Author Jane Austen is "waiting in the wings" to become the next famous Briton to be honoured on the country's banknotes, outgoing Bank of England governor Mervyn King said.
The writer of 19th century classics such as "Pride & Prejudice", "Sense & Sensibility" and "Emma" is already a "reserve" figure whose image could be a clear candidate to replace that of naturalist Charles Darwin on the 10-pound note when his time is up, King said on Tuesday.
The announcement potentially defuses criticisms of a future lack of female figures on the currency, which have been levelled at the central bank since it said in April that wartime leader Winston Churchill would feature on the five-pound note from 2016, replacing prison reformer Elizabeth Fry.
Churchill and Darwin will complement economist Adam Smith and steam engine inventors Matthew Boulton and James Watt to complete the all-male line-up - other than the image of Queen Elizabeth on the overleaf.
The monarch is on one side of each of Britain's four denominations of bank notes, while celebrated Britons take their turn for 10 to 20-year stints on the other side.