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Who's Who 2017
Who’s New in Who’s Who 2017?
Around 1,000 new entries are included in Who’s Who 2017, a selection of which appear here.
Simon Reeve
Simon Reeve
Author and television presenter Simon Reeve is known for his extraordinary foreign journeys which combine travel to remote regions with conservation and environmental issues, giving us a unique view of places like Greece, the Caribbean, Australia and the Indian Ocean. After working as a charity shop volunteer, Simon Reeve started his career as a post boy at The Sunday Times. He enjoys chopping wood, sunny beaches, long walks, cold beer, beautiful views and memorable adventures.
Elizabeth Armitstead
Elizabeth Armitstead
Professional cyclist Elizabeth Armitstead has been a member of the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team since 2013. She was British National Road Champion in 2011, 2013 and 2015. She won a silver medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012 and a gold medal in the road race at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and was named UCI World Road Race Champion in 2015. Her autobiography, Steadfast, was published in 2016.
Photo © Boels Dolmans
Matthew Oates
Matthew Oates
Author, broadcaster and poet Matthew Oates is a specialist on nature and wildlife at the National Trust. His interests include habitat management and people’s relationships with the natural world. His book, In Pursuit of Butterflies, was published in 2015.
Photo © Neil Hulme
Marlon James, V
Marlon James
Novelist, short story writer and essayist Marlon James was born in St Andrew, Jamaica. His books include John Crow’s Devil and The Book of Night Women. His most recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. He is Professor of English at Macalester College, Minnesota, and in his spare time he enjoys cycling.
Elizabeth Yarnold
Elizabeth Yarnold
World Champion Elizabeth Yarnold began her career as a professional skeleton athlete in 2009. Sliding down the ice track head first on a sled, she won a Gold Medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and is now preparing for the next Winter Olympics in 2018. She was awarded the MBE for services to sport in 2014.
Charlie Mullins, OBE
Charlie Mullins
Born in St Pancras, London, Charlie Mullins is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pimlico Plumbers Ltd. He has appeared on the television programmes Posh Plumbers, Show Me Your Money and BBC Young Plumber of the Year and written a book, Bog-Standard Business. Awarded the OBE in 2015, he is also Patron of Women on the Tools.
Photo © Pimlico Plumbers Ltd
Felicity Aston, MBE
Felicity Aston
Polar explorer Felicity Aston joined the British Antarctic Survey in 2000 as a Meteorologist. Since then she has organised and led expeditions to remote places around the world, including Greenland and the South Pole. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and in 2015 she was awarded the Polar Medal. In her spare time she likes scouring maps for any unexplored fringes and plotting new adventures.
Paul Cummins, MBE
Paul Cummins
Ceramic artist Paul Cummins was born in Chesterfield and his work involves creating installations using ceramic flowers. His visually powerful installation at the Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, drew huge crowds to see 888,246 ceramic poppies representing British and colonial fatalities during the First World War. Other installations include ceramic tulips at Chatsworth House and roses at Hardwick Hall. He was awarded the MBE in 2015 for services to art and First World War commemorations.
Who’s Who contains biographies of all kinds of people from all parts of the world and from all walks of life: the arts, business and finance, the church, the civil service, education, entertainment, sport, government, the law, local government, the media, medicine, professional institutions, science and the trade unions.
Each edition of Who’s Who now contains over 33,000 entries, with approximately one thousand new names appearing for the first time each year.
Uniquely among biographical reference works, entries in Who’s Who are retained for the life of the biographee (being transferred on his or her death to Who Was Who). Who’s Who therefore has an unrivalled historical perspective, listing those who lead and influence the world today, side by side with their living predecessors.
An invitation to appear in Who’s Who recognises distinction and influence.
‘What is it that really puts the stamp of eminence on a modern British life? Two things count today: having an entry in Who’s Who and being asked to choose your eight favourite records on BBC’s Desert Island Discs.’ – The Wall Street Journal
The editor of the 1897 edition wrote in his preface that Who’s Who seeks to recognise people whose “prominence is inherited, or depending on office, or the result of ability which singles them out from their fellows”. In essence, this continues to be the policy for selection into Who’s Who today.
The majority of Who’s Who biographees are included in recognition of the distinction they have attained in their professional lives, and the influence they exert on British society, ranging from politicians and academics to musicians and film directors. Whilst the majority of entrants are British, notable individuals from across the world are included due to their presence and importance in British and international life.
The holders of some posts, such as MPs, senior judges and high-ranking civil servants, are invited to have an entry an entry as a matter of course, when the appointment itself is of general public interest. For those who do not fit into these categories, a Selection Board meets regularly during the preparation for each edition of Who’s Who to discuss potential entrants. The Selection Board reviews those people whose professions are less rigidly structured, such as artists, actors and sportsmen, as well as professors, scientists and businesspeople. Prominent figures in numerous fields are considered by the Board on the basis of their continuing achievements, and ultimately selected due to their exceptional pre-eminence. Where necessary, the Selection Board consults those with specialist knowledge.
Who’s Who also includes a comprehensive listing of the holders of UK hereditary titles, from Duke to baronet, who are invited automatically. These entries make up approximately 10% of the total listings.
If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague for consideration by the Selection Board, please send a brief CV to or post it to the Office of Who’s Who, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP.



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