The silly list, Part 2: A look back at the most ridiculous moments that summed up 2013

 

 

35. News: Literal minded

The Daily Telegraph noticed belatedly that the Oxford English Dictionary had – two years earlier – let in a definition of "literally" as: "Informally, used for emphasis rather than being actually true." Pedants literally went into meltdown and were turned into candles.

34. Politics: Lord Byron

"Look at me, a straightforward, burger-eating chap." This was the message that George Osborne intended to send with a tweeted picture of a meat-patty by his side, the night before he was due to give the June Spending Review. More fool he, as journalists spotted the burger was from Byron, where a takeaway rarely comes in under ten guineas. Eric Pickles showed remarkable agility with his own tweeted snap in response – a salad.

33. Culture: Please do try this at home

Please do try this at home: Author Amy Tan revealed the fun that can be had with the cover of her new novel, The Valley of Amazement - it turns out that the half-face on the cover of the book fits perfectly over the lower half of the reader's face
Thanks to the author Amy Tan for some moments of exquisite silliness on Twitter, after she revealed the fun that can be had with the cover of her new novel, The Valley of Amazement. It turns out that the half-face on the cover of the book fits perfectly over the lower half of the reader's face.

32. News: The wooden train arriving at platform seven…

(OJO Images)
In January, Bigjigs Toys published details of its toy trains division's bid to run the west coast mainline. It highlighted its k 100 per cent punctuality and safety record since 2005; seeing the silly side, a Department of Transport official responded sincerely, writing that: "Wooden carriages are unlikely to meet modern crashworthiness standards for operation on the heavy rail network."

31. Celebrity: Mais ou est Gérard?

How much did Gérard Depardieu actor want to avoid a tax bill in his native France? First, he moved to Belgium. And then we learnt in February that he had earnt Russian citizenship by personal decree of his 'friend' President Putin, and taken up residency in Saransk, in the central Russian province of Mordovia (famed for its Stalin-era gulags!) (AFP/Getty)
How much did the sybaritic actor want to avoid a tax bill in his native France? First, he moved to Belgium. And then we learnt in February that he had earnt Russian citizenship by personal decree of his "friend" President Putin, and taken up residency in Saransk, in the central Russian province of Mordovia (famed for its Stalin-era gulags!).

30. Culture: And now for something completely different

(Getty)
New editor Ian "Lol" Katz injected hitherto rarely seen humour into Newsnight. A whimsical final item swiftly became Katz's trademark, perhaps best represented by the first appearance on a current- affairs programme of Sesame Street's Cookie Monster.

29. Politics: Cuddling up to Kim

(AFP/Getty)
In September, the colourful former US basketball star Dennis Rodman paid his second visit to North Korea to see the "good-hearted kid" he calls his friend, Kim Jong-un. He visited the leader's private island: "It's like Hawaii or Ibiza, but he's the only one that lives there." North Korea's record on human rights gave him little pause for thought. "I don't care what the fuck he does over there," said Rodman. "Between me and him, we're friends. I don't care."

28. Sport: The tooth will out!

(Getty)
At the Honda Classic in Palm Beach in February and March, the then-world number-one golfer Rory McIlroy quit by walking off the course during the second round while seven over par. The reason, he said, was toothache – although just before leaving, he was photographed demolishing a massive sandwich. Cue much embarrassment for McIlroy, who did subsequently apologise.

27. Fashion: The Theresa and Cara Show

The Daily Mail asked, "Is Theresa May Turning Into Cara Delevingne?" on the basis of some ingenious picture research turning up photos of the Home Secretary and the model sometimes wearing clothes that looked a bit similar if you shut your eyes or used Google Search for "similar images".

26. Web: Smoke and mirrors

Smoke and mirrors: In March, the world watched a chimney no grander than a prison's ventilation pipe for news of a decision about a new Pope (Getty)
In March, the world watched a chimney no grander than a prison's ventilation pipe for news of a decision about a new Pope. Yet, for hour after hour, no white smoke appeared. The Metro newspaper live-blogged the boredom, and drew a huge online audience to nothing but its wry satire on rolling news culture. "BREAKING: no smoke… Update: still no smoke," and, much later… "Still no smoke. Awkward." When a seagull landed on the chimney, Metro's site nearly buckled under the weight of excitement.

25. Sport: He's behind you!

He's behind you! Rugby Lions centre Manu Tuilagi gave David Cameron a pair of bunny ears as they proposed in Downing Street for photographers (AFP/Getty)
In September on the steps of Downing Street, the rugby Lions centre Manu Tuilagi was standing behind David Cameron for a photo. He gave the prime minister a pair of bunny ears, as you would. He apologised on Twitter, and though former Lion and commentator Brian Moore described him 'a complete and utter prat', the PM said no apology was necessary.

24. Culture: All's fair in love…

This was the year that erotic fiction got silly, with publishers apparently competing to offer the weirdest erotica "with a twist". If Hedging His Bets – an erotic novel whose hero is a werehedgehog – is just too vanilla for your beloved's literary taste , try Taken by the T-Rex – part of a new genre known as "dinosaur erotica". "Warning: This is a tale of beast sex" cautions the blurb. Grr!

23. Fashion: Shaggy shoes

Phoebe Philo and Fendi covered high heels in mink, while Rochas' Marco Zanini smothered them in feathers. Footwear looked to Fraggle Rock for inspiration for 2013. Approach with caution. It's easy to end up looking like Lily Savage lost down Sesame Street.

22. Sport: Farah-away look

(via YouTube)
After he'd won the New Orleans half-marathon in February, double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah was interviewed on the local WDSU news channel by LaTonya Norton – who clearly had no idea who he was. "Now, haven't you run before?" she inquired. He played along with the idea that he was a fun runner made good. In his autobiography Mo was forgiving. "It's not her job to keep up to date with who's who in British athletics," he wrote. "Besides, in America no one knows who I am."

21. Celebrity: Straight outta Preston

The American rapper Coolio chummed up with some local students at his after-party following a gig in Preston. He promised he'd come round to their student digs the next night and cook them dinner – and he ACTUALLY DID. After serving them Caprese salad, his signature dish "Chicken à la Daaaamn" and peach crumble, Coolio and the kids had a jamming session in which they rapped – what else? – his 1995 hit "Gangsta's Paradise".

 

CLICK HERE for part 1

CLICK HERE for part 3

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

    £15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

    Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

    Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

    Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

    £18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

    Day In a Page

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links