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Web inventor 'Briton of the year'

Despite strong competition from Kelly Holmes and Sir Norman Foster, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been named as Briton of the year for 2004
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor
Sir Tim Berners-Lee has scooped the award for 'Best Briton 2004', 14 years after combining HTML with URLs to come up with the Web.

At a ceremony held in central London last night and attended by politicians and celebrities from all walks of life, Berners-Lee claimed the top gong among a list of 2004 award winners which included double gold-medal winning Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes and architect Sir Norman Foster.

Berners-Lee received the award in the science category before also walking away with the overall award and a cheque for £25,000.

Collecting his gong at the Royal Courts of Justice he said: "I have won awards for computers but I have never won an award for being British."

The award caps a spectacular 12 months for Berners-Lee; he was knighted during 2004 as well as collecting a lifetime achievement gong at the CNET UK awards.

In June 2004 Berners-Lee received a €1m award from the Finnish Technology Award Foundation, having previously resisted any temptation to cash in on his invention, fearing it would have stifled development.

Although in recent years Berners-Lee has been based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US he expressed pride in being British.

"I am very proud to be British, it is great fun to be British and this award is just an amazing honour," he said.

In 2002 Berners-Lee also made it onto the BBC's shortlist for the greatest ever Britons -- an award eventually won by Winston Churchill.

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