Revealed: the world's 100 most influential people. (Sorry, Prime Minister, not you)

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The Independent Online

The most famous magazine on the planet has named what it regards as the most powerful and influential figures in the world today. And Tony Blair - confidant of George Bush, and would-be righter of global wrongs - is not among them.

The most famous magazine on the planet has named what it regards as the most powerful and influential figures in the world today. And Tony Blair - confidant of George Bush, and would-be righter of global wrongs - is not among them.

The prestigious Time 100 list is published tomorrow, with 11 Britons making the roll-call of leading scientists, intellectuals, politicians, icons, artists and entertainers. Although presidents George Bush, Vladmir Putin and Hu Jintao of China are all present, there is no room for the British Prime Minister.

The list, revealed exclusively in The Independent on Sunday today, is split into five categories - Leaders and Revolutionaries, Builders and Titans, Scientists and Thinkers, Heroes and Icons, and Artists and Entertainers, with 20 names in each.

Britons are particularly prominent in the last group. The fashion designer John Galliano, the author JK Rowling, and TV reality show gurus Simon Cowell and Mark Burnett, make the grade, along with the artistic director of the National Theatre, Nicholas Hytner.

A team from the New York-based Time magazine spent four months compiling the list, which is billed as a register of "worldwide" influence, but in reality reflects a heavily US-centric perspective.

The six other Britons in the 100 are the US-based academics Niall Ferguson and Bernard Lewis, the sporting icons David Beckham and Paula Radcliffe, BP's chief executive John Browne, and the head of the cosmetics giant L'Oreal, Lindsay Owen-Jones. Britain has the second highest number of nationals, behind 41 for the US, although a handful of names, including al-Jazeera, the Arabic TV station, represent more than one individual.

The editor-at-large of Time, Michael Elliott, who oversaw the list, defended the decision to exclude Mr Blair.

"Gerhard Schröder and Jacques Chirac are not there either," Mr Elliott said. "This is a worldwide list. There are no Western European political leaders on it because they are not that powerful or influential at this time."

Mr Elliott said there was a contrast to be made between power and influence within the 100. "The distinction is a clear one," he said. "George Bush, Kim Jong Il and Jerry Bruckheimer all have power, whereas people like John Galliano and Simon Cowell have influence."

Mr Cowell, whose inclusion in the list will surprise many, was singled out for particular praise. Since transferring the Pop Idol TV formula to the US as American Idol, the multi-millionaire pop mogul has become a huge celebrity.

"Simon Cowell has changed the way in which we think about television in the US," said Mr Elliott. "What American Idol has done brilliantly is bring the viewer into the experience like never before."

Mr Elliott admitted that Ms Radcliffe was "an interesting choice", but defended her position in the Heroes and Icons category, saying: "There aren't that many global athletes who we know are going to be huge at the Olympics, but she is one of them."

The historian Niall Ferguson, who left Oxford for New York University 18 months ago, is already "one of the most prominent public intellectuals in America", said Mr Elliott

Professor Ferguson, who celebrates his 40th birthday today, said: "Of course I'm excited to be on the list, but this is a sure sign that the Ferguson bubble is about to burst.

"Since I moved to the States my work has received more attention, but the list would be enormously long if it included all the people in the academic world I rank myself below."

On the Prime Minister's absence, Professor Ferguson was candid as ever.

"Maybe Tony should come and live in New York for a bit," he said. "It worked for me."

Norah Jones

Calming voice in a frenzied pop age

Age: 25

Multi-million-album-selling, Grammy-winning singer and composer; daughter of Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar

What 'Time' says: "Jones is a light rain, touching everything and seeping permanently into the soil ... She has reintroduced the world to the human voice"

Samantha Power

Voice against genocide

Age: 33

Pulitzer-prize winning American journalist, author and political commentator; lecturer in public policy

What 'Time' says: "Power... who is executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard, is the new conscience of the US foreign policy establishment"


Rock star on a mission

Age: 43

Frontman of Irish rock group U2 and human rights campaigner and activist

What 'Time' says: "Bono is a hero ... not because he's a rock star, but because he is a rock star who is willing to spend time on things that are tedious and boring - like long sessions with Senators and administration officials and meetings with the World Bank"

Paula Radcliffe

You've gotta believe

Age: 30

World record holder for the women's marathon

What 'Time' says: "She has turned herself from a loser into a winner. If she has a little luck in Athens, she will add Olympic gold to her collection"

Warren Buffett

The wizard from Nebraska

Age: 73

Chairman of life insurance company, Berkshire Hathaway

What 'Time' says: "Our Mozart, a manager who has mastered our monetary metier. Our Joe DiMaggio, with a hit streak that will never be bettered"

JK Rowling

Publishing's gentle Pied Piper

Age: 38

Author of the galactically successful series of Harry Potter children's books

What 'Time' says: "Her influence is quiet because it's private, a transaction between her imagination and ours, and it is measured in gratitude, to a woman who has used her power well"

Peter Jackson

Lord of the cinema

Age: 42

Oscar-winning New Zealand-based film director

What 'Time' says: "Moviemakers appreciated the breadth and depth of his commitment and studio execs learnt that once in a while it's a good bet to trust a director's vision"

Bill Gates

Billionaire philanthropist

Age: 48

American self-made billionaire computer programmer

What 'Time' says: "Bill, who in a short period developed one of the most innovative and successful businesses in history ... has in a far shorter length of time developed and funded the most innovative and successful foundation in history"

The Time list of the world's most influential people in full

Leaders and revolutionaries

George Bush, US President; Hu Jintao, President of China; Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil; Ali Husaini Sistani, Muslim cleric, Iraq; Toshishiko Fukui, Japanese economist; Abu al-Zarqawi, Islamic terrorist; Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General; Condoleezza Rice, US national security adviser; Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Prime Minister; John Abizaid, US army general; Kim Jong Il, North Korean leader; Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft; Pope John Paul II; Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indian Prime Minister; Louise Arbour, UN Commissioner; John Kerry, US presidential candidate; Luisa Diogo, Prime Minister, Mozambique; Vladmir Putin, Russian President; Wu Yi, Chinese health minister; Osama bin Laden, al-Qa'ida leader.

Artists and entertainers

Mark Burnett, television producer; Frank Gehry, architect; John Galliano, fashion designer; Peter Jackson, film director; Nicholas Hytner, stage director; Simon Cowell, pop impresario; Outkast, US musicians; Norah Jones, singer; Jerry Bruckheimer, film producer; JK Rowling, author; Ken Kutagari, Sony CEO; Bruce Nauman, US artist; Katie Couric, US broadcaster; Charlie Kaufman, screen writer; Hideo Nakata, Japanese film director; Aishwarya Rai, Indian actress and model; Ferran Adria, Spanish chef; Nicole Kidman, actress; Sean Penn, actor; Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque-du-Soleil

Builders and titans

Lee Scott, Walmart CEO; Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard CEO; Abigail Johnson, president of FMR, US mutual-fund giant; David Neeleman, CEO of JetBlue Airways in US; Rupert Murdoch, media tycoon; Lindsay Owen-Jones, L'Oréal CEO; Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks; Azim Premji, chairman of Indian global outsourcing company; Warren Buffett, US investor; Michael Dell, CEO of Dell computers; Al Jazeera, satellite TV channel, Qatar; John Browne, CEO of BP; Hiroshi Okuda/ Fujio Cho, chairmen of Toyota; Sergey Brin /Larry Page, Google co-founders; Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH in France; Sepp Blatter, President of Fifa; Belinda Stronach, CEO of Magna, Canadian auto company; Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay; Daniel Vasella, CEO of Novartis, Switzerland; Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple

Heroes and icons

Nelson Mandela; Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition leader; Queen Raina of Jordan; Shirn Ebadi, Iranian human rights activist; Bono, Irish rock star; Bernard Kouchner, French humanitarian; Bill Belichick, US football coach; David Beckham, footballer; Lance Armstrong, US cyclist; Yao Ming, Chinese basketball player; John Bogle, US economist/ innovator; Mel Gibson, actor/director; Arthur Agatston, US nutritionist; Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama; Tiger Woods, golfer; Paula Radcliffe, athlete; Oprah Winfrey, TV presenter (above right); Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor/ Governor of California; Evan Wolfson, US gay marriage campaigner; BKS Iyengar, Indian yoga instructor.

Scientists and thinkers

Edward Witten, physicist; Steven Pinker, experimental psychologist; Eric Lander, geneticist; Woo Suk Hwang/ Shin Yong Moon, Korean scientists; Paul Ridker, American cardiovascular expert; Hernando de Soto, Peruvian economist; Jeffrey Sachs, director of Earth Institute in US; Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux computer system; Niall Ferguson, British historian; Bernard Lewis, British scholar and professor emeritus at Princeton University; Tariq Ramadan, Swiss philosopher and cleric; Jurgen Habermas, German philosopher; Samantha Power, American journalist, author and political commentator; Sandra Day O'Connor, US Supreme Court judge; Jill Tarter, director of Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence; Julie Gerberding, director of US Centre for Disease, Control and Prevention; Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister; Bjorn Lomborg, Danish author; Jong Wook Lee, CEO of World Health Organisation; the Clintons, US politicians.