Ray Harryhausen On The Longlist For New £20 Banknote

Harryhausen 20 pound note

Is this a real thing? Not a hack like drawing Spock ears on a Canadian $5 bill?

Yes and no. Ray Harryhausen is one of many “eligible characters” on the Bank of England’s longlist of nominees to have their image on the new £20 banknote expected to enter circulation in 2020. This mockup was tweeted by his foundation to celebrate.

During a two-month public nomination period which closed yesterday, 29,701 nominations were made, covering 592 eligible visual artists.

A lot of people in the film industry are on the list (Stanley Kubrick, Sylvia Anderson, Alfred Hitchcock and Richard Attenborough among them) as well as a few genre artists like Arthur Rackham and Mervyn Peake.

The Bank of England’s Banknote Advisory Committee will now consider all eligible nominations and, together with input from public focus groups, produce a shortlist of 3-5 names. These will then go to the Governor for a final decision.

If Harryhausen happens to be selected, that will make him the first LASFS member to appear on a financial instrument worth more than an Egobuck — a bill with Jules Verne on one side and Forry Ackerman on the other, given as a reward for service to the club in the 1960s.

12 thoughts on “Ray Harryhausen On The Longlist For New £20 Banknote

  1. Of course, should a woman become involved in campaigning for Jane Austen, one of the greatest writers of all time, to appear on a banknote then that woman can confidently expect to receive multiple rape and death threats, as will any other woman supporting the campaign.

    I’m sorry to have to make that point; I would rejoice if someday women could campaign to get a great writer recognised on a bank note without receiving multiple rape and death threats.

    Unfortunately that day still seems to be a long way off…

  2. Would a Henry Moore banknote have a hole in the middle?

    That list is somewhat suspect. A cursory sweep picked up Peter Greenaway, who is very much alive, and I was also under the impression that only Brits were eligible, which excludes Emeric Pressburger and Jacob Epstein.

  3. “Under the Malicious Communications Act 1988, any ‘indecent or grossly offensive’ message that causes ‘distress or anxiety’ to the recipient can lead to prosecution.”

    Too bad MZW doesn’t live in the UK.

  4. I would be somewhat embarrassed to live in a country that thought one of its greatest cinematic geniuses was a guy who animated rubber apes and dinosaurs! Besides, I never even knew Harryhausen was English. Unlike Hitchcock, who kept his Englishness, Harryhausen seemed the very spirit of Hollywood.

  5. Taral: Ray Harryhausen was born in Los Angeles. Maybe that’s why you never knew Harryhausen was English. He wasn’t.

    I have no idea what he’s doing on the list!

  6. Looks like it’s a publicly voted longlist, so anyone could be on it, and they haven’t sifted it for eligibility yet. The eligibility criteria don’t absolutely require you to be British, but they do require you to be dead!

    Possible choices that have a fringe of SF interest: Beatrix Potter, Sylvia Anderson (ineligible due to not being dead, which will be both a disappointment and a relief to her), Oliver Postgate, Stanley Kubrick, Mervyn Peake, Vita Sackville-West (an excellent head-exploding choice).

  7. Kubrick was American, although he spent the final 37 years of his life in the UK and filmed all of his post-Spartacus projects here.

    I can’t recall any non-Brits appearing on our currency, apart from that German family who always seem to make the cut.

  8. Mike,

    They did indeed; another man who retweeted threats was convicted by the City of London Magistrates Court and received a custodial sentence of 18 weeks. His protestations that he was being satirical, and his claims to be a feminist were rejected by the Court. Admittedly, he didn’t try ‘Aristostle’ but I don’t think that would have worked either.

    Of course, I live in the City of London and would have no hesitation whatsoever in going straight to the police if anyone were foolish enough to threaten me…

  9. US currency is pathetic. There are so many first-rate American artists and scientists whose portraits could be on our paper money, but instead, we have second-rate politicians like Hamilton and Jackson.

  10. Canadian bills have had the same people on the obverse/face since 1969: Wilfred Laurier on the $5, John A. MacDonald on the $10, William Lyon MacKenzie King on the $50, Robert Borden on the $100, and Queen Elizabeth II on all other bills, which is now just the $20 since we no longer print $1, $2, or $1000.

    The reverse side changes every few years, though generally isn’t specific people. From various scenes on the 1969 bills (including a full-colour picture of the RCMP Musical Ride on the $50); birds on the 1986 series; literary references on the 2001 series of everything from Roch Carrier’s ‘The Hockey Sweater’ to John McCrae’s ‘In Flanders Fields’, and ‘frontiers’ on the 2011 series.

    While in general the only known woman pictured on the bills has been Queen Elizabeth II, the 2001/2004 series $50 did picture showed Thérèse Casgrain who fought for women’s suffrage in Quebec, and the Famous Five who brought a suit regarding whether women could serve in the Canadian Senate. (The ‘literary’ reference on that bill is a quote from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.) I don’t recall hearing a lot of complaints about that back then, but then again, it also wasn’t put up for a public vote beforehand.

  11. Ray Harryhausen wasn’t English; he was very much an American, a son of Los Angeles. His name isn’t English, either (it’s actually a variant of his family’s original German name).

    But he moved to the UK in 1960 and lived there until his death in 2013.

    (Did he become a British subject?)

    Seems similar to the standard of eligibility for Kubrick …

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