Pandora's People to Watch in 2008: the headline-makers coming your way

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The Independent Online

BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS

* Ellen Page

Going to be Hollywood's Big Thing in 2008, following her Golden Globe-nominated performance as the brassy pregnant 16-year-old in Juno, out in February. The 5ft 1in, 20-year-old Canadian has an acting repertoire that already includes domestic abuse, abortion, castration and paedophilia. This year brings a further five films, among them Jack and Diane, a love affair between two hairy (werewolf) teenage lesbians, and the rumoured adaptation of an unfinished Edgar Allen Poe short story, Light-house. Page's director for Juno, Jason Reitman, who helmed Thank You For Smoking, is another worth following.

* Gemma Arterton

Reported to have landed the part of a Bond girl in her second movie. Rada graduate Arterton, 22, is supposed to line up opposite Daniel Craig in Bond 22, filming of which commences this month for a Christmas release. Head girl in the recent St Trinian's remake, she will appear in Guy Ritchie's Russian mobster flick RocknRolla, and also in black comedy Three and Out, for which she'll share a sex scene with Mackenzie Crook (ratty Gareth from The Office).

* Shaun Bailey

Breaks the mould of Conservative candidates: Bailey, 35, is an Afro-Caribbean, hoodie-wearing community worker who was brought up by a single mother on a London sink estate. He is standing for the Tories at the next election in Hammersmith, precisely the sort of seat Cameron has to win if he wants to order new wallpaper for No 10 from his mate George Osborne.

* Bilawal Bhutto

Armani sunglasses. English as a first language. One term into a history degree at Oxford. When the bookish 19-year-old returns to the serenity of his texts at Christ Church College, having been bequeathed the chairmanship of the Pakistan People's Party upon his mother's assassination, he will find that he carries the expectations of democrats 4,000 miles away in one of the world's most unstable countries. Fellow students will notice the ramped-up security about town.

* Adele

The lippy south London soul singer, 19, will be all over us this year following success on MySpace. Despite not releasing her slow-burner of a debut record until February, Adele has already been awarded the Critics' Choice Brit Award and been dubbed "the new Amy Winehouse" but hopefully without the booze problem, the scabby junkie boyfriend, and the propensity to stuff her beak with Colombia's finest.

* Julia Goldsworthy

Considered a Liberal Democrat leader of the future, the 29-year-old Cornish MP has stepped up from shadowing the Treasury to become the party's Communities spokeswoman. A keen rower, Goldsworthy is unlikely to pop up on reality television again after her lycra-clad participation in Channel 4's The Games saw her cruelly dubbed "the Abi Titmuss of Westminster".

COMEBACK KINGS (AND QUEEN)

* Daniel Day-Lewis

Slimy moustaches and divining rods at the ready! Day-Lewis, now 50, is back with only his third movie in a decade, playing a barbarous Texas oil baron in There Will Be Blood. His forceful performance in this brutal, turn-of-the-20th-century parable about the greedy battles for liquid gold, has secured him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor and plenty of buzz ahead of the Oscars.

* Carla Bruni

Mick Jagger, Donald Trump, Kevin Costner, Eric Clapton ... and now she's bagged the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Bruni, 39, is back dating the big boys with a vengeance and this time she has her eyes on the waterbed in the Élyse Palace. Once described as a "praying mantis", the Italian former supermodel says she would "rather be called a predator than an old flea bag". Sarkozy, 52, might take notice of his new girlfriend's warning earlier this year: "I'm monogamous occasionally but I prefer polygamy and polyandry. Love lasts a long time but burning desire, two to three weeks." Bonne chance, Nic! It makes Cherie Blair's activities with Carole Caplin seem mundane.

* Harrison Ford/ Indiana Jones

With two exceptions (Air Force One and What Lies Beneath), Ford has provoked little fanfare since 1993, when an arachnologist named a terrifying-looking spider, Calponia harrisonfordi, after him, and The Fugitive was released. The 65-year-old returns this May, reprising his aweless archaeologist Dr Henry "Indiana" Jones for a fourth installment, two decades after the bullwhip and sweaty brown fedora were last dusted off. Steven Spielberg directs. And a creaky Ford performs some of his own stunts.

OLD FRIENDS

* David Walliams

The 36-year-old comic, * Williams, is trying to establish his serious acting credentials, with several film parts this year, including the lead in the BBC's Frankie Howerd drama, Rather You Than Me. He has signed a deal to write two children's books and is putting together an American version of Little Britain. Walliams makes a big point of fraternising with fans so be sure to ask him for an autograph if you see him or perhaps even shout out your favourite catchphrase from Little Britain.

* Jonathan Ross

Will this finally be the year that someone says "No Jonathan"? The obsequious BBC presenter, who has a three-year contract worth 18m that expires in 2010, must prove his worth to the Corporation's abacus-wielders, who are busy slashing others' jobs and are reviewing the enormous sums paid out to the likes of Ross, Terry Wogan and Graham Norton. Stay with the Beeb or follow the lolly elsewhere?

* Simon Fanshawe

Following his repeated profanity outbursts in 2006, the broadcaster and manners expert reined in his bad language last year to stay largely off Pandora's sweardar. Continued behavioural improvements require his inclusion again.

OTHERS ON THE UP

The frighteningly precocious 13-year-old Saoirse Ronan, nominated for a Globe for her part in Atonement, has three films out this year, including The Lovely Bones. Alfie Allen, little brother of Lily, stars in Peter Shaffer's play Equus. His actress girlfriend Jaime Winstone, daughter of Ray, features in Boogie Woogie, about the London art world, but awaits a big break. Ruby Stewart, 20, Rod's wee lass, will be found modelling in her scanties and flitting about the West End. US-born Brit actor Andrew Garfield (Lions for Lambs) appears in The Other Boleyn Girl with Scarlett Johansson, and in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. How will comedian Tom Basden follow his piano-playing triumph as Best Newcomer at Edinburgh last summer? Dan Stevens follows up The Line of Beauty and Dracula playing Edward Ferrars in Andrew Davies' Sense and Sensibility for the Beeb first episode tonight. Jean Sarkozy, the French President's finely-sculpted enfant terrible, is expected to spend time acquainting himself with London, following his mother's divorce and move to England. Hamant Verma, 28, takes Asian newspaper Eastern Eye from strength to strength. Will Labour's former general secretary Peter Watt feel Inspector Knacker's truncheon, after he admitted knowing that David Abrahams had been making donations via third parties? Emily Benn, born 1989 the granddaughter of Tony and the niece of Environment Secretary Hilary, will stand for Parliament in East Worthing and Shoreham at the next election; she has plenty to say in the meantime. Ed Davey, the Lib Dems' former pork pie maker-cum-shadow Foreign Secretary must stick it to David Miliband in the Commons. Immigration minister Liam Byrne is tipped to do well in any cabinet reshuffle. Nadine Dorries, the boisterous, knicker-waving Conservative MP, is charmingly indiscreet and guaranteed to jollify Westminster proceedings over the next 12 moons. And it is always worth keeping an eye on the Tories' frontbench attack dog Chris Grayling, who likes to sink his teeth into the soft belly of a Labour minister when the opportunity arises.

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