Adolf Hitler pips X Factor’s Simon Cowell in history poll

The survey found that the fascist dictator and the talent show guru were the two most recognised famous figures

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The X Factor’s Simon Cowell is more recognisable than Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill and Lady Gaga, but slightly less easy to place than Adolf Hitler, according to the results of a poll released today.

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A photograph of Cowell was successfully identified by 943 of 1,000 UK adults who took part in the survey, with a picture of Hitler recognised by just one more person.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had the third most familiar face, correctly named by 939 people, ahead of Queen Victoria, Henry VIII, Tutankhamun and Winston Churchill, with pop superstar Lady Gaga bringing up the rear.

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The poll was conducted by digital history channel Yesterday to promote its Museum Secrets series, which tells the stories behind some of the priceless treasures housed in historical institutions around the world.