Největší Čech (The Greatest Czech) is the Czech spin-off of the BBC Greatest Britons show; a television poll of the populace to name the greatest Czech in history. The series was broadcast by the national public-service broadcaster, Česká televize. The moderator of the programme was Marek Eben, who was also nominated to be in the Top 100; however, since he was moderating the show he was not eligible to be included in the final list.
The counting and ranking of the nomination votes took place during January 2005; the top 100 were announced on 5 May; and the final rankings were announced on 10 June 2005. The first round was won by the fictional genius Jára Cimrman, but he was disqualified.
List of Greatest Czechs
- King Charles IV, Bohemian king (1346–1378) and Emperor (1355–1378), founder of Charles Bridge and Charles University – 68,713 votes
- Tomáš Garrique Masaryk – first Czechoslovak president (1918–1935) – 55,040 votes
- Václav Havel – last Czechoslovak (1989–1992) and first Czech president (1993–2003)
- Jan Amos Komenský – 17th-century "Teacher of nations"
- Jan Žižka – 14th/15th-century Hussite general, leader of Czech resistance to the Roman Empire and Catholic Church
- Jan Werich – 20th-century actor, playwright and author
- Jan Hus – 14th/15th-century religious reformer
- Antonín Dvořák – 19th-century composer
- Karel Čapek – 20th-century writer, in his work R.U.R. has popularized the word "robot" (invented by his brother Josef Čapek)
- Božena Němcová – 19th-century female writer (Babička)
- Bedřich Smetana – 19th-century composer
- Emil Zátopek – 20th-century olympic athlete
- Karel Gott – 20th-century pop singer
- George of Podebrady – 15th-century utraquist king
- František Palacký – 19th-century historian and politician
- Přemysl Otakar II – 13th-century king, known as "Iron and Gold King"
- Saint Wenceslas – duke (922–935) and patron saint of Bohemia
- Václav Klaus – second president of the Czech Republic (2003 to 2013)
- Jaroslav Heyrovský – 20th-century chemist, Nobel prize laureate
- Saint Agnes of Bohemia – 13th-century princess and saint, founder of first Prague hospital
- Tomáš Baťa – 19th/20th-century first republic businessman
- Edvard Beneš – second Czechoslovak president (1935 – 1938, in exile 1940 – 1945, 1945 – 1948)
- Otto Wichterle – 20th-century chemist, inventor of contact lenses
- Jaroslav Seifert – 20th-century poet, Nobel Prize laureate
- Zdeněk Svěrák – 20th-century playwright, screenwriter, actor and "cimrmanologist"
- Ema Destinnová – 19th/20th-century opera singer
- Jaromír Jágr – 20th/21st-century hockey player
- Maria Theresa – 18th-century queen
- Karel Kryl – 20th-century dissident singer-songwriter
- Miloš Forman – 20th/21st-century film director
- Vlasta Burian – 20th-century actor, "king of comedians"
- Roman Šebrle – 20th/21st-century decathlete, Olympic athlete
- Ivan Hlinka – 20th-century hockey player and coach
- Karel Havlíček Borovský – 19th-century journalist and writer
- Daniel Landa – 20th/21st-century singer
- Milada Horáková – 20th-century victim of Nazism and later communism (hanged in 1950)
- Vladimír Menšík – 20th-century actor
- Jaroslav Hašek – 19th/20th-century writer (author of The Good Soldier Švejk)
- Alfons Mucha – 19th/20th-century art nouveau painter
- Jan Evangelista Purkyně – 19th-century biologist and physician
- Pavel Nedvěd – football player (European footballer of the year 2003)
- Jan Janský – 19th/20th-century neurologist and psychiatrist, discoverer of four blood types
- František Křižík – 19th/20th-century inventor, engineer and industrialist
- Jan Železný – 20th/21st-century Olympic athlete
- Jan Palach – protester against Soviet invasion of 1968 (self-immolated)
- Věra Čáslavská – 20th-century Olympic athlete
- Leoš Janáček – 19th/20th-century composer
- Alois Jirásek – 19th/20th-century playwright and author
- Jaromír Nohavica – 20th/21st-century musician
- Jan Masaryk – Czechoslovak secretary of foreign affairs (1940–48)
- Bohumil Hrabal – 20th-century writer
- Jan Neruda – 19th-century writer
- Josef Jungmann – 18th/19th-century linguist and translator
- Gregor Mendel – 19th-century geneticist, "father of genetics"
- Franz Kafka – 19th/20th-century writer
- František Tomášek – 20th-century archbishop of Prague
- Saint Adalbert – 10th-century saint
- Josef Bican – 20th-century football player
- Josef Kajetán Tyl – 19th-century playwright
- Lucie Bílá – 20th/21st-century pop singer
- Karel Hynek Mácha – 19th-century poet
- Saint Ludmila – 9th/10th-century grandmother of the Czech patron St. Wenceslas
- Boleslav Polívka – 20th/21st-century actor
- Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor – 16th/17th-century king
- Josef Dobrovský – 18th/19th-century philologist
- Josef Lada – 20th-century painter
- Rudolf Hrušínský – 20th-century actor
- Wenceslaus II of Bohemia – 13th/14th-century king
- Madeleine Albright – 20th-century politician, US secretary of state
- Aneta Langerová – 21st-century pop singer, winner of the Pop star (Superstar in Czech) competition
- Přemysl Otakar I – 12th/13th-century king, conqueror
- Ludvík Svoboda – 20th-century communist president
- Dominik Hašek – 20th/21st-century hockey player (goaltender)
- John of Luxemburg – 14th-century king, father of Charles IV
- Milan Baroš – 21st-century football player
- Karel Jaromír Erben – 19th-century poet
- Saint Zdislava – 13th-century saint
- Jaroslav Foglar – 20th-century writer
- Ladislav Smoljak – 20th-century actor and writer, actor and "cimrmanologist"
- Olga Havlová – 20th-century wife of Václav Havel, former Czechoslovak and Czech president
- Martina Navrátilová – 20th/21st-century tennis player
- Helena Růžičková – 20th-century actress
- Pavel Tigrid – 20th-century writer
- Elisabeth of Bohemia (1292–1330) – queen
- Milan Kundera – 20th/21st-century writer
- Vladimír Remek – 20th/21st-century cosmonaut and politician
- Boleslav I of Bohemia – 10th-century king
- Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová – 19th-century writer
- Mikoláš Aleš – 19th/20th-century painter
- Emil Holub – 19th-century physician, traveler and writer
- František Fajtl – 20th-century aircraft pilot in World War II
- Klement Gottwald – First Communist president of Czechoslovakia (20th-century)
- Zdeněk Matějček – 20th-century pediatrist
- Jiří Voskovec – 20th-century actor
- Marta Kubišová – 20th/21st-century singer and actress
- Jiřina Bohdalová – 20th-century actress
- Miloslav Šimek – 20th/21st-century actor
- Sigmund Freud – 19th/20th-century psychiatrist, teacher of Carl Gustav Jung
- Samo – 7th-century ruler of the so-called Samo's Realm
- Miloš Zeman - Czech politician
The Greatest Villain
At the same time as the nominations, an Internet vote for the greatest villain of Czech history was held. The top ten were:
- Klement Gottwald – first Communist president of Czechoslovakia (1948–53)
- Stanislav Gross – 20th/21st-century politician, Czech Republic PM
- Václav Klaus – 20th/21st-century politician, president of Czech Republic
- Vladimír Železný – 20th/21st-century television businessman, founder of TV Nova, charged with an extensive tunnelling fraud
- Miroslav Kalousek – 20th/21st-century politician, leader of Christian Democratic party
- Miroslav Grebeníček – leader of Communist Party of Moravia and Bohemia
- Viktor Kožený – 20th/21st-century financial figure, fugitive financier, nicknamed "the pirate of Prague"
- Milouš Jakeš – 20th-century politician, General Secretary of Czechoslovak Communist Party before and during Velvet Revolution
- Zdeněk Škromach – former minister of work and social affairs
- Gustáv Husák – 20th-century politician, last Communist president of Czechoslovakia
The first round of official voting for Greatest Czech was won by the fictional character Jára Cimrman created by Czech humorists Jiří Šebánek, Zdeněk Svěrák (who himself took the 25th place) and Ladislav Smoljak (79th). The fact that he isn't a real person disqualified him from taking the title, as the rules stated that "it is only possible to vote for someone who was either born on, lived on, or in any way acted on the soil of Bohemia, Moravia or Czech Silesia."
- "BBC expanduje se svou zábavou" (in Czech). Týden. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "Souboj titánů" (in Czech). ČT24. 21 February 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "ČT bude hledat Největšího Čecha". novinky.cz. 2 December 2004. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- Navara, Luděk (23 February 2005). "Ctíme Cimrmana. Jsme normální?" (in Czech). Mladá fronta DNES. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "Největší Čech – O projektu – Top 100". Ceskatelevize.cz. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
- "Vedle Největšího Čecha lidé vyberou i padoucha" (in Czech). novinky.cz. 1 April 2005. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- The Prague Post