The late fashion designer Alexander McQueen is among the names nominated to appear on the new £20 bank note.
The Lewisham-born son of a taxi driver, McQueen became one of the country’s most influential designers, creating costumes for David Bowie, becoming creative director of Givenchy, then later founding his own label.
McQueen committed suicide aged just 40 in 2010 following the death of his mother and a battle with depression.
The Bank of England had asked the public to nominate well-known people who could appear on the £20 note to replace the current image of Adam Smith, considered by many to be the father of economics.
There has been an overwhelming response with more than 21,000 nominations received from the public. The two-month consultation period ended yesterday.
A short-list will now be drawn up and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will make the final decision based on the strength of the contribution made by the each person nominated rather than by the number of public votes.
The newly-designed bank note could be in circulation in the next three to five years.
Painters John Constable, LS Lowry and JWM Turner, sculptor Barbara Hepworth, author Beatrix Potter and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh are currently among the favourite contenders. Victoria Cleland of the BoE said the varied list made it “very difficult to say who would be one of the front-runners”.
This public consultation follows controversy at the 2013 announcement that Winston Churchill was to replace English social reformer Elizabeth Fry on the £5 note. In an attempt to redress the balance, a few months later Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen was named as the replacement for scientist Charles Darwin on the £10 note. Both new notes are expected to enter circulation in 2016/17.
An exhibition of McQueen’s work at the Victoria & Albert museum, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty has been immensely popular, attracting more than 345,000 visitors to date. It is open until August 2.