Jonathan Ive, designer of the original iMac and the iPod, and now head of Apple's industrial design facility, has been named the most influential person in British culture.
Ive beat better-known names likes Harry Potter author J K Rowling, and The Office star and Golden Globe winner Ricky Gervais to the top of a list of UK cultural icons to be announced on BBC TV's Cultural Movers and Shakers, to be shown on BBC 3 tonight.
North London-born Ive joined Apple in 1992, having worked for the company through his own design agency, Tangerine. He graduated from Newcastle Polytechnic in 1989 before joining a design consultancy in London. Soon after, he founded Tangerine, where he worked on bathroom fittings, TVs and combs, among other everyday items.
Last summer, Ive was declared Designer of the Year by the UK's Design Museum. Voting for the BBC's poll began last December.
While Ive may be less well known than the likes of J K Rowling, Ricky Gervais, Ewen 'Obi-Wan' McGregor and fashion designer John Galiano, his influence is undoubtedly extended. The original iMac's two-colour all-in-one casing prompted a host of imitations across the product spectrum, from steam irons and vacuum cleaners to a number of iMac-alike clone computers - all successfully sued by the litigious Mac maker.
The iPod has become the top-selling portable MP3 player, promoting Apple to the status of digital music player, despite not being the first to bring such a device to market. ®