Discover the top 20 British blondes...

Story by Jack Foley

FROM Greek goddess, Aphrodite, to pop goddess, Madonna, blondes have always had more fun. To coincide with the publication of On Blondes, by Joanna Pitman (Bloomsbury), the National Portrait Gallery has assembled a collection of photographs depicting the best of British Blondes, from the1930s to the present day, in its Bookshop Gallery, from March 3 to July 6.

Blonde hair has come to signify beauty, power and status and sections of the display look at blonde bombshells from the worlds of politics, fashion, music, film and media.

Highlights include Margaret Thatcher, by Norman Parkinson; Twiggy, by Allan Ballard; Diana Dors, by Cornel Lucas (pictured) and Joely Richardson, by Alistair Morrisson. Diana, Princess of Wales, Patsy Kensit and Barbara Windsor also make this top 20 of British Blondes.

The display is curated by Joanna Pitman, an established journalist, who is currently photography critic for The Times. On Blondes is her first publication and offers a definitive view of blondes through the ages.

Pitman, who went blonde in the name of research, lives in west London with her family.

To coincide with British Blondes, the National Portrait Gallery and te Neues Verlag have published a Blondes wall calendar and diary. Both products are dated 2004 and retail for £9.99. Their contents are derived entirely from the gallery's own superb photography collection.

British Blondes, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London, WC2H OHE. Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10am - 6pm (Gallery closure commences at 5.50pm). Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: 10am - 9pm (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm). Recorded information: 020 7312 2463 General information: 020 7306 0055.
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square or Charing Cross/Nearest mainline station: Charing Cross

RELATED LINKS: Click here for the NPG website...

RELATED STORIES: Click here for details of the accompanying Blondes exhibition at the Getty Images Gallery...