MR BLOBBY rose unaccountably but effortlessly to the top - in spite of being referred to in jocular fashion by the second youngest and second least attractive member of the Cabinet, John Redwood.
KEVIN KEEGAN, once dubbed 'the Julie Andrews of football', magicked Newcastle United back to life. He is now one of the front-runners to take Graham Taylor's seat on the England bench.
DAVE MELLOR (once known as the Rt Hon David Mellor QC, MP) emerged from his troubles to become a pundit, columnist, football phone-in host (sub for Danny Baker), disc jockey and all-purpose One Who Knows to make this a stunningly lucrative year. You can't, as some might say, keep a good man down.
TONI MORRISON became the first African American and only the eighth woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
JOANNA LUMLEY became the year's big television thing artistically - Absolutely Fabulous won her an Emmy, a Bafta and two prizes in the British Comedy Awards - and commercially - as upmarket housewife crumpet in Fairy Glazeguard ads, randy adulteress for British Gas, and a much imitated icon for Cellnet.
Asil Nadir - up, up and away to Cyprus, jumping pounds 3.5m bail, embarrassing the Serious Fraud Office over allegations that he had tried to bribe a trial judge and ending the year with a threat to sue the British authorities for pounds 4.5bn.
MARTYN (here is the good news) Lewis.
MARLA 'THE BODY' MAPLES, wearing a dollars 2m diamond tiara, finally married Donald Trump at an intimate ceremony attended by 1,500 close friends. Was the four-year wait worth it? Can Donald afford another divorce?
RICHARD BRANSON began his year by comprehensively embarrassing Lord King and the World's Smuggest Airline over the 'dirty tricks' passenger-stealing affair, winning pounds 610,000 in libel damages, plus an estimated pounds 3m in costs. He ended it by supplying a plane for Sir Edward Heath to fly the prisoners Michael Wainwright, Paul Ride and Simon Dunn out of Iraq.
PETER WOOD, chief executive of Direct Line insurance, got a Christmas gift of pounds 18m - a bonus for his hard work in 1993. Then came the bad news: Direct Line decided to end the bonus system, leaving him with his annual salary of pounds 350,000. Then more good news: as consolation, he was paid a further pounds 24m.
EMMA THOMPSON emerged from the shadow of her husband, Kenneth Branagh, to become a red-hot property. She won best actress Oscar for Howards End and plaudits for The Remains of the Day. Next to be seen as a defence lawyer in Jim Sheridan's Guildford Four feature, In the Name of the Father.
JEFF TORRINGTON won Whitbread Book of the Year with his first novel, Swing Hammer Swing] It took him 30 years to write.
SIR RANULPH FIENNES and Dr Michael Stroud completed the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic on foot. Happy days] But Jack Frost saw to it that both men finished with less foot than they had started with.
ALAN CLARK, former defence minister - a self-styled 'maelstrom of egocentricity and self-indulgence' - turned himself into a national entertainer with his lust'n'snob memoirs. He rounded off the year with a bravura performance at the Matrix Churchill inquiry and escaped scot-free.
CLARE LATIMER, favourite of the political classes, settled libel actions, as did the Prime Minister. Now only Joe Lyons is a more famous caterer.
ANN WIDDECOMBE MP, social security minister and opponent of women priests, became - 'with huge relief' - a Roman Catholic.
COUNTESS RAINE SPENCER - also known as 'Acid Raine' - married Count Jean-Franois de Chambrun, 55, in July. The count questioned the bill from the hotel where the reception took place, but paid up in
JANE CAMPION, New Zealand film director, won the Palme d'Or at Cannes for The Piano, and is tipped for an Oscar.
Former hostage BRIAN KEENAN, 42, married Audrey Doyle, 29, his physiotherapist.
Accusing WOODY ALLEN of crimes and misdemeanours, Mia Farrow won custody over three of their children.
REBECCA STEPHENS, 31, on top of Everest.
LONDON ZOO was declared extinct in June 1992. This autumn it declared its first working profit for 17 years.
ELTON JOHN received the Ordre des Arts et Lettres, France's highest cultural award, and won pounds 350,000 damages from the Sunday Mirror, which wrongly said he had been seen spitting out party snacks. Earned himself a cool pounds 900,000 Christmas present by selling some of his jewels at Sotheby's.
MATTHEW GATES, 21, a security guard, became the first man to win a claim at an an industrial tribunal over sexual harassment (by his male boss).
KARYN SMITH, 22, and Patricia Cahill, 20, were released after three years in a Thai jail, after a diplomatic quickstep by John Major.
MIKE ATHERTON became England cricket captain and won the privilege of leading the team to the West Indies.
NASA put the Hubble telescope and its own plummeting reputation to rights.
DIANA MADDOCK won the Christchurch by-election with a 35.4 per cent swing to the Liberal Democrats.
FERDINAND MARCOS was finally granted permission to be reburied in Laoag in the Philippines, having spent the previous four years underground in Hawaii. No such luck for his devoted, well-heeled wife Imelda, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
LINFORD CHRISTIE won the world 100m title in 9.87 seconds at Stuttgart, cutting one hundredth of a second off Carl Lewis's world record. Sally Gunnell ran the 400m hurdles in 52.74 seconds, setting a world record.
MICKEY KANTOR and Sir Leon Brittan became world superheroes for sorting out Gatt after seven years of tortuous negotiations.
SALMAN RUSHDIE won the Booker of Bookers (best of 25 years of Booker prizes) for Midnight's Children; met John Major; won a pounds 25,000 Swiss prize; and divorced Marianne Wiggins.
EDWINA CURRIE MP earned seven MPs' salaries - pounds 200,000 - for a sex'n'voting novel.
TINY ROWLAND and the al-Fayed brothers kissed and made up in Harrods' feud (sorry, food) hall.
BRYCE TAYLOR made pounds 100,000 with photos of the Princess of Wales taken in his gym. But she sued. . .
VLADIMIR ZHIRINOVSKY, anti-Semitic neo-imperialist promising cheap vodka and new national pride, played a blinder in the Russian parliamentary elections and gave everyone the heebie-jeebies. Will he go further? That is one of the questions of the decade.
RACHEL WHITEREAD won the Turner Prize as news came through that her controversial sculpture, House, had been earmarked for demolition by Bow Neighbourhood Council. It has since been given a stay of execution.
SHANE and Jean-Paul from The Archers came out.
ROGER LEVITT, city fraudster, got off with 180 hours' community service. But, as he said, he'd lost business worth pounds 150m.
DINOSAURS, once thought to be extinct, invaded the Earth.
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