdom". Before you go to nominate Banksy, though, it also states the person must not be "unduly divisive" – and, crucially, must not be alive.


Jane Austen features on the new £10 note – but was only awarded that status after protests by campaigners (Source: Getty)

The selection of a new face for a bank note is a touchy subject. In 2013, the Bank's decision to replace social reformer and £5 note star Elizabeth Fry – the only woman, other than the Queen, on a bank note – with Winston Churchill caused such consternation, it was forced to put Jane Austen on the £10 note.

And campaigners are likely to be disappointed this time around, thanks to the fact that most female British artists of note are still alive. 

"Women visual artists of the past centuries just simply don't have the visibility of people like Jane Austen," University of Glasgow art history lecturer Dr Patricia De Montfort told The Guardian. "It was very hard for women artists to exhibit".

With that in mind, here's who Ladbrokes reckons could win.

Gender Discipline Name Odds
William Hogarth 4/1
Richard Attenborough 4/1
JMW Turner 4/1
Isombard Kingdom Brunel 6/1
Alexander McQueen 8/1
William Blake 10/1
John Constable 10/1
LS Lowry 10/1
Barbara Hepworth 12/1
Thomas Gainsborough 12/1
Francis Bacon 14/1
Charlie Chaplin 14/1
George Stubbs 16/1
Lucien Freud 16/1
Henry Fox Talbot 20/1
Cecil Beaton 25/1
Henry Moore 33/1
Charles Rennie Mackintosh 33/1
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