Britain’s most influential gays – leaders in a range of fields – have been announced, a day after thousands took to London’s streets to celebrate EuroPride.
Sixty seven year old actor, Sir Ian McKellen, topped the list of Britain’s top gays as published by the Independent On Sunday newspaper. “There can be few actors who manage to produce such extraordinary variety and quality while connecting with so many people… He is our number one,” wrote the newspaper.
He was followed in second place by another knight – Sir Elton John – in the annual listing. Coming in shared third place were South African born Gary Frisch and Henry Badenhorst, who founded Gaydar.
Other notable figures in the list included Peter Mandelson (EU Trade Commissioner) at number five, John Galliano (Fashion Designer) at seven and another fashion designer, Alexander McQueen at number ten.
The list was announced a day after an estimated 40 000 people took part in one of Europe’s largest pride events on Saturday. The two-week long EuroPride festival – hosted by London this year – takes place in a different European country every year.
London’s mayor, Ken Livingstone, kicked off the parade, saying that, “What this shows as we march through the city of London – one of the greatest cities on earth – is a city can be a wonderful place to live in with people of every race, religion and sexuality.”
Hundreds of thousands of people watched the parade, which snaked through the city complete with colourful floats and outrageous costumes. For the first time ever gay members of the Royal Navy were allowed to participate in full uniform.
While Christian groups staged a protest, they were cordoned off from the march and the event proceeded peacefully.
The celebration came to a close on Sunday night at the Royal Albert Hall with a series of appearances and performances by stars such as Elton John, comedians Stephen Fry and Julian Clary, pop singer and DJ Boy George and even tennis legend Billie Jean King
The next EuroPride is set to take place in Madrid, Spain in 2007.
The full Independent On Sunday newspaper Top Ten:
1. Sir Ian McKellen – Actor
2. Sir Elton John – Musician
3. Gary Frisch and Henry Badenhorst – Founders and owners of gaydar
4. Sir Cameron Mackintosh – Impresario
5. Peter Mandelson – EU Trade Commissioner
6. Sir Michael Bishop – Chairman, BMI
7. John Galliano – Fashion Designer
8. Alan Bennett – Playwright
9. Matt Lucas – Comedian
10. Alexander McQueen – Fashion Designer