Mother Teresa, Moses and Simon Cowell are greatest leaders, say teens

The Prince's Trust surveyed 1,095 teenagers. Also making it into their top ten great leaders were England footballer John Terry and King Henry VIII.

The teenagers defined their top leaders as those who were "inspirational" and "helped others".

England captain Terry commented: "I've always liked to lead by example. I take great pride and responsibility in being a leader. To organise and help others is one of my strengths. It’s also great that young people see me in that way - I feel very privileged to be mentioned with some of the world’s great leaders.

"It can be tough for young people at the moment. Projects like this that develop self-esteem and leadership ability are really important."

The top three greatest leaders were Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, while Ghurka champion Joanna Lumley and business guru Sir Alan Sugar were also in the top ten.

“I’d never thought of myself as a leader but I’m thrilled and touched that young people think of me that way. It goes to show that if you’re passionate enough about something you can shine a light on the subject and make things happen," said Lumley.

The survey was commissioned to coincide with the launch of the Youth of Today campaign, which is encouraging hundreds of young people to become leaders and inspire others.

According to the survey, 70 per cent of teenagers claim they are more likely to be inspired by someone they know than by a celebrity, challenging popular perceptions of British youth.

Sixty-seven per cent of those surveyed said there were more celebrities setting a bad example than good, while sixty-four per cent said they were inspired by someone in their family.

Adam Nichols from The Youth of Today comments: "People think that youth today only aspire to be like celebrities but they're wrong. This campaign will give young people more inspiration closer to home.”

He adds: “Shows such as The X Factor prove that Britain really does have young talent - but we cannot rely on The X Factor alone. We need to find new ways to unearth the next generation of potential.”

The Youth of Today, funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, aims to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of opportunities for young people as leaders of change in their communities.

Lumley added: “There is more pressure on young people today than ever before. We need to discover and encourage young leaders who will rise up in these difficult times and show that there is no problem too big to be sorted, nothing to be afraid of, and that help is available from the most unexpected people.”