Welcome on board BA100, the flight of choice for 100 outstanding Modern Britons, as chosen by British Airways

BA PEOPLE • August 2019

Dear Britain...

As a nation, we’re not known for blowing our own trumpet or singing our own praises, but for British Airways’ 100th-year celebrations, it’s time to make an exception. Here, we take a look at a series of Love Letters to modern Britain, as devised by the famous faces of the BA100

Jane Goodall

Jane is an outstanding British icon. An ethologist and anthropologist, Jane is considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees and has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. She was pioneering during the 1960s by venturing into the forests of Tanzania alone, and is still leading the way in her eighties using her global partnerships, with among others Leonardo di Caprio, on the welfare of Great Apes. Jane continues to inspire hundreds of thousands of young people to make our world a better place for all.

John O’Doherty

John is the Director of The Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland’s leading LGBTQ support and advocacy organisation. The Rainbow Project deals with the physical, mental and emotional health and well-being of the LGBTQ community. John is also a key campaigner for equal marriage in Northern Ireland.

John O'Doherty

Dr Sue Black

A professor of computer science and a technology evangelist, Sue has been a leading figure in her field for more than 20 years. As well as her academic position at Durham University, she has also been a UK government advisor, a trustee at Comic Relief, and set up the UK’s first online network for women in technology, BCSWomen.

Joanne Froggratt

Golden Globe winner and three times Emmy nominee Joanne Froggatt is best known for Downton Abbey, but her career includes roles as dark and brooding as the moors she once called home.


In a little more than a decade, James Watt and Martin Dickie have turned their ‘punk’ beers into a billion-pound concern. And now they’ve created a ‘transatlantic IPA’ to celebrate BA’s centenary. 

Gary Oldman

Regarded as one of the greatest screen actors of his generation. His illustrious acting career has seen him as Dracula, Sirius Black in the Harry Potter franchise, master spy George Smiley and in his Academy Award winning performance as Winston Churchill he has cemented his status as an iconic British legend.

Ellie Simmonds

Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds OBE was the youngest ever recipient of the MBE at just 14. She won two gold medals at Beijing, despite being the youngest member of the team at just 13 years old. She followed it up with two further gold medals in London and another in Rio, winning countless World Titles and breaking numerous World Records along the way. Ellie continues to inspire future generations and is a role model to disabled and non-disabled people alike.

Ellie Simmonds


Olivia Colman

Equally at home in comedy and drama, Colman is a familiar face, and is fast developing an international reputation in film. Her performance as Queen Anne in The Favourite has been universally acclaimed.

Tom Walker

When Tom bought his Glastonbury ticket in 2017, he had no idea he would end up appearing on the bill two months later. Fast forward two years and the Mancunian musician’s career is soaring after releasing a chart-topping debut album and scooping Best Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards.

Amy Williams

Having established herself as a tour de force in the world of skeleton racing – in 2010 she became the first British gold medallist at a Winter Olympics in over 30 years – Amy retired from the sport to inspire the next generation of athletes, working as a Team GB Ambassador and mentor.


This article has been tagged BA, Culture