The Great British Gay Icon 2015

The Great British Gay Icon 2015

We asked our readers to nominate and then vote on their favourite British gay icons. We had over 70 names nominated and then voted on by thousands of readers, giving us the 2015 Great British Gay Icon.

Of course this opens up the debate about who and what makes a great icon, but looking at the top 50, it’s clear that icons, are inspirational individuals who have changed and shaped the lives of thousands of LGBT people in the UK.

# 1 Stephen Fry

An incredible man for which the honour of Greatest British Gay Icon has been bestowed. Actor, writer, activist and all round genius. Beloved by all.

# 2 Alan Turing OBE

The gay scientist who created the machine that would end the Second World War, two to four years earlier saving millions of lives. He was recently posthumously pardoned for “gross indecency” charges laid against him because he was gay. Being gay at the time was illegal in the UK.

# 3 Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian  has worked tirelessly on activism and is part of the reason why we have pride in the UK. Recently, his show Vicious with Sir Derek Jacobi became one of the first shows on ITV to show a same-sex marriage.

#4 Freddie Mercury

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One of the world’s most visible icons of all time. He told us it was okay to Break Free. He died from AIDS related complications in 1991 at the height of the AIDS crisis.

# 5 Princess Diana

Princess Diana was the first prominent public figure to be photographed with a man who had AIDS at a time where there was much fear from the general public about it. She was the patron of the National AIDS Trust until her death in 1997. She was also known to be great friends with Freddie Mercury.

#6 Tom Daley

Became a hero to a legion of fans when he came out via YouTube in December 2013.

#7 Will Young

Young’s coming out was a national affair, a day after he won the first ever Pop Idol in the UK. Over a decade later he’s still releasing music and filling theatres with his concerts.

#8 Jennifer Saunders

Is the genius that brought us Absolutely Fabulous, universally quoted by gay men. Glass of Champagne for Lulu.

#9 Geri Halliwell

One fifth of the world’s most famous girl group – although her eye for the camp and kitsch has seen Halliwell become a firm favourite with the gay community.

#10 Annie Lennox OBE

Warrior, singer, writer and activist Annie Lennox has been the soundtrack to our lives. Hailed as a icon of the 80s music scene and is famed for her work on HIV awareness.

#11  Russell Tovey


#12 Joanna Lumley OBE

Actor and activist

#13 Russell T. Davies

Writer and script writer

#14 Alexander McQueen CBE (1969 – 2010)

Clothing designer

#15 Ben Cohen

Sporting personality and activist

#16 Paul O’Grady MBE

TV personality and former Drag Queen (Lily Savage)

#17 Sue Perkins

TV Personality/Presenter

#18 Kenneth Williams (1926 – 1988)


#19 Jimmy Sommerville


#20 Cilla Black OBE (1943 – 2015)

TV Personality / Singer

#21 Kim Cattrall


#22 David Bowie


#23 Pet Shop Boys


#24 Mika


#25 Julie Walters


#26 Julian Clary

Comedian / Novelist

#27 Sam Smith


#28 Dusty Springfield OBE (1939 – 1999)


#29 Alan Carr

TV Personality / Comedian

#30 Sir Patrick Stewart


#31 Noel Coward (1899 – 1973)



#32 Kate Bush


#33 Gareth Thomas

Sports Personality / Writer

#34 Katie Hopkins

Writer/ TV Personality

#35 Dame Joan Collins


#36 David Beckham

Sports Personality

#37 Peter Tatchell


#38 Sharon Osborne

TV Personality

#39 Boy George


#40 Marilyn


#41 Dame Maggie Smith


#42 Dame Judi Dench


#43 George Michael


#44 Quentin Crisp


#45 Queen Mother


#46 Sir Elton John


#47 Andy Bell


#48 Lord Michael Cashman CBE

Actor / Lord

#49 Tony Blair

Politician and former Prime Minster of UK

#50 David Cameron

Prime Minister