The IoS pink list 2008

From businesspeople to authors, the famous (and infamous) to the unknown, these people have influenced our lives over the past 12 months

How do you define influential? In drawing up this year's celebration of Britain's gay and lesbian movers and shakers, the panel had to debate whether tea-time television or morning radio had more influence. As you'll see, the presenter of Radio 4's 'Today' programme just had the edge over the creative genius behind Dr Who's renaissance. Russell T Davies's announcement that he's handing over the reins of the show to Steven Moffat had some bearing, but we look forward to hearing what he'll do next.

The top 10 would have contained a young comedian (and something of a role model, we suspect), but he preferred not to receive the plaudit, which is a shame. Only three new Pink List nominees declined, which perhaps shows that, though the old stigma against homosexuality remains, it continues to decline.

Meanwhile, there are those who are not exactly influential, but whose presence enriches or entertains us. This year we have introduced separate sections on prominent gays and lesbians from other countries, power couples whose combined force impresses, and those young personalities who may well be promoted to the main list in years to come.

Finally, and with the help of Stonewall, we highlight people who you might not have heard of – unsung heroes who through their work promote equality and understanding. We thank all of those whom we celebrate here.

Each person has last year's position in brackets above their name

Contributors:

Nicholas Barber, Kate Bassett, David Benedict, Brian Brady, Charles Darwent, Simon Evans, Suzi Feay, Katy Guest, Mike Higgins, Carola Long, Lisa Markwell, Jane Merrick, Marc Padgett

To have your say on this or any other issue visit www.independent.co.uk/IoSblogs

1 (49) Evan Davis; Journalist

Once described as a cross between Gollum and a needy vicar, Evan Davishas shot to become everyone's favourite BBC journalist since joining Radio 4's 'Today' programme earlier this year. News that he was steppingdown as the BBC’s economics editor in March drew cries of dismay fromall quarters, not least fans of his 'Evanomics' blog. But his reincarnationas one of the 'Today' anchors has exposed him to a wider audienceand beefed up his reputation. Intelligent, with a less adversarial style thanJohn Humphrys, Davis is considered the perfect complement to the existing roster of heavyweights. He once told an interviewer that "it would have been a dereliction of her journalistic duty" if she hadn't asked whether it was true that he wears genital jewellery.

2 (1) Russell T Davies; TV dramatist

Davies is groaning under the laurels for his revival of 'Dr Who' – and for the seamless, subtle introduction of homosexual characters into Saturday prime-time telly he certainly should be proud of his OBE. The 45-year-old has proved he can command huge audiences with sparky, witty writing – surely the most powerful figure in British TV drama.

3 (16) Cameron Mackintosh; Impresario

Topped 'The Stage' 100, the industry list of the most powerful figures in UK theatre, for the fourth time. Producer of 'Les Misérables' – seen by more than 55 million people worldwide. Sir Cameron moved into the limelight himself on the BBC's 'I'd Do Anything', to cast the roles of Nancy and Oliver for his revival of Lionel Bart's musical.

4 (5) Ian McKellen; Actor and activist

Is there a more famous politicised gay man? When not voicing the giant bear in 'The Golden Compass', Sir Ian McKellen continued as a peerlessly influential spokesperson on sexuality in countless interviews accompanying his year-long RSC world tour of 'King Lear' and 'The Seagull'. Will doubtless continue that in 'The Prisoner' remake.

5 (88) Dawn Airey; Television executive

Airey, 46, shocked the TV world this year when she quit as head of global content at ITV after seven months. 'Scary Airey', as she has been dubbed, is to join European broadcaster RTL, becoming chairman and CEO of Channel Five, a position she first held eight years ago. She has a daughter with partner Jacquie Lawrence, who is a film-maker.

6 (3) Elton John; Musician

Sixty-one he may be, but the world's most famous gay man shows no signs of slowing down: Sir Elton's Las Vegas extravaganza, the Red Piano show, comes to the UK soon, and he and partner David Furnish campaign and donate tirelessly via the Elton John Aids Foundation. But the $2.5m he raised for Hillary Clinton's campaign came to nought...

7 (12) Michael Bishop; Chairman, BMI

The former baggage-handler has turned BMI into the second-biggest full-service airline after BA. Sir Michael prefers, in interviews, to talk about his business rather than his personal life – but it can only be good for modernising the City to have a high-profile, openly gay man. Times aren't easy, though; BMI's pre-tax profits nearly halved to £15.5m in 2007.

8 (10) Alan Bennett; Playwright and author

Leeds-born national treasure who moves effortlessly from memoir to plays, monologues, historical dramas and screenplays. Reticent in person, expansive in diaries. His latest bestseller, 'The Uncommon Reader', out in paperback next month, displays his mastery of voice – and his gentle sympathy for the older woman (it's about the Queen).

9 (32) Alan Carr; Comedian

There are reports of a TV bidding war as the self-styled Tooth Fairy nears the end of his Channel 4 contract. As well as hosting 'The Friday Night Project', and its Sunday incarnation, Carr has a second series of 'Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong' due in August. He's also the first male spokesmodel for the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign.

10 (11) Graham Norton; TV personality

The BBC's Saturday-night superstar is unstoppable, easily riding out the recent brouhaha about star salaries. He's a ratings giant, capturing a cross-generational fanbase while maintaining a visibly gay – not just camp – sensibility. And thanks to BBC America, his reputation for exuberant iconoclasm has spread beyond these shores.

11 (27) Nicholas Boles; Chief of staff to Boris Johnson

Tory candidate for Grantham, the safe seat held by defector Quentin Davies. When Boles, 42, came out last year local Tory activists gave him a round of applause. As London Mayor Boris Johnson's right-hand man, he has control of an £11bn budget. Boles is soon to return to Tory HQ as head of policy, and is tipped as a future cabinet minister.

12 (2) Stephen Fry; Everything

When not writing, acting, chairing 'QI' or outing himself as a techno-geek, Fry does such things as making a BBC film about HIV/Aids to commemorate 25 years of the Terrence Higgins Trust. His panto for the Old Vic, London, which paralleled Cinderella's straight relationship with a gay one for Buttons, garnered the year's most homophobic reviews.

13 (14) David Starkey; Historian

The caustic historian picked up a CBE last summer, and his 17-part epic on the English monarchy concluded at Christmas; a biography of Henry VIII is set for the autumn, with a TV series next year. Starkey, 63, campaigns loudly for our cultural heritage, and, love him or loathe him, he's more outspoken on gay issues than many other celebrity gays.

14 (18) Sandi Toksvig; Broadcaster and writer

Arguably the country's most visible lesbian – particularly notable given that much of her work is on radio. Well on the way to becoming a national treasure, though she's so Danish she was born by Copenhagen's Carlsberg brewery. Brought the house down at the Old Vic's panto with her trademark mix of warmth and knowing scepticism.

15 (19) Nicholas Hytner; Theatre director

One of the UK's most outspoken commentators on cultural policy, Hytner has renewed his contract as the National Theatre's artistic director and made a successful return to opera at Covent Garden. Widens the National's brief, with two dance shows in the autumn including 'To Be Straight With You', Lloyd Newson's exploration of sexuality.

16 (59) Clare Balding; TV presenter

It's been another big 12 months for the former jockey turned consummate television presenter. The 37-year-old appeared in a celebrity edition of 'The Apprentice' for charity and cemented her place as the BBC's face of racing – her sublime broadcasting skills in evidence at Royal Ascot, which finished yesterday. Balding's partner is Radio 4 newsreader Alice Arnold.

17 (4) Henry Badenhorst; Founder of gaydar.co.uk

South African-born Badenhorst started the world's biggest dating website, Gaydar, with his former partner, Gary Frisch, in 1999. Frisch jumped to his death last August after taking drugs; he left more than £6.5m to Badenhorst. Gaydar's parent firm, Qsoft, employs 70 people and accounts for 72 per cent of the net's gay and lesbian usage in the UK.

18 (62) Phyllida Lloyd; Director

Outstanding director of theatre and opera, including Donmar Warehouse's Broadway-bound 'Mary Stuart', Lloyd is most famous for Abba's back-catalogue musical, 'Mamma Mia'; it exploded into 170 cities, including Moscow and Seoul – taking more than £1bn. Lloyd will go global after the 30 June premiere of the movie, which she also directed.

19 (41) Scott Mills; DJ

Having joined Radio 1 back in 1998, the popular Mills now presents the much-coveted "drive-time slot" – between 4pm and 7pm – which has more than 10 million listeners. This year the 34-year-old DJ was nominated for a Sony Radio Academy Award – he also presented the BBC3 talent show 'Upstaged'.

20 (New) Derren Brown; Illusionist

Having staged a live séance and played Russian roulette on Channel 4, his latest show was the slightly more sedate 'Trick or Treat'. The mind-reading illusionist has just finished a major UK tour and has published three books. Brown is new to the list: he "discreetly" came out in this paper last September.

21 (New) Gok Wan; Stylist

Beloved by women for his enthusiastic take on ladies' wobbly bits, the stylist and fashion consultant shot to fame as presenter and co-creator of Channel 4's 'How to Look Good Naked'. Next month, he will star in 'Gok's Clothes Show' – a mix of fashion and celebrity interviews – on Channel 4

22 (Return) Charles Allen; Media executive

Charles Allen is chairman of Global Radio, the UK's largest radio company, which runs the Capital and Classic FM stations. He was ousted as chief executive of ITV in August 2006, and prior to to taking the ITV top job in 2004, Allen worked at Granada Group, where he was chief executive for more than a decade.

23 (17) John Barrowman; Actor

Uncloseted, handsome leading men are all too rare, which makes Barrowman's honesty particularly refreshing. Proof of his popularity came with the continued runaway success of his bisexual Captain Jack Harkness on Russell T Davies's 'Torchwood', and as a judge on 'I'd Do Anything'. His autobiography, published this year, made the bestseller lists.

24 (38) Ben Bradshaw; Labour MP

Former BBC journalist who maintained his ministerial status after Tony Blair gave way to Gordon Brown. As well as piloting demanding policies, including the "polyclinic" proposals, Bradshaw is happy to speak on gay issues: last week claimed that David Davis's "libertarian" stance would "provoke hollow laughter from Britain's gays and lesbians".

25 (48) Michael Grandage: Artistic director

Though not directing the Hollywood version of his London and Broadway hit, 'Frost/Nixon', Donmar Warehouse's AD, at 44, is such a success that he is taking over another West End theatre for a star-studded season, Kenneth Branagh included, in September; a Glyndebourne debut is in the pipeline. His partner is designer Christopher Oram.

26 (15) Rabbi Lionel Blue; Author and commentator

Britain's first openly gay rabbi is a firm favourite thanks to his wise words and wry humour on Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day'. Born in London's East End, he read history at Oxford and semitics at University College London. He has written several books, and, in remission from cancer, still lectures, and gives talks around the country.

27 (Return) Margot James; Prospective Tory candidate

An unlikely choice for Tory party vice chair, James has since moved on to be the party's first openly lesbian candidate – for Stourbridge. Striking, and wealthy, the Kensington and Chelsea councillor is a moderniser who counts green issues and the NHS among her concerns. She lives with her long-term partner, BBC TV presenter Jay Hunt.

28 (26) Dominic Cooke; Theatre director

Has presided over an immensely successful first 18 months as artistic director of the Royal Court, the country's premier new-writing venue. Has combined a keen eye for new talent with theatrical savvy: attendance has averaged 91 per cent. His autumn season, devoted to sexuality, includes gay writer Christopher Shinn.

29 (20) Greg Barker; Shadow environment minister

Last week helped to spearhead the Conservatives' "blue/green charter" of climate-change policies. There was sniping about his future under the Tory leader two years ago when news broke of his extra-marital affair with a gay man, but he remains a trusted ally and will help to spearhead the Tories' green agenda. A friend of Prince Charles.

30 (New) Simon Milton; London planning adviser

An opponent of skyscrapers in London which he believes ruin the capital's skyline, Sir Simon Milton, as the London Mayor's new planning chief, says he will attempt to "green" the city with more trees and open spaces. Sir Simon, who is chairman of the Local Government Association, entered into a civil partnership last year.

31 (23) Jonathan Mildenhall; Advertising guru

Mildenhall recently pioneered an advertisement in a virtual world, which he describes as "trans-media storytelling". 'The Happiness Factory' has become the highest-rated ad in the company's history. Providing entertainment such as short films, this site can be spun off to create other revenue streams such as books.

32 (New) Terence Davies; Film-maker

Still best known for his 1988 meditation on his Liverpudlian childhood, 'Distant Voices, Still Lives', Davies is that rare breed, a home-grown art-house auteur – and has struggled desperately for funding as a result. But let's hope the rapturous reception at Cannes for his first film in eight years, 'Of Time and the City', bodes well for the 62-year-old.

33 (24) Peter Tatchell; Civil rights campaigner

Australian-born Tatchell has devoted his life to standing up for human rights, most recently during Olympic preparations and against Robert Mugabe. After he was beaten up at last May's Moscow Pride march, he said: "I'm not deterred one iota from coming back to protest." He was recently selected as the Green Party's candidate for Oxford East.

34 (25) George Michael; Musician

The 44-year-old has had a more dignified year than of late. On 'Desert Island Discs' last year he was winningly honest about his narcotic and sexual indiscretions, and he recently said that he will conclude his "final" world tour in London this August. Oh, and his cameo of himself cruising for "hook-up" in the 'Extras' Christmas special was a hoot.

35 (8) Matt Lucas; Comedian

Lucas and his camp-but-straight comedy partner, David Walliams, have two films in development, while a US series of 'Little Britain' should bring their gay characters further into the TV mainstream when it airs on HBO. Last Wednesday, Lucas announced his break-up from Kevin McGee, a year and a half after their civil partnership ceremony.

36 (72) Craig Jones MBE; Lieutenant Commander, RN

Jones is the most senior openly gay member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces. Now 39, he had to keep his sexuality secret for the first 11 years of his service – until the ban on gays in the forces was overturned in 2000. He was among the first sailors to march in uniform with official blessing at Gay Pride, in 2007.

37 (46) Howell James; Public relations guru

Earlier this month, James, John Major's former press secretary, quit his post as the Government's chief press officer to become head of corporate affairs at Barclays Bank. He is formerly a director at Cable & Wireless and at the BBC, and ran his own PR company. He is a friend of Peter Mandelson, the former cabinet minister and EU Trade Commissioner.

38 (28) David Hockney; Artist

Now back in the UK, Hockney, 70, described his donation in March to the Tate of the 600 sq ft 'Bigger Trees Near Warter' as his "duty... as an Englishman". He may be reconsidering the knighthood he declined in 1997, but calling the anti-smoking Gordon Brown "a dreary Calvinistic prig" won't help. A libertarian rather than a gay activist.

39 (66) Johann Hari; Columnist

At just 29, Johann Hari is one of the UK's most prominent commentators. As a columnist for 'The Independent' and the 'Evening Standard' he writes pertinently on a range of topics – from the war in Congo to the London Mayoral elections – and was this year awarded the prestigious Orwell Prize for his "elegant and effective political analysis".

40 (New) Dan Ritterband; Marketing director, London

The third of Boris Johnson's inner circle on this year's Pink List, he was campaign director during the mayoral election. Within hours of arriving at City Hall he had rebranded posters and advertising to ensure Londoners knew of the blond new broom. Communications chief under David Cameron; previously a young creative at Saatchi & Saatchi.

41 (53) Ben Summerskill; Chief executive, Stonewall

Described as "a John Malkovich lookalike", Ben Summerskill is better known for his role as chief executive of the gay rights group Stonewall. Born in Kent, the 46-year-old former journalist has spent the past year trying to combat homophobia in schools, and underachievement in lesbian, gay and bisexual young people.

42 (87) Eileen Gallagher; CEO, Shed Productions

Gallagher, 48, a former LWT boss, co-founded the independent television company, Shed, in 1998. The company, which made its name with 'Footballers' Wives' and 'Bad Girls', floated on the stock market in March 2005. It is now one of Britain's biggest production houses and saw pre-tax profits soar from £13m in 2006 to £23m in 2007.

43 (31) Neil MacGregor; Director, British Museum

MacGregor – director of the British Museum, one of Britain's greatest cultural institutions, since 2002 – was appointed the country's "Chairman of World Collections" by the Government in January to promote six of the UK's institutions globally. Recent successes include an exhibition built around the gay Roman emperor Hadrian.

44 (60) Charlotte Mendelson; Writer and publisher

Shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize, her latest novel, 'When We Were Bad', deals with the meltdown of a middle-class Jewish family and "ladies kissing ladies". Mendelson is also a senior editor at Hodder Headline. Born in London, brought up in Oxford, she lives in London with her partner, novelist Joanna Briscoe, and their children.

45 (9) John Galliano; Fashion designer

The creative director of Christian Dior lived up to his reputation for showmanship last July with a spectacular couture collection for the house's 60th anniversary, held at the Palace of Versailles and based on the work of famous artists. This autumn, Galliano will launch his first perfume under his own name.

46 (56) Matthew Bourne; Choreographer

A justly celebrated mainstream choreographer, Bourne, 48, is fanatical about the quality of his shows: 'Edward Scissorhands' returns to the UK this autumn after a US tour, and his all-male 'Swan Lake' is delighting audiences worldwide. His first show in three years, 'Dorian Gray', will be a hot ticket in Edinburgh this August

47 (35) Alexander McQueen; Fashion designer

This February, the one-time artistic director of Givenchy, famed for his darkly romantic style, saw his own label turn a profit for the first time. He recently opened shops in Beirut and in Los Angeles' prestigious Melrose Place, and he plans a store in Paris next year.

48 (33) Simon Russell Beale; Actor

An associate of the RSC and the National and Almeida theatres, Simon RussellBeale is busy. One of Nicholas Hytner's favourites, the arrestingly bright actorstarred in the National's sell-out 'Much Ado About Nothing' and is leading in 'Major Barbara'. He can also be found on countless iPods and car sound systems narrating audiobooks.

49 (New) Iain Dale; Tory blogger and broadcaster

Double congratulations are in order as last weekend Dale tied the knot in a civilpartnership with his partner of 13 years, John Simmons. His blog, which he beganin 2003, is one of the most widely read and trusted sources of Tory gossip inWestminster. The first edition of his new magazine, 'Total Politics', launches thisweek. Also founded Politico's bookshop.

50 (Return) John Maybury; Film director

'The Edge of Love', John Maybury's biopic of Dylan Thomas starring Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller, has been the most hotly anticipated British film of recent years. Other projects include 'Wuthering Heights' and an adaptation of 'Macbeth' starring Sean Bean and Tilda Swinton, called 'Come Like Shadows'.

51 (New) Jane Czyzselska; Journalist

The editor, columnist and DJ has written for 'Diva' magazine since 1994, becoming its editor 10 years later. She is a contributor to 'The Big Gay Read' project and writes a regular dating column for the freesheet thelondonpaper. In her spare time she is a DJ.

52 (34) Paul Tanner; Healthcare PR firm co-founder

Dr Tanner's healthcare public-relations agency, 90TEN, earned its co-founder a Young Achiever of the Year title at an industry awards show last year. There have been more nominations, and praise from clients such the NHS and GlaxoSmithKline for his "passion and attention to detail" on projects from HIV awareness to parliamentary lobbying.

53 (39) Sarah Waters; Author

Award-winning author Waters, who made her name with historical novels that include 'Tipping the Velvet' and 'Fingersmith', is hard at work on her fifth novel, due next spring. She was the recent subject of a 'South Bank Show' programme, and her second book, 'Affinity', is being made into an Andrew Davies film to air this autumn.

54 (30) Waheed Alli; TV producer and Labour peer

Hugely successful media entrepreneur and investment banker who made his name in "yoof" television and became the first openly gay Muslim member of the House of Lords at 34. But Lord Alli suffered a blow last week when it emerged that losses at Chorion, the entertainment group he runs, more than doubled to £21m last year.

55 (New) Murray Chalmers; Music executive

Chalmers caused a stir last December when he quit EMI, where he was head of press at the label Parlophone. He had been with the company, which was sold to the private equity house Terra Firma, for over 20 years. Has worked with some of the industry's biggest names, including Kylie, Now runs his own PR company, Infinite.

56 (21) Fiona Shaw; Actress

This Olivier Award-winning actress has been touring the world in Deborah Warner's production of Beckett's 'Happy Days'; in November she makes her directorial debut at the ENO. The latest Harry Potter movie, in which she plays Aunt Petunia, is due to open that month. Shaw, 49, has been romantically linked with actress Saffron Burrows.

57 (Return) Angela Eagle; Treasury minister

The first lesbian MP to come out while still in the House of Commons, and one of few to enter into a civil partnership. A career politician, Ms Eagle, 47, has been praised by the gay community for her campaigning work on gay issues. Her career has picked up since Gordon Brown became PM and returned her to the Government after five years in exile.

58 (43) Rupert Everett; Actor and writer

Wonderful reviews but poor sales followed the publication of his memoirs in 2006. Still, the rent-boy-turned-actor did at least brighten up the dire 'St Trinian's' with his turn in drag. Everett, 49, continues to live up to his big-mouth reputation, describing serving soldiers as "whining wimps" in comparison to their Victorian forebears.

59 (New) Darren Johnson; London Assembly member

Elected to the London Assembly in May 2000, the Green Party's Johnson, as chair of the assembly's environment committee, has led investigations into topics including flood risk in London, the controversial Heathrow extension plans and water shortages, as well as helping Londoners to install green energy systems in their homes.

60 (98) Tom Konig Oppenheimer; Event manager

Konig Oppenheimer heads up the Communications Store, a high-profile fashion PR business, with Julietta Dexter; big-name clients include Jasper Conran and Versace. He and fellow fashion grandee Adam Beaumont Brown were joined in civil partnership last year; the reception included topless waiters and singing from actress Thandie Newton.

61 (44) John Amaechi; Basketball player

John Amaechi, 37, was a rarity as a British basketball star in the US, and in 2007 became the first NBA player to announce he is gay. He returned to his roots in Manchester and founded the Amaechi Basketball Centre, dedicated to youth sports. He also owns the Manchester men's and women's teams in the English Basketball League.

62 (45) Tyler Brûlé; Magazine proprietor

Canadian-born Brûlé says that 'Monocle' magazine is "a completely different animal" to 'Wallpaper*', his earlier – and hugely successful – venture. 'Monocle' is geared at professionals eager for briefings on a range of issues – from politics and international affairs to fashion.

63 (New) Nigel Owens; Rugby Union referee

It is said Rugby Union is a game watched by gentlemen but played by thugs. You need a no-nonsense character to deal with players, and the only Welsh referee at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France was Nigel Owens, 37, who came out last year. Reactions were positive, he said, but it hasn't been easy: "It's a big taboo to be gay in my line of work."

64 (6) Peter Mandelson; EU Trade Commissioner

Intensely sensitive about his private life. He describes himself as "exotic", but Mandelson has never officially come out. His career in the public eye seemed to be nearing an end as Gordon Brown took over from Mandelson's great friend Tony Blair last summer – but the great manipulator will at least see out his term at the EU Commission.

65 (New) Dan Gillespie; Lead singer, The Feeling

Voted Entertainer of the Year at the 2007 Stonewall Awards, the 29-year-old frontman of the Feeling was brought up by his mother and her lesbian partner. His band won the 2007 Ivor Novello Songwriters of the Year Award, and their second album, 'Join With Us', topped the British charts in February 2008.

66 (50) Ashley Steel; Director, KPMG

The only known lesbian on the board of a Square Mile company – the accountants KPMG – she has worked at the group for more than 23 years. Dr Steel recently urged Britain's corporate bosses to take a much more active role in the promotion of gay people in the workplace. "CEOs can't be silent on this," she said.

67 (New) Adam Mars-Jones; Novelist and critic

Famously nominated twice (10 years apart) as a 'Granta' Best of British Young Novelist before ever publishing a novel, he's since published short stories and two novels. The latest, 'Pilcrow' – the minutely detailed story of a brilliant disabled boy – came out earlier this year to mingled bafflement and acclaim. Also a savage literary critic

68 (7) Spencer Livermore; Ex-director of political strategy

Briefly acknowledged as the most influential gay man in government when he arrived in No 10 after almost a decade as a trusted Brown adviser at the Treasury. But his tight relationship with the PM was shattered when Brown put City PR man Stephen Carter in charge of his "back office". Livermore has now moved to Saatchi & Saatchi.

69 (New) Stella Duffy; Crime writer and actor

Author of seven novels, Duffy was longlisted for the Orange Prize in 2004 for 'State of Happiness', which she is adapting for film. Won a CWA Dagger in 2002 for her short story 'Martha Grace'; creator of lesbian crime fighter Saz Martin. Duffy's latest novel, 'The Room of Lost Things', came out this year. Her partner is the playwright Shelley Silas.

70 (New) Alan Cumming; Actor

The puckish Scottish actor spoke out last month against homophobia in Hollywood and about "the civil rights struggle [of] gay people in America". The 43-year-old won a Tony award in 1998 for his performance in 'Cabaret', and lives in New York with his partner, whom he married in a civil ceremony in 2007.

71 (58) Deborah Warner; Theatre and opera director

One of the most daring theatre and opera directors around, Warner, 48, is now globe-trotting with her staging of Beckett's 'Happy Days', starring Fiona Shaw. In Brussels, she is reviving her operatic hit Britten's 'Death in Venice' and will work with Shaw again next year on 'Mother Courage'. Her partner is the author Jeanette Winterson.

72 (40) Howard Hodgkin; Artist

Hodgkin's recent show at the Gagosian Gallery was marked by a newly sombre mood: think sludge-green and black rather than hot pink. Still, few 75-year-olds have the trendy Gagosian as their gallerist, and a show at Yale last year gave the knighted American exposure. Married at 23, Hodgkin came out in his mid-40s.

73 (New) Sue Perkins; Presenter

Cambridge graduate Perkins was reluctantly outed by her then-girlfriend, Rhona Cameron, who appeared on 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!' in 2002. She is a regular on Radio 4 shows such as 'The News Quiz' and 'Just a Minute', and has recently been seen in BBC2's 'The Supersizers Go... '

74 (New) Adrian Fulford; Judge

The 55-year-old Southampton University graduate was the first openly gay person to be named a judge. Sir Adrian is an acknowledged expert on international law, human rights, violence against women and children, terrorism and murder. He is a UK High Court judge and was elected to the International Criminal Court in 2003.

75 (70) Robert Taylor; CEO, Kleinwort Benson

Became chief executive of Kleinwort Benson's private bank in 2004. A patron of the arts, he was on the judging panel for the 2004 Turner Prize, he is also chairman of the Whitechapel Gallery in London. In 2006 he married writer-turned-trainee marriage guidance counsellor, Michael Kallenbach.

76 (New) Nick Herbert; Shadow justice secretary

Appointed to the Shadow Cabinet a year ago, just two years after becoming an MP. Herbert launched the anti-euro "no" campaign in 2000 before co-founding Reform, a think-tank specialising in public services policy, in 2002. Herbert is rumoured to have had doubts about the Tories' opposition to 42-day detention.

77 (36) Paul O'Grady; TV personality

Having retired Lily Savage in 2004, O'Grady hosts his own teatime show on Channel 4. He alternates the slot with Richard and Judy, though his audience dwarfs theirs. He owns his own production company, Olga TV, and recently renewed his Channel 4 contract in a deal said to be worth £4m.

78 (64) Matthew Parris; Times columnist

His columns still have considerable influence in Westminster. The former Conservative MP and the author of more than 20 books was one of the best-known parliamentary sketchwriters from 1988 to 2001. Parris used one of his columns to reveal he was gay. His long-term partner is Julian Glover of 'The Guardian'.

79 (New) David Lyle; Police chief inspector

He became the first openly gay officer in the Scottish force in 1990. Now chief inspector of Lothian and Borders Constabulary, Lyle, 54, is a senior figure in the Gay Police Association and his force was named Scotland's most gay-friendly employer by Stonewall in January 2008.

80 (New) Andrew Pierce; Journalist

After nearly 20 years at 'The Times', this self-declared "working-class boy" from Swindon is now the assistant editor at 'The Daily Telegraph'. Famed for his political scoops, the 46-year-old is a regular pundit on programmes such as 'Question Time', and was given his own radio show, 'Andrew Pierce and Friends', this spring.

81 (61) Jeanette Winterson; Author

In between penning her new novel 'The Stone Gods', due out next month, and writing children's stories, Winterson runs an organic food store in east London. She has won several awards, including the Whitbread Prize and the Prix d'argent for a film adaptation. Made an OBE for services to literature in 2006.

82 (New) Duncan Fallowell; Author

His most recent book dismissed New Zealand as a cultural backwater, but Fallowell is a seasoned agent provocateur. His eclectic body of work includes a libretto of 'Gormenghast' and a biography of transsexual April Ashley. Described as "Sebald with laughs", Fallowell can number William Boyd and Simon Callow among fans.

83 (68) Tim Hely Hutchinson; CEO, Hachette Livre UK

Hely Hutchinson is currently taking on the might of Amazon, claiming the online retailing giant is trying to take too great a slice of the cover prices of its books. The 54-year-old took over the country's biggest publishing group after French giant Hachette bought Time Warner in 2006.

84 (69) Chris Bryant; Ministerial aide, Labour MP

A former Anglican priest and writer who had been expected to progress rapidly through the ministerial ranks following his election in 2001. Achieved notoriety when he was one of a clutch of younger Labour MPs calling for Tony Blair to set a date for his resignation in September 2006.

85 (54) Julian Clary; Entertainer

The flamboyant comedian has taken the outrageous outfits and full make-up that made him a household name on television to the West End this year, appearing in the musical 'Cabaret'. The Teddington-born entertainer, 49, also pens a witty column for the 'New Statesman' and published his first novel, 'Murder Most Fab', last summer.

86 (22) Peter Ackroyd; Biographer, novelist, poet

The anti-Alan Bennett: equally successful, brilliant and recognisable, but far too prickly ever to attain "national treasure" status. 'Thames: Sacred River' came out late last year and, like 'London: The Biography', it's full of arcane lore, fascinating details and brilliant leaps of intuition. Has become a somewhat unlikely TV star.

87 (New) Christopher Kane; Fashion designer

The Motherwell-born designer attracted the attention of Anna Wintour and turned down a job at Versace when he was barely out of college. His status as the darling of the British fashion crowd continues to grow – he won the New Designer accolade at the British Fashion Awards last November.

88 (New) Samantha Fox; Former model/singer

Though still known as the most famous Page 3 girl ever, Fox ended her modelling career when she was 20 and had several chart hits all over the world. This year she and her partner and manager Myra appeared in Channel 4's 'Celebrity Wife Swap', trading with Freddie Starr and his wife Donna

89 (New) Mark Abrahams; Squadron Leader

The RAF's most senior serving gay officer, with 20 years' service flying Chinook helicopters. Made an MBE in 2008 for leading crews in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Instrumental in opening dialogue between the RAF LGBT community and RAF Equality and Diversity staff, and establishing the RAF LGBT Forum, which he chairs.

90 (New) Matthew Todd; Editor of 'Attitude'

This year Todd became the new editor of influential gay magazine 'Attitude'. Madonna said her interview with him was her favourite in 10 years, extending it to nearly double the allotted time. Todd performs regularly as a stand-up comedian, and his play, 'Blowing Whistles', has been an international hit.

91 (82) Paul Burston; Novelist, journalist, DJ

The gay editor of 'Time Out' and host of the Soho gay literary salon, Polari. Co-curator, with novelist Rupert Smith, of a season of gay literary events at the South Bank this summer. The author of four non-fiction books and three novels, one of which, 'Lovers and Losers', spawned its own club night, 'A Club for Lovers and Losers'.

92 (New) Val McDermid; Crime writer

Crime novelist who waded into the row caused by Ian Rankin's comment that the most violent books were written by women, "mostly lesbians". She has won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger, the Theakstons Old Peculier Award and the Sherlock Award, all for best crime novel of the year, for 'The Grave Tattoo'.

93 (73) Stephen Whitehead; Publicist

Whitehead quit his role as head of corporate affairs at Barclays (see Howell James profile) in September last year following the bank's failure to acquire the Dutch bank ABN Amro. At the end of 2007 he became group communications director at Prudential, the UK's second-biggest insurer, reporting directly to CEO Mark Tucker.

94 (74) Stevie Spring; Publisher

When Spring took over Bath-based Future Publishing in 2006, the company looked in some trouble: it had announced five profit warnings in quick succession and was due to announce a loss of £26.7m. In the year to September 2007, Springer turned that into a pre-tax profit of £9.2m having closed or sold 50 magazines.

95 (New) Richard Mason; Novelist

Eton and Oxford-educated (born in South Africa), Mason netted a huge advance, aged 19, for his debut novel, 'The Drowning People'. His third, 'The Lighted Rooms', drawing on his African heritage, was published early this year. With his books' proceeds he set up a charity to help gifted South African children living in poverty.

96 (91) Saffron Burrows; Actress

Burrows gave up modelling as a young woman and made her acting debut in 'In the Name of the Father'. Her latest film, 'Dangerous Parking', has received mixed reviews, but she has been popular in the US TV series 'Boston Legal'. She has been romantically linked with actress Fiona Shaw and is friends with Tony Benn.

97 (67) Neil Bartlett; Director and author

One of the most consistently innovative and respected artists working in the UK today. Neil Bartlett's varied career has spanned theatre direction, performance, adaptation and authorship. After 10 years as artistic director of the Lyric Theatre, he started to work independently again in 2004 and continues to direct and write.

98 (55) Neil Tennant; Musician

One half of the Pet Shop Boys since 1986, Tennant has been pivotal in revitalising the careers of divas such as Dusty Springfield and Liza Minnelli. He produced Rufus Wainwright's album 'Release the Stars', for which Wainwright repaid the favour by appearing at a Pet Shop Boys live show at the Mermaid Theatre in London.

99 (New) Henry Conway; Club promoter

After his MP father Derek had his Tory whip withdrawn forpaying Henry public moneyto do not very much, he seized the subsequent media attention to become a professional partyorganiser, as well as a generalman-about-town and SimonLe Bon lookalike.

100 (New) Thomas Adès; Composer

The stock of the composer, conductor and pianist rises ever upwards: he was runner-up in the 1990 BBC young musician of the year competition; his 1995 chamber opera, 'Powder Her Face', is popular around the world. New York's Metropolitan Opera is to stage his "heart-stoppingly beautiful" production of 'The Tempest'.

101 (83) Brian Paddick; Lib Dem candidate for Mayor

His outspoken approach to policing London was thrust into the political arena when he stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor – after turning down the Tories. Earned credit for his straightforward approach to campaigning, although he did appear starry-eyed when dealing with celebrities.

On the party circuit with Britain's glamour couples

Though they seldom appear in the pages of glossy magazines, Britain's long-standing gay couples tend towards the more glamorous end of the spectrum. Novelists Joanna Briscoe and Charlotte Mendelson are a popular fixture on the literary circuit, particularly at the Orange Prize, for which Mendelson was shortlisted this year. Dawn Airey and Jacquie Lawrence have had a very successful year: Lawrence, a film-maker, recently gave birth to their daughter, Dulcie. Meanwhile, the traditional media power couple comprising Mark Bolland and Guy Black no longer hold their jobs at the top of the royal and political PR worlds, but since their recent civil partnership are as much a party fixture as ever. In other partnership news, the church blessing of the union of Rev Peter Cowell and Rev Dr David Lord, two Anglican vicars, is being investigated by the Bishop of London. We await the result.

The view from abroad: politicians, judges, bishops and bloggers

Perhaps the most groundbreaking gay person to make the news has been Sunil Pant, elected as Nepal's first gay MP in a country where the very existence of homosexuality was denied until last year. In South Africa, Edwin Cameron, the first gay judge on the country's Supreme Court of Appeals, and HIV-positive himself, has excoriated Thabo Mbeki for the government's silence on Aids. And Indian film director Parvez Sharma broached a similarly taboo subject with his documentary on devout gay Muslims, 'A Jihad for Love'.

In Europe, bisexual Italian Green Party leader Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio – sacked as environment minister by PM Silvio Berlusconi – remains a major political figure. In France, the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, looks to be favourite for the Socialist Party's next presidential nomination.

Gene Robinson, the first non-celibate gay bishop, confirmed his status as a lightning rod in America's culture wars when he recently entered a civil union. At the other end of the controversy scale is Ellen DeGeneres, whose sexuality has not stopped her becoming one of the country's best-loved TV personalities. Andrew Sullivan, a British conservative who has lived in the US since 1984, has become essential reading with his blog 'The Daily Dish'.

Far from such heavyweights, a snarky showbiz blogger Perez Hilton is renowned for dragging famous US homosexuals from the closet. He also refers to Cristiano Ronaldo as his future husband. Next on the Hilton spouse list might be Matthew Mitcham, an Australian diver who will be his country's only gay representative at the Olympics.

Young, gifted and gay: from drag queens and DJs to graphic designers

QBoy, rapper

The Essex-born rapper is one of only a few openly gay hip-hop artists, forming part of the new sub-genre known as homo hop. Organised PeaceOUT UK, the first gay hip-hop festival in Europe.

Jodie Harsh, DJ and drag queen

With a make-up regime taking 90 minutes, Ms Harsh, real name Jay Clarke, has become one of London's most famous drag queens. She can be found guest DJ-ing at Fashion Week after parties, or hanging out with Kate Moss.

Samantha Ronson, DJ

Thirty-year-old Ronson is a popular A-list party DJ and rock act. Her stepfather is Mick Jones of the rock band Foreigner and her brother Mark is famous as a DJ and producer. Ms Ronson made the headlines last year when seen out with the actress Lindsay Lohan. She lives in Los Angeles and is the co-owner of the New York nightclub The Plumm.

David Lan, artistic director, Young Vic

Playwright, theatre director, film-maker and social anthropologist, Lan led the £12.5m redevelopment of the Young Vic theatre and went on to win an Olivier award for the 2004 season.

Kate Moross, illustrator and graphic designer

The 21-year-old started her career three years ago designing fliers for hip bands such as the Klaxons and Gossip. Recently, Moross's work has moved into a more commercial area, with clients including Cadbury, Lynx and Pepsi. She has a Topshop range in the pipeline.

Jonny Woo, drag queen

Recently dubbed the "Shoreditch ringmaster" of London's alternative drag scene by 'The New York Times', Woo hosts several of the capital's biggest gay events, such as Tranny Talents and Gay Bingo.

Henry Holland, fashion designer

The 24-year-old has enjoyed rapid success in the industry with a little help from long-term friend Agyness Deyn. His cheeky T-shirt slogans and reflective tartan are putting a smile on the face of fashion.

Patrick Wolf, singer/songwriter

Flame-haired, multi-instrumentalist Wolf started playing with pop-art collective Minty at the age of 14. His 2007 album 'The Magic Position' features a collaboration with Marianne Faithfull – and a world tour ensued.

James Brown, hairstylist

One of the most sought-after stylists around, largely through his long-time collaboration with Kate Moss, whose hair he cut into a much-copied fringe last year. Now has a rather good hair-care range on the market.

The unsung heroes who have made a lasting difference to the community

Antony Grey, former secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, which won a change in the law in 1967. He argued, unsuccessfully, for equalising the age of consent for gay people to 16, in line with heterosexuals, when the law was changed in 1994. The age of consent for gay men was eventually lowered to 16 in 2001. Now in his 80s, Mr Grey has never received an honour.

Lindsay River is a veteran member of Polari since 1993, an organisation for older gay people. Now 61, she has been an activist on lesbian and gay rights since 1972. She has also worked extensively with the charity Age Concern and she is researching the experience of lesbian, gay and bisexual groups in the health service.

James Rowlands set up the Dyn Project in Cardiff in 2005. The project was one of Britain's first gay men's domestic violence refuges and has since set up a national helpline in Wales. Rowlands is now a domestic abuse co-ordinator in the London borough of Richmond, and co-chair of the national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Abuse forum.

Finn Mackay, 30, is a member of the Feminist Coalition Against Prostitution, who works on combating homophobic bullying in London schools. She is a women's rights activist.

Rikki Beadle-Blair is a gay black television, radio and theatre actor who was brought up by his mother and her lesbian partner. He co-wrote, directed and starred in the TV series 'Metrosexuality', an account of growing up as a child with gay parents. He also travelled to Jamaica to challenge attitudes to homosexuality among reggae musicians. Now works on combating homophobia in schools.

Rob Berkeley is director of the Runnymede Trust, which builds trust between minority ethnic communities and policymakers. He is also chairman of the Black Gay Men's Advisory Group.

Lisa Power has been a lesbian activist since 1970, she is a one-time secretary-general of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and a former member of the gay-rights pressure group Stonewall. Now head of policy at the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Shirley Pierce was bullied as a teacher and brought a pioneering case against her school, which led to new employment laws being passed. The barrister who argued the case against her in court was Cherie Booth.

Jo Chastney, 23, is the UK's top snowboarder. She became the British Quicksilver Snowboard Big Air and Snowboardcross champion in 2007. Last year, she was also nominated for Stonewall's sportsperson of the year award.

Cindy Gilmour runs the pioneering Orange Clinic in west London for lesbians. The specialist clinic provides sexual health advice and screening by appointment for London's lesbian community.

To have your say on this or any other issue visit www.independent.co.uk/IoSblogs

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