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David Attenborough and J.K. Rowling Are Among 'Ethical Champions' That Brits Want on the New £20 Note

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Sir David Attenborough has come first in a list of “ethical champions” that Britons would want to feature on the new £20 banknote. 

The veteran broadcaster and national treasure was selected by 40% of those polled about the honour. 

Prince Charles came in a distant second choice, with 7% of the vote, while Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was third, with 4%. 

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Anita Roddick, human rights activist, environmental campaigner, and founder of the Body Shop, received 3% of the vote, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. 

Nearly a third of the 2,128 people surveyed last month in a poll conducted by YouGov, on behalf of Good Money Week, said they couldn't make up their minds. 

Those polled were presented with a list of 15 potentials, which also included Richard Branson, Stella McCartney, and Jamie Oliver. 

The idea is that by featuring a well-known “ethical champion” on the new banknote, it would “remind the public to be ethical in how they spend their money”. 

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A new version of the £20 note is due to enter circulation in the UK in 2020, but renowned painter JMW Turner is currently set to be the new face of the note, following a nationwide vote in April 2016.  

An online petition has now been launched to knock Turner out of the running, encouraging the Bank of England to “break with tradition” by honouring a contemporary British hero. 

“It’s no surprise that Sir David Attenborough came out top in this poll,” reads the petition, which has been signed over 1,330 times. “With his tireless conservation work, he would act as a constant reminder to the public to make ‘ethical’ money choices every single day.” 

“The preservation of our planet is the most important issue in human history. What could be more honourable and noteworthy?” wrote one person who signed the petition. 

“The man has done amazing things for conservation and education of wildlife the world over,” added another. 

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The British public is becoming increasingly vocal in demanding that people chosen to feature on banknotes reflect national sentiments. 

Just last month, the new £10 banknote went into circulation in the UK, featuring British author Jane Austen. The decision to feature Austen came thanks to a campaign to feature a woman on a banknote — other than the Queen — to recognise women’s historical achievements. 

The 4-month campaign was launched after it was announced the £5 note featuring prison reformer Elizabeth Fry was to be replaced by one featuring former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in May. 

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Campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez told the Guardian at the time: “This represents so much more than a banknote. The Bank of England changed their entire selection procedure to make sure an all-male line-up would never happen again.”

“That was the real fight and that’s what I’m most proud of achieving,” she added.