David Bowie voted the greatest entertainer of the 20th century

(Image credit: Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives - Getty)

David Bowie has been named the greatest entertainer of the 20th century by the UK public.

The BBC’s Icons programme asked people to vote for their favourite entertainer in a shortlist which also featured Charlie Chaplin, Billie Holiday and Marilyn Monroe – and it was Bowie who came out on top.

The BBC Two series has set out to find the last century’s most important and influential men and women in a variety of categories: Activists, Sports, Artists & Writers, Leaders, Explorers, Scientists and Entertainers.

Alan Turing came top of the Scientists category, Ernest Shackleton was the winner of the Explorers shortlist, and Nelson Mandela was named the greatest leader of the 20th century.

Votes for the other categories can still be cast, with the top vote getters from all the brackets going head-to-head in a live TV final on February 5.

For further information, visit the BBC’s Icons website.

Earlier this month, it was announced that a 7-inch vinyl Bowie box set titled Spying Through A Keyhole was being planned. 

No release date has been confirmed, but it'll feature nine previously unreleased demos – including the earliest known version of Space Oddity.

David Bowie: Spying Through A Keyhole
1. Mother Grey (demo)
2. In The Heat Of The Morning (demo)
3. Goodbye 3d (Threepenny) Joe (demo)
4. Love All Around (demo)
5. London Bye, Ta-Ta (demo)
6. Angel, Angel, Grubby Face (demo version 1)
7. Angel, Angel, Grubby Face (demo version 2)
8. Space Oddity (demo excerpt)
9. Space Oddity (demo - alternative lyrics) (with Hutch)

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.