One Show viewers to vote for a new famous face to hang in the National Portrait Gallery

The BBC's teatime magazine show will present viewers with a shortlist of contemporary public figures in the spring


One Show viewers will get to make their mark on one of Britain’s national institutions later this year, when they’ll be asked to decide which public figure should be immortalised in oils and added to the walls of the National Portrait Gallery.


Each year, the NPG acquires portraits of a handful of public figures who’ve made significant and lasting contributions to Britain. But this year, for the first time ever, the Gallery is asking the British public to vote for one of its new additions.

Viewers will be presented with a shortlist of individuals from the fields of science, community activism, sport and the arts (though not broadcasting, so Matt and Alex don’t stand a chance), and The One Show’s presenters will each campaign for a specific individual over the course of a week’s programming.

“This is a first, and a unique opportunity for the BBC audience to decide who should be the subject of a People’s Portrait,” said Mark Bell, the BBC’s Commissioning Editor, Arts.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, added: “Adding a new portrait to British history, as seen in the National Portrait Gallery, is an exciting prospect – and we are delighted to share the process through collaboration with the BBC.”


While an exact airdate for the One Show’s week-long National Portrait Gallery poll has yet to be decided,  the vote will take place in the spring.