The IoS Happy List 2012 - the celebrities who inspire

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Rebecca Adlington

This, the first British swimmer to win two Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the ever-smiling face of the athletes who will, we're confident, make us all proud at London 2012.

Sir David Attenborough

Probably the man who would, were we suddenly a republic, win any vote hands down to be president of the country. Few people have ever so successfully combined education and entertainment.

Clare Balding

The doyenne of British sports broadcasters, she is a model of informed enthusiasm whenever she appears on screen (and off it, too). Has been successfully treated for thyroid cancer.

Camila Batmanghelidjh

This daughter of a Catholic and a Muslim is the founder of Kids Company, which cares for vulnerable and troubled youngsters in Britain. And if that does not make us happy enough, her colourful outfits always will.

Cerrie Burnell

Presenter of CBeebies who puts a smile on the face of our under-fives. Born with a left arm which ends at the elbow, and unable to read until the age of 10 because of dyslexia, she is an inspiration.

David Hockney

Britain's greatest living artist. His recent exhibition of landscapes lifted all our spirits. His draughtsmanship and use of perspective and colour make him a perfect antidote to the banalities of "art" installations.

Monty Panesar

One of the very few world-class cricketers to look as if he is actually enjoying himself, this bowler – born to Punjabi Sikh parents in Luton – is probably the most popular player in the country.

Chris Powell

Manager of Charlton Athletic, the first senior British football club to achieve promotion this season, he is immensely popular wherever he goes and could well, in the future, be the first black England manager.

Timothy Spall

Now approaching national treasure status, this actor has survived leukaemia and his good, strong heart shines through everything he does – including navigating his boat around Britain in the company of his wife Shane.

Victoria Wood

For many years one of the most witty Britons, she is probably the funniest vegetarian in the world. Writer, director, singer, composer, actress – is it fair that one person has so much talent?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015