The front cover of the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine from the week of April 30th-May 6th 2005 has been voted the greatest British magazine cover of all time, in a poll organised by the Periodical Publishers Association.The cover featured a new series Dalek crossing Westminster Bridge in front of the Houses of Parliament, accompanied by the strapline "Vote Dalek!" This combined coverage of the transmission of the first new Dalek television story in over 16 years with the British General Election, which took place in the same week.According to The Guardian, the cover received over a quarter of the 10,000 votes cast in the public vote, beating off competition from issues of Vogue, The Face and OK!
Radio Times editor Gill Hudson is quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying: "It was a very complex cover to put together; simply getting Daleks onto Westminster Bridge at night was very challenging."
Editors were asked to submit UK-only covers but not their own. Submissions were accepted from any era or decade, including titles that were no longer being published.
Adam Pasco, editor of Gardener's World, who nominated the Dalek cover, stated in his original citation: "This Radio Times cover captures the essence of the mood of the nation in a brilliant and original way, and delivers on every level.
"The cover is totally unexpected and brings a contemporary twist to the iconic image of a Dalek to grab readers of all ages at the newsstand."
More than 40 front cover nominations, spanning more than 100 years, were initially put forward by magazine editors. These were whittled down to a shortlist of 16 by a panel of judges. Members of the public were then invited to vote on their favourite.
Nicola Rowe, the circulation director of the Periodical Publishers Association, said: "We had many outstanding entries but Vote Dalek! captured the popular vote. It is sharply observed, funny, and to the point. It is, in its own way, a truly inspired reflection of the British sense of humour."
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 30: A Radio Times photo gallery showing how the cover was created is now online here.
(Additional reporting by John Bowman.)