The next £20 note released by the Bank of England will celebrate Britain’s achievements in the visual arts, and the UK public are being asked to nominate who they would like to feature on the back of the note. The late Lord Attenborough has been promoted as a favourite by many in the broadcast industry.
“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,” said Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, at the nomination launch.
Phil Rutter, honorary secretary, British Kinematograph, Sound and Television Society (BKSTS), is among those advocating for Attenborough’s selection. He commented: “Lord Attenborough, who was an Honorary Fellow of the BKSTS, was an outstanding supporter of everything the Society stands for – the application of quality in all aspects of the craft of film-making. He was an innovator, never afraid to advance the technology of film, and his support for those new to the industry was legendary. The British film and TV production industry owes him a lot, and the BKSTS, along with many who knew him, thinks that is entirely appropriate that Lord Attenborough should be honoured in this way.”
Victoria Cleland, chief cashier and director of notes added: “Characters have been on our banknotes since 1970 and they provide a fantastic opportunity to celebrate individuals from the past who have made significant contributions in a number of fields. The visual arts are clearly an area of outstanding British achievement and influence and I am very much looking forward over the next two months to meeting people across the UK to hear how they have been inspired by it.”
Attenborough was an English actor, film director, film producer, entrepreneur and politician, as well as the president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). He has won two Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor as well as a Golden Globe for Best Director, for Gandhi (1982), in 1983, among other awards. In the 1950s he formed production company Beaver Films, producing and directing a number of award-winning films.
Nominations are open now, until 19 July and can be completed via the Bank of England website.