Tuesday, June 04, 2019

The Most Famous People in the UK

There is now a UK version of the very popular A People Map of the USA. The Pudding's A People Map of the UK shows the most famous person from each town in the UK based on each town's most Wikipedia'ed resident.

When I reviewed the American version of the map I couldn't help notice how dominated the map was by pop singers and actors. For example the Wikipedia page for Samuel L. Jackson gets more traffic than the Wikipedia page for George Washington. So Washington D.C. on the People Map of the USA is renamed 'Samuel L. Jackson'.

I was a little disappointed at this preponderance of minor celebrities but I dismissed it as a cultural anomaly. I was fairly certain that a UK version of the map wouldn't reveal a population so obsessed with celebrity. Surely a map of the UK, the birthplace of the industrial revolution, would feature lots of famous engineers, scientists, authors and artists instead of a list of frankly mostly mediocre singers and actors.

How wrong I was.

According to the People Map of the UK the most Wikipedia'ed person in Winchester is an actor (Colin Firth), and not a king (Henry III) nor a saint (Saint Swithun). Judging by the huge numbers of actors and singers on the map then people in the UK are just as obsessed with celebrity as people from the USA. 

I am at least pleased that luminaries such as William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Stephen Hawking and Ben Dover made it on to the UK version of the map.

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