The 50 greatest storytellers of all time revealed

The 50 greatest storytellers of all time revealed

Roald Dahl has topped a poll of the greatest authors, songwriters, artists and photographers, commissioned. In fact, the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach author claimed the top spot with a staggering 58 per cent of the vote in the survey commissioned by Canon UK.

Oliver Twist writer Charles Dickens came second followed by playwright William Shakespeare and Harry Potter creator, JK Rowling. The Little Mermaid author Hans Christian Andersen came sixth while Alice in Wonderland creator Lewis Carroll and Walt Disney followed close behind. The Famous Five writer Enid Blyton and Lord of the Rings author J.R.R Tolkien took the final slots of the top ten.

More modern writers also made it into the list including children’s authors David Walliams and Jacqueline Wilson, along with Twilight author Stephenie Meyer and Fifty Shades of Grey writer EL James.

Dahl named the greatest storyteller


The greatest music and film storytellers

But it isn’t just authors who feature with songwriters Adele, Ed Sheeran, Eminem, John Lennon and Prince also among the top storytellers.

Film-based stories have also led to directors and actors in the top 50 such as James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino and Morgan Freeman. Ridley Scott, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tom Hanks and George Lucas also feature.

Canon UK commissioned the research to mark the launch of its 365 Days of Summer competition to find a storyteller to spend a year identifying and living 365 new stories across the globe.

Matthew Searle, Country Director, Canon UK and Ireland said: “You can’t beat a good story, whether it’s words in a book, photographs or film or simply through conversation.

“Storytellers come in many different forms whether it’s through music, writing or photos, and those in this top 50 are responsible for some of the greatest tales of all time.

“Roald Dahl in particular may be well known for his words, but the images which accompanied many of his children’s books have helped to paint the picture for children for generations.

“As technology evolves, stories are now so much more than just the written word and people today have a variety of ways to tell their own story and make sure it lives on.”

Top 50 greatest storytellers                        

  1. Roald Dahl
  2. Charles Dickens
  3. William Shakespeare
  4. JK Rowling
  5. Steven Spielberg
  6. Hans Christian Andersen
  7. Lewis Carroll
  8. Walt Disney
  9. Enid Blyton
  10. J.R.R Tolkien
  11. David Attenborough
  12. Beatrix Potter
  13. Stephen King
  14. Brothers Grimm
  15. HG Wells
  16. AA Milne
  17. George Orwell
  18. CS Lewis
  19. Ernest Hemingway
  20. Ridley Scott
  21. T. S. Eliot
  22. James Cameron
  23. Quentin Tarantino
  24. Morgan Freeman
  25. George Lucas
  26. Alan Bennett
  27. Andrew Lloyd Webber
  28. Jacqueline Wilson
  29. Ed Sheeran
  30. Banksy
  31. Eminem
  32. Virginia Woolf
  33. The Coen Brothers
  34. Martin Scorsese
  35. Philip K. Dick
  36. David Walliams
  37. Tom Hanks
  38. JD Salinger
  39. Louis Theroux
  40. Adele
  41. Iain M. Banks
  42. Samuel Jackson
  43. Tom Hardy
  44. Stephenie Meyer
  45. H. P. Lovecraft
  46. E L James
  47. Jack Kerouac
  48. Prince
  49. John Lennon
  50. Kevin Spacey