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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Seren Morris

TV’s most influential people: The top 10 stars of the small screen

Radio Times has released its list of TV’s most influential people, topped by Sex Education star and the new Doctor Who, Ncuti Gatwa.

Stars like The White Lotus’s Jennifer Coolidge and The House of the Dragon star Emma D’Arcy made the top 10, while British TV icons Huw Edwards and Claudia Winkleman also scored a top spot.

The hit TV series Heartstopper had two stars make the top 10, with writer Alice Oseman and actress Yasmin Finney being featured on the list.

See who else made Radio Times’ top 10 list below.

TV’s Top 10 most influential people

1. Ncuti Gatwa

Ncuti Gatwa (PA)

Ncuti Gatwa won hearts as Eric Effiong on Netflix’s Sex Education, and later this year he will take over from Jodie Whittaker as the latest Doctor Who.

The 30-year-old British actor will also appear in the upcoming Greta Gerwig movie, Barbie.

Speaking about being named TV’s most influential person, Gatwa said: “Being recognised for anything is just bloody lovely innit? Let alone being on the TV 100 list.”

He added: “TV is on fire at the moment, and so to top the list as well feels extra cool.”

2. Alice Oseman

Alice Oseman (ES)

Alice Oseman is the writer and illustrator behind the popular book series Heartstopper and the subsequent Netflix TV series.

Heartstopper is a coming-of-age story about two teenage boys, Charlie and Nick.

Fans will be delighted to know that filming for season two began in September – so hopefully, it won’t be too long before we find out what’s next for Charlie and Nick.

3. Huw Edwards

Huw Edwards (Matt Crossick/PA) (PA Archive)

Welsh presenter Huw Edwards was widely praised for his coverage of the Queen’s death last year.

Now tasked with another major royal milestone, Edwards will be covering King Charles’s coronation in May.

4. Jennifer Coolidge 

(Getty Images)

Jennifer Coolidge played the scene-stealing Tanya in HBO’s The White Lotus, which won her a Screen Actors Guild award, a Primetime Emmy award, a Golden Globe award, and a Critics’ Choice Television award.

It’s no surprise, then, that she’s been named fourth on Radio Times’s most influential people list.

While Coolidge sadly won’t be reprising her role in season three of The White Lotus, fans are sure to be on the edge of their seats waiting to see what she does next.

5. Emma D’Arcy

Emma D’Arcy has charmed fans in a new interview with Olivia Cooke. (AFP via Getty Images)

Emma D’Arcy played Rhaenyra Targaryen in HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off, The House of the Dragon, and stunned fans when a clip of them talking about their favourite drink (a negroni sbagliato, with prosecco in it) went viral on social media.

D’Arcy is set to reprise their role as Rhaneyra in the next season, much to the delight of their fans.

6. Claudia Winkleman

Claudia Winkleman (Ian West/PA) (PA Archive)

Claudia Winkleman has long been a much-loved host of British TV, but her latest gig had everyone gripped for weeks.

Winkelman hosted the BBC’s reality competition show, The Traitors, which had the nation gripped as watched the competitors try to separate the faithful from the treacherous.

7. Adam Kay

Adam Kay attends The PinkNews Awards 2022 at Church House, Westminster, on October 19, 2022 in London, England. Photo Credit: Dave Benett (Dave Benett)

Adam Kay, a former doctor who wrote the memoir This Is Going to Hurt, placed seventh on Radio Times’s top list of TV’s most influential people.

Kay’s memoir was adapted into the TV show of the same name, starring Ben Whishaw, which was nominated for several Bafta awards.

8. Lionesses 

(AFP via Getty Images)

The Lionesses’ victory against Germany in the Euro 2022 final was watched by more than 17 million people.

A number of players, including Beth Mead, Leah Williamson, Chloe Kelly, and Jill Scott have become household names.

9. Yasmin Finney

Yasmin Finney (Dave Benett)

Another win for Heartstopper, actress Yasmin Finney, 19, has placed ninth on the list.  She was cast as Elle at just 17 years old and is now set to appear in the new series of Doctor Who.

Finney also gained a following on TikTok, where she documented her experience of being a Black British transgender woman.

10. Hamza Yassin

Strictly Come Dancing finalist Hamza Yassin, who is in the cast of the show’s UK arena tour (BBC) (PA Media)

CBeebies and wildlife presenter Hamza Yassin delighted fans by winning Strictly Come Dancing.

He’s also appeared on shows like The One Show, Countryfile, and Animal Park.

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