The 12 most-read 2011 articles in News

All human life is here - including the death of the newspaper for which that phrase was once a proud boast. But our list is headed by a man who (thankfully) got his forecast spectacularly wrong
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Don't expect our list of this year's most-read articles to match the major news breaks too closely.

There are two basic reasons. First, the big breaks are covered widely, splitting the audience widely and over a long period of time so our more distinctive articles are likely to be the most popular. Second, even a widely read online audience craves some light relief, as you'll see.

Before we list our most-read articles, look at this year's top headlines, including links to a key part of our coverage for each:

January: the Tunisian government falls

February: Hosni Mubarak resigns as president of Egypt

March: an earthquake triggers a tsunami that devastates the east cost of Japan

April: millions celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton

May: US forces kill Osama bin Laden

July: News of the World closes as hacking scandal engulfs News International

July: Amy Winehouse dies

July: 76 killed in Norway after bomb in Oslo and shootings at a political youth camp on the island of Utøya

August: Cars, bus, and shops set ablaze as rioters protest after a man was shot dead by the Met police

October: Evictions begin at Dale Farm travellers' site near Basildon in Essex

October: Anti-capitalist protesters pitch their tents outside St Pauls in London

October: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is killed in Sirte

November: Public sector workers stage marches and mass protests over plans to reform their pensions

The 12 most-read articles from 2011 in our News channel

But before we start, an honourable mention for a story from 20 December that fell just outside the list, but is still growing at a rate that might see it enter the list by the end of the year: Alarm as Dutch lab creates highly contagious killer flu

1. US preacher warns end of the world is nigh: 21 May, around 6pm, to be precise

2. Krokodil: The drug that eats junkies

3. Lost world: Scenes from North Korea's closed society

4. The £400 test that tells you how long you'll live

5. Prince Philip: Ninety gaffes in 90 years

6. Students name best (and worst) universities

7. Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

8. Mystery of the mummy's Chinese travel ban

9. No happy ending: the end of Obama's Hollywood romance

10. America's secret plan to arm Libya's rebels

11. Gaddafi's death breached the law, says Russia

12. Man appears in FHM's '100 Sexiest Women' list


The 12 most-read 2011 articles in NEWS | SPORT | OPINION | ENVIRONMENT | LIFE & STYLE | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | TRAVEL | 50 BEST and The 12 most-viewed 2011 VIDEO articles

Plus: The 12 treats of Christmas: 2011's BEST TECH RELEASES

And looking forward: Alan Cleaver, Online House Hunter: 2012 HOUSING PREDICTIONS