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Brits more than pulling their weight in TIME 100 list hijacked by South Korean popstar

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More than half of the votes – 57.38 per cent – were cast within the US, and a further 5.54 per cent from Canada – with 4.55 per cent coming from the UK. Brits are more than pulling their weight with nine places out of the 100 on the list, despite accounting for less than five per cent of the vote.

The overall set of results stirred up debate as well as controversy – with fans of South Korean CL (Lee Chae-Rin) from girl group 2NE1 adamant the rapper-singer should have triumphed over Putin, with both hovering around the 6.9 per cent mark. The solid showing of British names on the list, however, is still an interesting consideration. The selection includes those who have obviously had an impact across the globe, and while it’d be encouraging to see more faces from outside the entertainment world make the grade, the inclusion of nine Brits is all the more impressive when considering the UK voting percentage.

Actress and activist Emma Watson came in highest in sixth place overall, driven by her HeForShe campaign, launching the UN effort last autumn. The other British names joining her on the list were actor Benedict Cumberbatch, singer Sam Smith, lawyer Amal Clooney, TV presenter and comedian John Oliver, director Christopher Nolan, surgeon general of the US Vivek Murthy, author E L James and golfer Rory McIlroy.

The TIME 100 provides an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, spanning politics, entertainment, business, technology, science, religion, among others. The editors of TIME compiled this year’s list which was unveiled today.

The top ten was dominated by entertainers, with only the Dalai Lama (1.7 per cent), Malala Yousafzai (1.6 per cent) and Pope Francis (1.5 per cent) breaking the pattern.

There wasn’t even room in the top ten for current US president Barack Obama – he and first lady Michelle Obama sat just outside it with 1.4 per cent and 1.2 per cent of the votes respectively.

Despite the strong showing of entrepreneurs on the list – with the usual suspects including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, SpaceX’s Elon Musk, Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Airbnb’s Brian Chesky making the cut – there weren’t any influential British entrepreneurs in the 100.

The range of credentials on offer from the Brits that did make the grade though is positive to see, and reflective of their wide-ranging influence. Huddersfield-born Vivek Murthy is the 19th surgeon general of the US and a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Murthy was nominated by the president and confirmed by a majority vote in the senate in December of last year. The proposal received support from over 100 medical and public health organisations across the US, including the American College of Physicians and the American Cancer Society. His position is among the top two highest ranking uniformed officers of the PHSCC.

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Looking elsewhere among the British roster, and Amal Clooney, the London-based Lebanese-British barrister also springs to mind as a notable inclusion. Clooney has had a number of high-profile clients including Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, in his fight against extradition, and former prime minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko. She specialises in public international law, international criminal law and human rights. While last year’s marriage to actor George Clooney made her increasingly recognisable to the general public, her long-standing credentials were already well-known.

Singer Sam Smith’s presence on the list is unsurprising when considering his rise to prominence in the US – a notoriously difficult market for British artists – picking up four Grammys at the February awards ceremony. Similarly, John Oliver’s presence on US TV screens has won him many fans. His ability to tackle significant issues has been a winning quality, along with the canny use of his influence. Oliver featured the Society of Women Engineers as a recipient of scholarship donations on his programme, resulting in many more donations to the cause. Elizabeth Bierman, president of the Society of Women Engineers mentioned Oliver’s ability to use “irreverent humour to make people think,” in his profile on the Time 100.

Despite the British success in this year’s list, it’s wise to take results like these with a pinch of salt – the perils associated with online polls obviously leave room to question their reliability. As TIME.com’s former managing editor Josh Tyrangiel said previously: “This is an internet poll. Doubting the results is kind of the point.”

Images: Shutterstock

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