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

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
VIDEO
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
News
Ethical matters: pupils during a philosophy lesson
educationTaunton School's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success
Arts & Entertainment
Play It Forward: the DC Record Fair in Washington, US
musicIndependent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads on Record Store Day
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Online Advertising Account Executive , St Pauls , London

    £26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

    Advertising Account Executive - Online, Central London

    £25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

    Senior Infrastructure Consultant

    £50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...

    Public Sector Audit - Bristol

    £38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...

    Day In a Page

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
    Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

    Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

    Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
    Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

    Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

    Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
    Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

    Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

    The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
    Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

    Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

    The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
    Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

    Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

    This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
    Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

    Education: Secret of Taunton's success

    Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
    10 best smartphones

    10 best smartphones

    With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
    Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

    Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

    The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
    Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

    Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

    Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
    The pain of IVF

    The pain of IVF

    As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal