95 FOR 95

Anouk Aimee, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Dodgy, Kirsty Hume, Neil Kinnock, Jacques Santer, David Unsworth. . . . . . . an A to Z of 95 names that you will be hearing much more about this year - whether you like it or not
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A Anouk Aimee: The French actress who plays a fashion designer in Robert Altman's film Pret Porter, to be released in March, looks set to follow Lauren Hutton and Isabella Rossellini and become an older-woman-as-model icon. Aimee, 62, is being photographed by Herb Ritts for Donna Karan's spring advertising campaign.

Lisa Anson: This year should see the former Kiss FM and MTV presenter's elevation to the national stage. Anson, 29, takes over the Radio 1 lunch-time slot from Emma Freud, who steps down to spend more time with the millions earned by her husband Richard Curtis for Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Paul Attanasio: The rise of the writer is the latest Hollywood phenomenon and none is rising faster than Attanasio. Author of Quiz Show, a sophisticated slice of American cultural history, and Disclosure, unsophisticated tosh, shows he is at least versatile.

B Raymond Barre: A centrist, successful, French prime minister under Giscard d'Estaing, Barre, 70, is pondering whether to join the presidential race this spring, running modestly to the left of the two contending, Gaullist barons - Chirac and Balladur. No real chance of winning but, with no serious contenders farther to the left, he might do surprisingly well.

The Beatles: Critics have dismissed this young four-piece band from Liverpool as second-rate Oasis sound-alikes but they confounded detractors with their recent hit Live at the BBC. 1995 brings a Beatles documentary series, a new single, and - allegedly - an album of previously unreleased material.

Antonia Bird: For rising British directors, look to the theatre. Bird is one of a number of our stage directors headed for movie glory. Her study of homosexuality in the priesthood, Priest, provoked a Hollywood bidding war, and should sail to success back home on a squall of topicality.

Ian Bostridge: Bostridge, 30, is a tenor with a hungry look but gourmet sensibilities - and an exacting musical intelligence that makes him easily the most rewarding and attractive young recital voice to have emerged in Britain in the past few years.

John Browne: In July, Browne will emerge as one of the world's top oilmen when he takes over as chief executive of British Petroleum. He joined in 1966 as an 18-year-old, and has been destined for great things since spotting a tax wheeze 10 years ago that saved the group £200m.

Emily Buchanan: Journalist Buchanan moves over from BBC 2's Assignment documentary series to succeed George Alagiah as foreign affairs correspondent with responsibility for the developing world. The high-profile brief for what one executive describes as "the most sought after foreign affairs job in the BBC" will ensure that Buchanan, 36, will scarcely be off screen during '95.

C Glen Chapple: The chairman of England cricket selectors, Ray Illingworth, likes an all-rounder in the side, and with Phil DeFreitas yet again failing to come up to scratch in Australia, the man who could get his chance after the Ashes tour is the 20-year-old Chapple, born in Yorkshire but doing promising things with bat and ball for Lancashire. A member of the England A team currently touring India.

Sam Chisholm: The publicity-shy Sam Chisholm, chief executive of BSkyB, will have to learn to play a more public role following last month's stock market flotation which values the satellite broadcaster at £4.5bn - bigger than British Airways or Thorn EMI.

David Coulthard: It says much for the 23-year-old Coulthard that in 1994 he emerged from the shadow of his Williams team-mate Damon Hill to be a force in his own right in Formula One motor-racing.

Edith Cresson: A former French prime minister (briefly), best known in Britain for casting doubt on the heterosexuallity of British males, Cresson, 60, becomes an EU commissioner this year. Her brief - European subsidies for research and development - will bring her into direct combat with Whitehall.

D Fred d'Aguiar: Half-Ghanaian, half-British, d'Aguiar is a poet whose short novel about being black in this country, The Longest Memory, was little noticed on publication last year, but has slowly acquired an enthusiastic following and may well capture the 1995 Whitbread Prize.

Trevor Dann: On Tuesday he starts work as head of production at the embattled Radio 1 (where he will effectively sit at the right hand of controller Matthew Bannister) and already nervous producers are squealing about a job purge. Formerly managing editor at GLR where he nurtured the likes of Chrisses Morris and Evans, Dann wrested control of the Radio 1 playlist as a precondition of joining. Could be the man to save Bannister's bacon, or if the decline continues, replace him altogether.

David Davis: Minister of State at the Foreign Office, Davis , 46, was the hard-line "Robowhip" who bullied wayward Conservative backbenchers into the Government lobbies over Maastricht. Davis is a right-winger but "essentially a loyalist". His European role at the FCO will bring him greater prominence this year and might just provide him with a stepping-stone to the Cabinet.

Dodgy: Dodgy are the best band of the year. Unfortunately it's always next year. Music magazines have long been rustling with delight at the trio's fantastically singable, hummable, danceable pop. They are just about to graduate on to front covers. 1995 must be their year. Or else 1996 . . .

Kirsten Dunst: Do we need another child prodigy? Not really. But, strangely, Dunst, 12, can act. Her performances in the upcoming Interview with the Vampire and Little Women, put Macaulay Culkin in the shade. If there is any justice, she should soon havehis career - and we our sanity back.

E Electrafixion: Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant of Echo and the Bunnymen hop back in a new incarnation - fast, stylish and saturnine. Old fans will approve and new ones will too. Their debut album is on its way.

Ruth Ellis: Blonde, a mother of two children and the manageress of a nightclub, Ellis, 28, murdered her lover David Blakely 40 years ago this year on Easter Sunday. On 13 July she was hanged at Holloway Prison in London, the last woman in Britain to be executed.

F Andy Farrell: Rugby League's big event in 1995 will be the centenary World Cup in October, at which Farrell, still only 19, promises to be a key man for England. A 6ft 4in, 17st loose forward, Farrell is already established in Wigan's all-conquering side, and has the makings of a future captain of both club and country.

Tim Firth: While actors win the plaudits instantly, it often takes until the second series to reach the writers' names on the end credits. The first outings of All Quiet on the Preston Front and Once Upon the Time in the North - two gloriously-comic celebrations of the mundane in life - marked the sparkling debut of this 29-year-old talent from Frodsham, Cheshire.

Jon Foulds: Traditionally, the chairman of the Halifax Building Society was a figurehead, but Foulds, 62, has changed that. He is set to become one of Britain's most powerful bankers if the huge merger of the Halifax and the Leeds goes through in 1995. The combined institution will be the third or fourth largest bank in the country. When Mr Foulds offers an opinion about the housing market in future, the nation had better listen.

G John Galliano: After two small-scale but much-feted collections in 1994, John Galliano's star will outshine all others in the fashion world this year, especially if rumours prove correct that the designer will take over the Paris couture house, Givenchy, when Hubert de Givenchy retires at the end of '95.

Sonia Gandhi: India's governing Congress Party at its most unpopular, so in a desperate search for the old dynastic charisma of the Nehrus Sonia Gandhi, widow of the assassinated Rajiv, is once again being touted as the next party leader. Facts against her: she is Italian and ungifted politically. Facts for: she is unencumbered by the caste and regional loyalties that diminish other contenders. She has refused before, but this time she may agree, if only to act as political regent for her 22-year-old daughter Priyanka.

Daniele Gatti: Gatti, 33, is Covent Garden's new Principal Guest Conductor, whose mastery of core Italian repertory delivers the sort of performances you can hand-on-heart call authentic, the Real Thing, and who happens to be the man the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra wants at its head instead of Ashkenazy.

Peter George: After 30 years with Ladbrokes, the betting shops, casinos, Texas Homecare and hotels group, Peter George is preparing to take the company in a new direction. In April he will unveil his blueprint, having taken over as chief executive a yearago. Gambling will remain the core, but don't be surprised to see other activities opened up - or ditched.

Mikhail Gorbachev: Banished from the Kremlin in 1991, but increasingly open about his ambition to return, Gorbachev, 63, has been picked by Russia's leading astrologer, Pavel Globa, as a man to watch in '95. But Globa thinks he will once again be a "temporary man", to be replaced in 1997 by "a more interesting figure".

Phil Gramm: His mile-wide Texas drawl may not be to everyone's taste, but a great deal more will be heard of it this year. Aged 52, the senior Senator from Texas is furthest along of all prospective Republican candidates in plans for a 1996 White House run. Gramm is a tax-cutting, government-slashing conservative. He has little popular appeal, but a keen mind and pots of money (a war chest of $8m at last count).

Boris Gromov: An Afghan War veteran with political ambitions that go beyond merely replacing another "Afgantsy", the current and deeply compromised Defence Minister Pavel Grachev. Gromov, 58, led the retreat from Kabul and was sacked this week as deputy defence minister. He is likely to profit from having distanced himself from two seemingly doomed ventures - the war in Chechnya and the political career of Boris Yeltsin.

H William Hague: Hague, 33, is a Minister of State at Social Security, and will spend 1995 piloting through Parliament some heavy-weight legislation on pensions, the disabled and probably reform the Child Support Agency. His stock is rising, and defending these Bills will keep him constantly in the public gaze. The one-time boy reactionary who took the Tory Party conference by storm when he was 16 has matured into a dangerously-amiable minister.

Matthew Harding: Matthew Harding, 41, is said to be worth more than £130m thanks to his expertise in the re-insurance market. A fanatical Chelsea supporter, he already has a big stake in the club but might be tempted to invest more in '95. If he does, hewill want more of a say in how the club is run, and this could make him a new power in the football world.

Harriet Harman: 1995 is make-or-break year for the 44-year-old shadow employment secretary. Having regained her elected place in Tony Blair's Shadow Cabinet, she is once again taking on hard-man Michael Portillo, who is generally judged to have had the better of the contest when she shadowed him as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. But Ms Harman has toughened up her act and will give at least as good as she gets.

Jesse Helms: The Republican takeover in the US Congress will release several of the party's crazy uncles from the attic and none come crazier, or shrewder, than the 73-year-old senator from North Carolina. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this unmodernised Cold Warrior will directly influence world events for the first time in a colourful and curmudgeonly career.

Tim Henman: If anyone is going to knock Jeremy Bates off his perch as Britain's top tennis player, it should be the rangy, clean-hitting 20-year-old from Oxford. Rose from 372 to 153 in the world rankings in under a year, but has recently fallen away slightly because of a broken ankle. Looks to have both the skill and the temperament to cope with the most unenviable tag in domestic sport - Great British Tennis Hope.

Harry Hill: The comic with his top pocket full of Biros deserves a big break. A past winner of the Perrier for best newcomer at Edinburgh, Hill's stream-of-consciousness ramblings have already made him a star of the stand-up circuit. A couple of television pilots suggest his surrealism can transfer to the small screen which should see him with a major show by the end of the year.

Adolf Hitler: Somewhere along the way in this year of anniversaries, perhaps 50 years on from his suicide on 30 April 1945, we will pause to think about the man who unleashed the war that killed 55 million people.

Kim Howells: Tory Central Office believes it knows Labour's Achilles heel: its commitment to create elected tax-raising assemblies for Scotland and Wales, and regional councils in England. Tony Blair has appointed Dr Howells, 48, to his shadow Home Office team with a brief to counter the Conservatives' attack on "more government". A bookish mountaineer who was previously a researcher for the NUM, Howells will be thrust into the limelight as the Welshman who must sell devolution to the English.

Kirsty Hume: Last July, Scottish 18-year-old Kirsty Hume appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar and was being touted as modelling's new star. She has yet to become a household name with the impact that Nadja Auerman has had in 1994, but this should be her year. She will know when she has achieved super status when, like Linda, Naomi and Cindy, she is referred to simply as "Kirsty".

J Jiang Zemin: As president of China and designated successor to Deng Xiaoping, the 90-year-old supreme leader of 1.2bn Chinese, Jiang Zemin, 68, is theoretically a weak heartbeat away from real power. When his mentor finally dies, he is bound to be a contender.

K Danny Kelly: The quick-witted, fast-talking editor, 36, of Q magazine earned a weekly slot on national radio after playing side-kick on Danny Baker's Saturday morning Radio 1 show, and is sure to pick up more in '95. In fact, if Baker's ratings continue to go the way of the Domestos, then expect a weekend wake-up call from Kelly instead.

Jude Kelly: The Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse has lined up a Spring/Summer Season to rival the National. Alan Rickman directs a new play by Sharman Macdonald. Timothy West stars in Alan Bennett's Getting On (directed by Prunella Scales). Northern Broadsides perform The Cracked Pot by Blake Morrison. Steven Berkoff, Neil Bartlett, the list could go on. If Kelly, 39, can assemble this kind of talent, maybe she should take over from Richard Eyre.

Simon Keswick: As taipan of Jardine Matheson, Hong Kong's mightiest firm, Keswick, 52, has been a power in east Asia for more than a decade. But the imminent takeover bid for Northern Electric by Trafalgar House, a company effectively controlled by Jardine, announced Mr Keswick's arrival as a force in the UK. He has moved Jardine's domicile to Bermuda from Hong Kong in anticipation of 1997, and is now expected to make Britain his base.

Neil Kinnock: 1995 will see the political comeback of the former Labour leader, now 52, in the new guise of European Commissioner for Transport. With Britain's transport policy in disarray from reverses on road building to over-hasty rail privatisation, the opportunity for "Brussels meddling" by the former Labour leader is virtually infinite. Just look at the trouble Carlo Ripa de Meana caused over the environment, and he was only an Italian.

Jurgen Klinsmann: The football- watching nation already has more than a nodding acquaintance with Tottenham Hotspur's German international. However, it will be on the sofa next to Jimmy Hill as the BBC's new football pundit (a daring pre-Christmas signing) that Klinsmann, 30, will win New Year honours. The next Alan Hansen, for sure.

L Du'aine Ladejo: Gentle but dynamic, the 23-year-old Ladejo has taken over from Roger Black as the country's best 400-metres runner. He was born in London but spent six years in the United States where a career as an American footballer beckoned before athletics claimed him. Winner of the gold medal at the 1994 European Championships, the silver at the Commonwealth Games, Ladejo's sights this year are set on the world championships, taking place in Gothenburg in August.

Stephen Lambert: Few will hear much about the man himself in '95, but it will be difficult to miss the work of one of the BBC's brightest factual programme making lights (a reputation earned for practising the old fashioned art of elevating content over form). Fresh from the nicely-conceived and well-received series about the Foreign Office, True Brits, this 35-year-old moves up and on to edit Modern Times, the successor to BBC 2's 40 Minutes.

Stewart Lee & Richard Herring: Cherubic, chain-smoking Lee, 26, and bluff, portly Herring, 27, are a deceptively soft-spoken comedy double. Shameless and skilful makers of mischief - their Radio 1 show Fist of Fun (third series starts 9 January) provokesdelight and outrage in roughly equal measure - Lee & Herring's leap into two dimensions (BBC 2, April) will be well worth catching Denise Lewis: Britain has not had a world-class heptathlete since Judy Simpson was at her best in the Eighties. But the 22-year-old from West Bromwich, gold medal winner at the Commonwealth Games when she was not even the first choice for her club, could fulfil her aim of breaking Simpson's British record, and challenging for a medal at the world championships.

Bruno Loubet: One of Britain's most exciting chefs, Loubet will be talk of the town in the spring when, with his business partner Pierre Condou, he opens L'Odeon, a 200-seater restaurant in the old British Airways offices in Regent Street. It will rival Sir Terence Conran's flagship Quaglino's on the other side of Piccadilly.

M Conroy Maddox: He may be 81, but so what? He's as disreputable and subversive as ever, and about to become a cult figure thanks to his retrospective in April, organised by the Stoke-on-Trent City Museum. This oldest survivor of the British surrealist movement began to shock in the Thirties, covorting naughtily with a nun in shop window. Today his paintings are mainly like Magritte's, but with a touch of old-fashioned romanticism.

Andrew Macdonald: British cinema has one sure hit in 1995 with Shallow Grave, a pitch-black Scottish comedy. Having guided this shoe-string production to the verge of cult status, young Macdonald looks capable of emulating the energy and individuality ofhis grandfather, Emeric Pressburger.

Rosa Maggiora: A former sculpture student, still in her mid-20s, Maggiora designed the sets for the Theatre de Complicite's The Visit and The Street of Crocodiles. Her new design (her first for the RSC) is for Easter by August Strindberg.

Patrick Marber: Watch out for a first play by comedian Patrick Marber, the unsung hero of The Day Today, who writes and performs with Steve Coogan in Knowing Me, Knowing You.

Carlo Maria Martini: The Cardinal Archbishop of Milan is the man many Catholics hope will be the next Pope. A biblical scholar and Jesuit from Piedmont, he is too liberal and reflective for the inner councils of the present Vatican, and he is already 67 years old (Pope John Paul is 74). But if these are handicaps they may serve him well, for the favourite is never elected Pope.

Suzy Mayzel: Appointed director of programmes for Virgin Radio last October, Mayzel is one of only four women to hold such an exalted position in the UK. Like the former Radio 5, dubbed Radio Bloke by staff, the rock dominated Virgin 1215 is still widelyperceived as very much a male radio station.

Thabo Mbeki: As Nelson Mandela grows older and the business of governing South Africa becomes more humdrum and less historic, more of the burden will fall on the Vice-President, Mbeki, 53. An ANC aristocrat, he is known for his charm and debating skills,but not for his organisational abilities.

Mike McCurry: The affable, cool and competent voice-to-be of Clintonism, McCurry, 40, is due to take over as White House spokesman this week - and not before time, most people would say. McCurry, a veteran of the Dukakis and Kerrey Democratic campaigns of 1988 and 1992 before serving as State Department spokesman, could be the man to rebuild the bridges.

Mark McGhee: Ferguson, Dalglish, Graham. Scottish managers have had a huge impact on English football recently, and the 37-year-old McGhee, who took over at Leicester City last month, could be another. Whether his new club is big enough for him is a mootpoint, but McGhee, a protege of Alex Ferguson's at Aberdeen in the early Eighties, has the tactical nous and motivational powers to go a long way somewhere.

Gertrude Mongella: Mongella, 49, is a former Tanzanian Cabinet minister who divides her time between living the life of a village woman, fetching wood and carrying water on an island in Lake Victoria, and an office high in a New York skyscraper where sheis preparing to run the giant UN women's conference that will take place in Peking in September.

Emma Must: Passionate and articulate, this 28 year old is one of the leading figures in the rapidly growing movement of young anti-roads protesters who are increasingly setting the environmental agenda. She served a jail sentence for her protests againstbuilding the M3 through Twyford Down, but is now being vindicated as ministers scale down the road-building programme.

O J. Robert Oppenheimer: The father of the atomic bomb will be back in the news on the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Oppenheimer was the scientist who inspired and led the team that invented nuclear weapons at Los Alamos in New Mexico, but he was also a reflective and complex man whose motives continue to intrigue, half a century on.

Julia Ormond: Just occasionally searches for stars turn up something authentically stellar (think Vivien Leigh). Classically trained and British, Ormond, 29, beat American hopefuls to the Audrey Hepburn role in the remake of Sabrina.

P Charles Pasqua: The French Interior Minister, 67, is well placed to become prime minister after the presidential elections in April and May. He comes from the hard-line, nationalist wing of the Gaullist party and yet supports the presidential candidacyof the present Prime Minister, the softer, pro-European Edouard Balladur.

Portishead: Already the subject of a profile in this newspaper - can there be higher heights for the battery-operated torch singers to scale? Well, yes. They have yet to have a hit single. "Glory Box" (Go! Discs, released on 3 January) could change that.It's a classic.

Q Dan Quayle: The most over-promoted politician in America? Or the most under-rated? Quayle's bid for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination has been quietly gathering pace and cash. Now 47, the man who spells potato with an E is a favourite of the Religious Right, the real power-brokers in the party. Look for a declaration in early autumn.

R Gordon Ramsay: Ramsay, 26, opened l'Aubergine restaurant in Chelsea last year, and this year should see him chalking up stars in all the restaurant guidebooks. He is poised for an ascent as rapid as his mentor, Marco Pierre White.

Frances Richardson: Richardson, 30, is a Leeds girl with a profoundly African approach to sculpture. She got native Nigerians to show her techniques and whisper ancient secrets, then used her own imagination. The results are savage, elegant, beautifully carved and very sexy.

Malcolm Rifkind: The Defence Secretary is ripe for promotion to the Foreign Office when Douglas Hurd finally brings himself to spend more time with his lucrative literary endeavours. Rifkind, 48, a precise QC with a self-satisfied smile and a noticeable inability to suffer fools gladly, is loyal to John Major, although it is not a warm relationship. But Rifkind's enthusiasm for Europe enrages the Tory Right who fear a stitch-up in advance of the '96 Inter-Governmental Conference on closer European integrity.

Tim Rodber: Could Army officer Rodber be the man to succeed Will Carling as the captain of the England rugby union team? The World Cup in South Africa in May provides this 25-year-old blind-side flanker, 6ft 6in and 16st 7lb, with the chance to stake hisclaim.

Chris Rogers: Christened Caesar the Geezer after fetching up at a Capital Radio black tie bash wearing a toga, Rogers is a former night-club bouncer turned talk radio DJ. He transformed Kiss FM's 4am to 7am graveyard slot into one of the liveliest and most controversial programmes in London.

Robert Rubin: This self-effacing titan of Wall Street (estimated pre-1992 annual earnings of $26m as co-chairman of Goldman Sachs) emerges from relative obscurity of the White House backrooms to become Treasury Secretary, the public face of Clinton economic policy. He is 56 and his brains and judgement are not questioned, but his clout on Capitol Hill is more in doubt.

Nigel Rudd: In the Eighties, Rudd, 48, built Williams Holdings into a £1bn conglomerate through a succession of aggressive takeover bids. Now he is chairman of East Midlands Electricity and insists his approach will be different.

S Jacques Santer: Making the European Union work will be a tough challenge for a man used to running Luxembourg, and following in the footsteps of Jacques Delors can only make it more daunting. The new president of the European Commission has a reputation as a deal-maker and consensus-builder.

Wolfgang Schauble: Number two in Germany's ruling Christian Democrats, Schauble, 52, is a leading candidate to succeed Chancellor Helmut Kohl, when he retires. Schauble has been confined to a wheelchair since an attack on him in 1990. There are discreet suggestions that it would be impossible to have a wheelchair-bound chancellor.

Haidar abdul Shafi: There are growing calls among Palestinians for a new, democratic movement, to challenge Yasser Arafat and the PLO. Abdul Shafi, 76, is widely deemed to be the only man with the credibility and support to head it.

Andrew Smith: The MP for Oxford East, 43, is number two to Gordon Brown in Labour's Treasury team. He was the architect of the Government's defeat over VAT on fuel and his next target is the Chancellor's proposal to withdraw the mortgage interest safety net from homeowners who lose their jobs.

Rupert Smith: General Smith, 51, is the lucky man set to take over this month from Michael Rose as UN commander in Bosnia, at a time when the international conviction behind the UN mission there seems at its weakest. He won a DSO in the Gulf War, but is likely to find the Bosnian Serbs more difficult adversaries than the Iraqis.

Juan Somavia: The large, genial Chilean Ambassador to the UN is the driving force behind an unprecedented world summit in Copenhagen in March to address poverty and unemployment. .

Wole Soyinka: Soyinka, 61, is already known as a Nobel Prize-winning writer; in '95 he may well emerge as a statesman. As his native Nigeria careers towards the abyss, he has been speaking out for reason. The government recently siezed his Nigerian and UN passports and he fled the country. Now he has gone back but continues to speak out.

James Gustave Speth: Few environmentalists have made it into positions of power, but this quiet American, 51, who for 10 years ran the blue-chip World Resources Institute, is an exception. He eschewed a position in the Clinton Administration to become head of the UN Development Programme, where he wields a $1bn budget.

Charles Edward Stuart: It is 250 years since the Young Pretender landed in Invernessshire with seven companions to begin the revolt known as the '45. It ended in disaster at Culloden the following year, but the anniversary of the Highlands' last fling will revive and refresh the sentiment and controversy that have always surrounded the name of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

John Swift: The Government's most ambitious privatisation - of the railways - gets properly started this year. The man charged with getting a good deal for passengers is John Swift QC, 54, head of the Office of the Rail Regulator.

Celtic Swing: After producing one of the most outstanding runs ever by a two-year-old to win the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last season, Celtic Swing is already 5-1 favourite to win this year's Derby at Epsom in June. This is a super horse in the making.

T Martin Taylor: At 42, the golden boy of British banking has been chief executive of the Barclays Bank group for a year and is ready to flex his muscles. An early battleground could be bank charges, since Mr Taylor believes the banks have been wimps fornot reviving charges even for customers who stay in credit. Whatever he chooses to do will make waves.

John Towers: Now that the dust has settled around Rover Group in the wake of BMW's £800m take-over, expect to see John Towers, the UK motor maker's chief executive, take centre stage. With the Bavarian company's backing, Rover plans a rapid expansion into new markets and a string of launches.

David Trimble: Should James Molyneaux finally give up the leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party, which he has held since 1979, we will see some discreet jockeying for position. An expert on constitutional matters, Trimble, 50, is well-placed to advancethe Unionist case in the new political climate in Northern Ireland.

Mike Tyson: His will be the most closely watched '95 comeback in sport. He is still only 28, but have three years behind bars rusted the most frightening fighting machine of his generation?.

U David Unsworth: Few English footballers are as stylish as the 21-year-old Unsworth, and to find that quality in a defender is remarkable indeed. But Unsworth, Preston-born, has stood out in a struggling Everton side this season, and he looks certain towin his first cap for England in 1995.

W Richard Whiteley: Already the biggest student cult this side of Jim Bowen and Reg Holdsworth for his Channel 4 tea-time quiz, Countdown. Whitley's, 51, rather more serious day job anchoring the Yorkshire region news programme Calendar will fall under the national gaze in March when it becomes a subject for Newsroom, a Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall documentary, the programming genre that did so much for Northwood Golf Club last year.

Oscar Wilde: This is the centenary of Wilde's greatest triumph, and of his fall. The Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest both opened early in 1895, confirming the playwright as the toast of London, but before the year was out he was in disgrace and in prison, convicted of homosexual offences.

Pete Wilson: The buttoned-down former marine is no showstopper, but in his native California, where he is beginning a second term as governor, he has never lost an election. Now he too ponders a bid for the White House. If he goes ahead, the 61-year-old Republican will instantly be among the favourites. California's primary, to be held in March instead of June, could settle the battle for the nomination. Further along, the state's 54 electoral college votes represent alone a fifth of those needed to winthe United States Presidency.

X Mr X, Mrs X, Miss X, Ms X, Master X, Lord X, Lady X, Serviceman X, Prisoner X, the Duke of X, the Princess of X, Queen X: All potential winners of the National Lottery, all wishing no publicity, and all unlikely to remain anonymous for long, thanks to th e zealous editor of the News of the X, who believes the winners' identities should be disclosed so that we can all share in their joy.

Z Zhu Rongji: The modernisers' candidate to take over in China if Deng Xiaoping dies this year, 66-year-old Zhu has been in charge of economic reform since 1992. It is a job few others would have relished, but Peking has just announced growth of 12 per cent in 1994.

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