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British heroes

Geraint Thomas
The Welsh wing man finally came good after so many years of dogged support for the team. It is worth ...More
Katherine Grainger
All those early morning training sessions rowing on rivers and lakes are enough to break the spirit of any but ...More
Jason Kenny
It’s a long way from Jason Kenny’s native Bolton to Rio, though in the endless training that the cyclist has ...More
Victoria Wood
Categorising Victoria Wood is difficult. She was a superb stand up comedian, though even in that sphere her style ranged ...More
Ronnie Corbett
Ronnie Corbett’s career as an actor and comic lasted for more than 60 years. He enjoyed memorable moments in The ...More
George Martin
These days its hard to think of a more unlikely Pop Svengali than Sir George Martin. Very British in his ...More
David Bowie
In recent times few artists, and the late David Bowie certainly counted as an artist, can have had such an ...More
Wayne Rooney
To say Wayne Rooney is not everyones cup of Bovril is something of an understatement but all must laud his ...More
George Cole
George Cole’s early life was worthy of a film script, and would have been better than plenty of the 60 ...More
Sir Nicholas Winton
Sir Nicholas Winton who has just died aged 106 will be remembered not for that extraordinary longevity but for his ...More
Charles Kennedy
When many politicians die we remember distant figures and the offices they held. With Charles Kennedy’s demise we recalled a ...More
Joshua Leakey
To say the Victoria Cross is not given lightly is an enormous understatement. Since it was initiated in 1856 only ...More
Richard Attenborough
With the death of Richard Attenborough it feels like about 25 per cent of British film history has come to ...More
Sir Nicholas Winton
Few of us live to 105. It is not, however, for his own survival to that great age (and we ...More
Stephen Sutton
Every now and then a figure appears in our national life to give hope for the future. Paradoxically - given ...More
Bob Hoskins
Bob Hoskins had already been lost to the world of acting because of his Parkinson’s, but the announcement of his ...More
Tony Benn
In a world where machine politicians hold sway Tony Benn stood out as a conviction politician even after he left ...More
Peter O'Toole
For a time in the 1960s Peter O’Toole was as famous for his hell-raising as his acting, a pity as ...More
Tom Daley
Diver and Olympic medallist Tom Daley’s announcement that he is dating a man has thus far been met with either ...More
David Frost
The death of David Frost marks the end of not one, but several eras in British – indeed world – ...More
Andy Murray
By jove, he has only gone and done it! Even the most lacklustre of tennis supporters must agree that Andy ...More
Richard Briers
Richard Briers was a comfortable and comforting part of British life from his entry onto the national scene in Marriage ...More
Michael Winner
You cannot say Michael Winner lacked personality. Blessed with enormous energy that saw him through several careers, he was cursed ...More
Patrick Moore
The overused title ‘national treasure’ for once really applied in the case of Sir Patrick Moore, the amateur astronomer, moon-mapper ...More
Clive Dunn
One of our great character actors has died. Clive Dunn may not have been a big movie star – though ...More
Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes
It is one of life’s truisms that as we age police officers appear to be getting younger. The pictures of ...More
Laura Trott
The London Olympics gave us heroes too numerous to mention, and not just the medallists. But some stood out as ...More
Bradley Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins is our hero of course for winning the Tour de France, an awesome achievement, the first Briton to ...More
Eric Sykes
Is it irreverent to wonder if Eric Sykes, or at least his spirit, will still be working somewhere even after ...More
Claire Lomas
We are used to seeing London Marathon competitors running in clown gear, animal outfits and even dressed as a diver, ...More
Fabrice Muamba
There is of course nothing heroic and everything tragic about Fabrice Muamba’s metamorphosis from athlete to invalid, the gifted young ...More
Florence Green
Some 93 years after the end of WWI our (and it is thought the world’s) last veteran from that conflict, ...More
The Lawrence Family
Since the terrible day in 1993 when their son Stephen was murdered Doreen and Neville Lawrence have fought for justice, ...More
Christopher Hitchens
Over the past two decades Western politicians have largely hugged the antiseptic middle ground; most journalists have cosied up to ...More
Gary Speed
Wales Manager and football legend Gary Speed took his own life early on Sunday. The shock throughout the football world ...More
John Motson
On October 9 1971 John Motson, beginning his year’s trial with BBC TV, commentated on a 0 – 0 draw ...More
David Croft
The king of the catch phrase is dead, and that dynasty may have ended. David Croft, with Jimmy Perry and ...More
David Walliams
Computer says bloody well done. David Walliams, struggling with what for the squeamish we’ll refer to as an upset tummy, ...More
Tariq Jahan
Last week during the riots one voice stood out in contrast to bickering politicians and policemen and the racist rantings ...More
Stuart Broad
It may seem unfair to single out one player from the England team currently giving India a torrid time. Rarely ...More
Darren Clarke
Darren Clarke’s victory in The Open was special in so many ways. He played golf with a smile on his ...More
Hugh Grant
Gosh it’s wonderful that a figure as symbolically and archetypally English as Hugh Grant – Oxford educated, rather diffident, not ...More
Rory McIlroy
The new Holywood (as opposed to Hollywood) superstar, Rory McIlroy showed incredible skill in winning the US Open, but more ...More
Queen Elizabeth II
Our sovereign since her accession on February 6 1952, as of May 13 2011 Queen Elizabeth is the second longest ...More
Henry Cooper
With Henry Cooper’s death a chapter of British sporting history has ended. Fighting in an age when there was one ...More
Chris Brasher
In marathon season it is time to remember Chris Brasher, co-founder of London’s version of the race. It is also ...More
Royal Wootton Bassett
This hero of the hour has in fact been acting heroically since 2007. Since then the Wiltshire market town ...More
Colin Firth
There must be something to dislike about Colin Firth. Still looking. He has natural comic timing of a very British ...More
John Barry
Knighthoods may go to rather worthy conductors and composers of cats-and-cutlery music, but by 2100 they will be long forgotten; ...More
Jordan Tyson
We generally feature only British heroes, but the story of 13 year old Australian Jordan Tyson needs telling. The boy ...More
Howard Webb
Hero status is normally accorded to those playing the game, not the ref. But Howard Webb’s contribution to football – ...More
Elisabeth Beresford
Charm is an all too rare quality in literature, but Elisabeth Beresford’s greatest creation The Wombles had – and have ...More
Charles Dickens
The contribution Dickens made to our national view of Christmas is reflected on many of the cards we receive: laden ...More
Alastair Cook
Not bad for someone whose technique had been called into question in the lead up to the current Ashes: Alastair ...More
Kate Middleton
Congratulations to Kate Middleton: the day is all but named. Ms Middleton has shown remarkable self-control during the somewhat protracted ...More
Danny Baker
Danny Baker’s announcement that he is being treated for cancer contained two of his hallmarks: wry irony, in this case ...More
Claire Rayner
With the death of Claire Rayner this country has lost one exceptional human being, but the heroic life-force of around ...More
Norman Wisdom
Sir Norman Wisdom’s death, passing peacefully in his sleep, seems strangely incongruous for a man whose comedy was all energy ...More
Colin Montgomerie
Too often the almost man in majors, Colin Montgomerie has for what seems like forever been the utmost man of ...More
Ed Miliband
So now we have a middle class intellectual with almost no real world of work experience facing an upper class ...More
Eileen Nearne
For her neighbours in Torquay she was a reclusive little old lady that nobody much visited. But after her death ...More
Annie Nightingale
Annie Nightingale is still presenting a show on Radio 1 some 40 years on from her first programme, that station’s ...More
Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking was already a heroic figure for his intellectual brilliance, a career carved out in spite of his illness, ...More
Samantha Cameron
Samantha Cameron has achieved heroic status over the last twelve months or so by the way she has coped with ...More
Karen Woo
She told friends the world cannot afford to lose any more heroes, but surgeon Karen Woo tragically is another heroic ...More
Mo Farah
It was a feat that even great names from the past like Brendan Foster and David Bedford never managed – ...More
Mark Lewis Francis
In a sport that often seems to ignore the Grafters it is easy to forget how difficult it is to ...More
Mark Cavendish
His personality does not endear him to all – the word arrogant sometimes arises in descriptions of the sprint cyclist ...More
Beryl Bainbridge
In a literary world populated with increasingly media savvy author-entrepreneurs Beryl Bainbridge was a throwback. She was the writer as ...More
Tony Hibbert
In a week when one bunch of hyped ‘heroes’ have shown their true worth, it makes sense to look at ...More
Emile Heskey
Naming Emile Heskey as our hero of the week during a world cup is offering a hostage to fortune. To ...More
Armando Iannucci
Amid the usual quality suspects – Julie Walters and Kenneth Branagh to name but two – and are you sure ...More
Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker was arguably the best British striker of the modern era with an amazing ratio of 48 goals in ...More
Andrew Neil
Through election night Andrew Neil symbolised the electorate’s despair at the political system that gave us choices about as attractive ...More
Gillian Duffy
We don’t really know the views of Rochdale pensioner Gillian Duffy; but just by getting to speak to one of ...More
Dan Snow
Some of us may find his presentation of history programmes more than vaguely annoying, and bemoan the rise of another ...More
Malcolm McLaren
Malcolm McLaren changed British fashion and music. He probably still holds the record for number of art schools attended without ...More
Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson, actress, writer, campaigner and general good egg, has reached the stage of her career when she is being ...More
James Corden
It’s very rare that anything on British TV these days is different. Step forward then as hero of the week ...More
Keith Alexander
Since his recent death many have said Keith Alexander should have managed at a higher level. Perhaps prejudice against his ...More
Carol O'Brien
Carol O'Brien has steadfastly written for this site with soul and integrity for some years and yesterday she finally succumbed ...More
Adam Buxton
Yes he’s yet another posh boy on the BBC, but hats off to Adam Buxton for having the guts to ...More
Michael Foot
With the death of Michael Foot a whole era of British politics has closed. Conviction, erudition and sheer intellectual weight ...More
Alexander McQueen
Innovative fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who died on February 11 2010, was above all a brilliant tailor. Arriving on the ...More
Amy Williams
Lying on her stomach facing forward, reaching 89mph by the end of the run, Amy Williams from that hitherto unheralded ...More
Dick Francis
WWII Spitfire and Hurricane pilot; champion jockey; racing correspondent; and for nearly half a century best-selling thriller writer. And all ...More
Terry Pratchett
There is a danger that for uninitiated contemporaries Sir Terry Pratchett will become more associated with the early-onset Alzheimer’s which ...More
Alex Reid
A very 21st century hero of the week, Alex Reid has a CV that includes the weird yet wonderful Gladiators; ...More
Jean Simmons
For decades Jean Simmons was a star in her native Britain and then in Hollywood, her ability to convey sexy ...More
Robert Burns
In the week leading up to the annual celebrations commemorating Scotland’s national poet, it is fitting to have Robert Burns ...More
Jonathan Ross
Why is Wossy our hero of the week? Not for his interviewing technique, encapsulated in the apocryphal “Nelson Mandela, what ...More
Patrick Stewart
Sometimes the much-maligned honours system gets it right. Patrick Stewart – Sir Patrick Stewart as of January 31 2009 – ...More
Gareth Thomas
The most capped Welsh rugby player ever and one of the international game’s top 10 try scorers; captain of the ...More
Delia Smith
Alright, she gave probably the most cringe-inducing half-time pep-talk in history; and yes, for someone presenting cookery shows seemingly since ...More
Rhodri Morgan
With Rhodri Morgan’s retirement as First Minister in the Welsh Assembly the British political scene is losing one of its ...More
Grace Darling
At this time of appalling weather it seems right to remember Grace Darling as our hero of the week. A ...More
Boris Johnson
“Is it a bird? (Perhaps a dodo). Is it a plane? (Biggles at the controls). No it’s super-Boris, that knight ...More
Chris Hoy
Chris Hoy in his Lycra cycling gear recalls the Wodehouse quip – he looked like he’d been poured into his ...More
Beth Tweddle
On the same day that Beth Tweddle won gold for her floor routine in the World Gymnastics Championships in London, ...More
John Lennon
A working class hero is something to be; and John Lennon was and remains so. Born on October 9 1940 ...More
Francis Drake
September 26 marks the anniversary of Drake’s 1580 completion of his circumnavigation of the globe, the first Englishman so to ...More
Keith Floyd
Tweed jacket, bow tie, enthusing about food with a large glass of red wine in one hand while the other ...More
Nicholas Breakspear
The only English-born Pope, Adrian IV, born Nicholas Breakspear, died 850 years ago this week. He’s our hero of the ...More
England Cricket Team
Not a hero this week but a whole team full of them. At least 18 englishmen made a significant contribution ...More
Jessica Ennis
After the huge disappointment of missing the Beijing Olympics through injury, Sheffield’s diminutive Jessica Ennis showed her tremendous talent last ...More
Bobby Robson
County Durham born Sir Bobby Robson was one of football’s true gentlemen. After a club career that included spells at ...More
Harry Patch
Another week, another world war one veteran finally falls and again we can find no other person who would merit ...More
Henry Allingham
Although he lived to the extraordinary age of 113 years and 42 days, Henry Allingham is not our hero for ...More
Andrew Strauss
Love it or loathe it you will be hearing rather a lot more than usual about Cricket over the coming ...More
Mollie Sugden
Mollie Sugden, who aged 50 finally found fame in 1972 playing Are You Being Served's colourfully-rinsed battleaxe Mrs Slocombe, deserves ...More
Michael Eavis
Born in 1935 Eavis is a very British kind of Festival host, the kind of eccentric that we here at ...More
Andy Murray
Whilst not in the Tim Henman style of immensely likeable British Tennis Champions Murray has shown this week with his ...More
David Cameron
Hero of the week by default ? Quite possibly, its been a quiet week for heroes in the UK. We ...More
Big Ben
There can be no more Iconic image of London or maybe even Britain then the tower that overshadows the wonderfully ...More
Vince Cable
Vince Cables stock started soaring the moment the economic situation turned. The once obscure rather grey Liberal Democrat is now ...More
Alex Ferguson
Well you just have to give the old curmudgeon credit. 22 Years ago he took on the 'biggest job' ...More
Margaret Thatcher
To say that Margaret Thatcher wasn't everybody's cup of tea is an understatement beyond compare. Of all politicians of the ...More
Carol Ann Duffy
The evidence that Colonel Blimp has left the upper echelons of British Society is now crystal clear with the ...More
Gordon Ramsay
The latest lucky recipient of the British Medias 'build 'em up high to then knock 'em down low' passion poor ...More
The Duke of Edinburgh
Not everyones idea of a hero perhaps but we think the Duke deserves a little more from the British Media ...More
Henry VIII
In the week when we remember the 500th anniversary of our most famous ruler becoming King we should remember that, ...More
Jenson Button
Jenson Button has pulled of a quite remarkable start to his season. With his Brawn-Mercedes Button has managed to win ...More
David Beckham
In the week when Beckham broke the outfield record for appearances of any England player we salute him and make him ...More

Brit Quote:
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image. - Stephen Hawking
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On this day:
Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine Marry - 1152, Bram Stoker Publishes Dracula - 1897, Mods and Rockers Battle - 1964, First Briton in space - 1991
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