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These Are The Faces That Could Be On The New £20 Note

Back in May, we told you about the Bank of England's decision to open up the design of the next £20 note to the general public. 

The replacement for Adam Smith (the economist who fronts the current £20) has to be a deceased British "visual artist", a board term that includes artists, sculptors, printmakers, designers, craftspeople, ceramicists, architects, fashion designers, photographers and filmmakers. 

After receiving thousands of nominations, the Royal Mint has created a long list of 592 names, from which the Banknote Character Advisory Committee (which we also wish we were on) will create a shortlist in September. 

From the obvious to the obscure, these are the bookies' favourites for the new note.

  • These Are The Faces That Could Be On The New £20 Note

    William Blake

    Odds: 6/1

    Poet, painter, printmaker, Blake is the current favourite to land the £20 position. Best fetch him his bow of burning gold to celebrate. 

  • These Are The Faces That Could Be On The New £20 Note 1

    J.M.W. Turner

    Odds: 8/1

    He's already got a gallery and a wing of the Tate named after him, but Turner could rise further still in public profile.  

  • These Are The Faces That Could Be On The New £20 Note 2

    Richard Attenborough

    Odds: 9/1

    Actor, director (and brother of David), we're hoping he gets the nod just so we can be reminded of the excellence of Jurassic Park every time our wallet is looking flush.

  • These Are The Faces That Could Be On The New £20 Note 3

    L.S. Lowry

    Odds: 10/1

    Famed for his stylised paintings of northern industry, you need to go and have a good gaze at a painting of Laurence Stephen Lowry. They're blooming marvellous.

  • These Are The Faces That Could Be On The New £20 Note 4

    Barbara Hepworth

    Odds: 12/1

    Currently the highest favoured woman of the long list, Hepworth is best known for her looping, hypnotic sculptures.

  • These Are The Faces That Could Be On The New £20 Note 5

    Henry Moore

    Odds: 16/1

    Another sculptor, Yorkshire-born Moore is best known for his abstract works that sort of look like a person if you drink three whiskies and squint at them.

  • These Are The Faces That Could Be On The New £20 Note 6

    George Stubbs

    Odds: 20/1

    Time was, if you wanted someone to paint you a horse (they're bloody difficult), you asked George Stubbs. He could take a clapped out old pit pony and make you really think about the world. 

  • These Are The Faces That Could Be On The New £20 Note 7

    A whole bunch more

    Odds: 25/1

    Tied at the same odds is a list of formidable talent, including Clarice Cliff, Francis Bacon, Jacob Epstein, Joseph Wright of Derby, Joshua Reynolds, Josiah Wedgwood, Lucian Freud (pictured), Thomas Gainsborough, William Hogarth and William Morris. 

    We recommend you Google each of them. They're fascinating.