Could gay designer Alexander McQueen be on the new £20 note?

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Late fashion designer Alexander McQueen could be picked to appear on the UK’s next £20 note.

The Bank of England is currently looking for suggestions for people from the world of art to appear on the re-designed note in place of economist Adam Smith.

The new note is set to come into circulation in the next few years, following a newly-chosen £10 note design featuring Jane Austen.

As the criteria call for an entrant from the world of art or fashion, some have tipped legendary designer Alexander McQueen – who founded his eponymous fashion brand – for the rare honour.

Mr McQueen, who was openly gay, was one of the biggest names in fashion before he killed himself in 2010.

The guidelines state: “Visual artists include architects, artists, ceramicists, craftspeople, designers, fashion designers, filmmakers, photographers, printmakers and sculptors. The Bank will not feature fictional or living characters, with the exception of the Monarch, who appears on the front of our notes.”

Bank of England Governor said: “Banknotes are the principal way the Bank of England engages with the British public.

“These sparse pieces of paper from the 17th century have developed over the years to become the small works of art that are in everyone’s wallets.

“There are a wealth of individuals within the field of visual arts whose work shaped British thought, innovation, leadership, values and society and who continue to inspire people today.

“I greatly look forward to hearing from the public who they would like to celebrate.”

If he is picked to appear on the note, Mr McQueen will be the first openly gay person to do so. He would also be a rare contemporary choice.

However, some have called for another prominent woman to be chosen, as Elizabeth Fry is set to be replaced by Winston Churchill on the £5 note.