Revolution versus Wolf Hall? Russell Brand more influential than Hilary Mantel, according to Debrett's 500 list

The comedian and Newsnight guest has been placed higher on this year's list of 500 Most Influential People in Britain Today in the books category than the multiple prize-winning author

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The Independent Online

It is doubtful if Russell Brand sets much store by Debrett’s Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners, a tome which remains the archaic standard by which British politeness is measured. But the Revolution writer and firebrand comedian has been named one of the 500 most influential and inspiring people in modern Britain by the publisher.

Debretts’ annual list is as eclectic as ever this year including established personalities such as Tony Blair and Richard Branson as well as YouTube sensation Zoe Suggs and Oscars hopeful Eddie Redmayne.

Brand has been included for his contribution to books and publishing, coming second to Naughts and Crosses novelist and Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman. Despite the success of Wolf Hall, which has recently been made into a lauded BBC adaptation, Booker prize-winner Hilary Mantel makes it only to ninth place on the list, eight places behind Brand who is arguably better known for his comedy than his writing.

Author Hilary Mantel

Over all, the youngest personality on the 500-strong list is 17-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, while the oldest person is 88-year-old wildlife broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

There are 311 new names in this year’s list which covers 24 sectors, including architecture, education, sport, food and journalism. Less than half the list, just 147 names, are women.

Other notable new entries include actor Idris Elba, Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, television presenter Clare Balding, musicians Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, and digital sensation Jamal Edwards.

Joanne Milner, Chief Executive at Debrett’s, said: “We are delighted to announce this year’s Debrett’s 500.  It’s a fascinating mix of people, and not entirely who you might expect.

"Every individual, though, demonstrates outstanding qualities of influence, achievement and inspiration."

Full list of Books figures on the list are as follows:

Malorie Blackman

Russell Brand

James Daunt

Carol Ann Duffy CBE

John Fallon

Jonny Gellar

Andrew Holgate

Ursula Mackenzie

Hilary Mantel

Simon Mayo

Ian McEwan

Richard Mollet

Kate Mosse OBE

Gail Rebuck

Charlie Redmayne

J.K. Rowling

Nicola Solomon

Peter Straus

David Walliams

Tom Weldon