The year in Trending: They came, they saw, they were found in Ikea...

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Forget about the heroes of Team GB and the Royals, we salute those who really made 2012 great. Sort of

Contenders include rescue dogs Porter and Monty, who were taught to drive by the New Zealand SPCA to show how smart they are. Elsewhere we were smitten with the nine golden retrievers of the K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry who were sent to Newtown after the Sandy Hook massacre. Not quite as selfless was designer Karl Lagerfeld's cat Choupette, who has three maids, travels with Karl in his private jet and has her own Twitter account. There could only be one creature of the year, though, although Canadian animal protection agencies may disagree, arise Darwin the monkey. Darwin became an unlikely style icon when he was found wandering around a Toronto Ikea store wearing a jacket that the late Manchester City manager Malcolm Allison would have been proud of.

Self-publicists of the year

Emili Sandé had the best-selling album of the year in the UK – much of that was thanks to her performances at both the Olympics Opening and Closing ceremonies – as well as one of her songs being played over the PA during the first show and the BBC having her sing "Imagine" for one of their incredibly serious montages. Sandé even popped up at Sports Personality of the Year to remind us that it is she, not Barry Davies, who is the true voice of sport.

Shahid Nazir, aka One Pound Fish man, made an unlikely bid for Christmas No 1 after singing "One Pound Fish" a lot at his east London market stall made him a smash on YouTube; the single reached No 29. Sadly, Nazir's visa ran out last week and he had to return to Pakistan.

The outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proved a master of PR with a series of impromptu winning moves including dancing in South Africa with the Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, swigging beer from the bottle while out with aides in Colombia and – best of all – gamefully playing along with the Texts from Hillary Clinton blog. All of which should be very handy if Clinton were, to say, run for President.

Captains of the year

Francesco Schettino started his year with a bang, and then a worrying creaking sound, as he sailed the Costa Concordia straight into a reef during the least successful sail-past since the Lusitania ventured towards the Irish coast.

Saint Kitts and Nevis's athletics captain Kim Collins is the islands' greatest-ever athlete. Yet the former world 100m champion found himself booted from his own team for choosing to spend time with his wife instead of spending it with his team, making him possibly the first sports star in history to find infamy for spending time with his family.

But the clear leader among captains is John Terry. Besides other unfortunate events, he outdid himself in Munich in May when, despite being suspended for the final, Terry and other banned Chelsea players stripped down at the final whistle to reveal full Chelsea kits to lift the trophy in. As Terry lifted the cup, a nation wished official Chelsea suit partners Dolce & Gabbana had been a bit more contractually insistent.

Neologisms of the year

"Shamazing!" – Clearly lost for words following an already forgotten X Factor performance by Jahmene Douglas, former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger blurted out this compound of "shazam" and "amazing" in a brazen attempt to coin her own catchphrase (see "Jeah!" below).

Omnishambles – From the lips of Malcom Tucker, this blunt adjective for a particularly dire political screw-up made its way into the Commons via Ed Miliband and then transferred across the pond, when Mitt "Romneyshambles" made his dire visit to the UK. Now in the OED.

Fiscal Cliff – Not the one in Thelma and Louise, Dover or Richard, but a metaphor for the recession due to hit the US in mid-2013.

Frankenstorm – Names for hurricanes don't come much scarier than this, but as Superstorm Sandy raced towards the East Coast of the US this was the only hashtag worth using.

Sports stars of the year

Footballers get a bad and unfair rep for their salaries and behaviour. So well done then to West Brom's Liam Ridgewell who undid any good work done by Premier League players when a picture emerged of him wiping his backside with £1,000 worth of £20 notes. Why not fifties, Liam?

Kevin Pietersen confirmed himself as one of England's all-time great batsmen with his swashbuckling 22nd Test century in November but only after a painful separation from the side prompted by Pietersen allegedly sending texts to pals in the South African dressing room calling then-captain Andrew Strauss a "doos" (which means BAD WORD in Afrikaans).

Ryan Lochte, American swimming's Chris Froome, may look like the kind of guy who dishes out wedgies like a TGI Friday waitress but we love him anyway. Once Lochte was finished winning his five medals, he spent a week painting London's nightclubs red, white'n'blue and making his super-dumb catchphrase "Jeah" part of the sporting vocabulary.

Gates of the year

Plebgate/Gategate – The gate of all gates had to be Gategate, also known as Plebgate, in which then Tory whip Andrew Mitchell may (though likely may not) have called a policeman a "pleb". Either way, he used the F-word, which is, objectively speaking, a bit much.

Urinegate – When MP Ben Bradshaw found the corner of his House of Commons office was drenched in urine he took to Twitter with this hashtag to voice his disdain.

Pastygate – When George Osborne attempted to charge VAT on hot baked goods it prompted public outrage, not least after David Cameron claimed to have last eaten a pasty at Leeds train station, despite that there was no place to buy one there at the time.

Shuttlegate – The name given to what was possibly the worst game of badminton ever witnessed outside of Britain's municipal leisure centres, when the Chinese and South Korean women's doubles teams were disqualified during the Olympics after trying to lose.

Weird foods of the year

As soon as M&S announced it had created an English Breakfast Pizza to "celebrate" the Queen's Jubilee you knew it was going to be a year of strange food. So it proved. "Hong Kong Heston" Alvin Leung rocked up in London, opening Bo London, an "X-treme Chinese". Its signature dish? A dessert which looks like a post-coital condom. That peak of creativity was only surpassed by US firm J&D foods' Kevin Bacon sculpture, which was made, of course, entirely from bacon. The coup de grâce came from Noma's RenÉ Redzepi, who persuaded diners at his pop-up at Claridge's to pay £195 to eat live ants.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
tv

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

News
John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
film
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
film
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 General

English Teacher Thetford Secondary

£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: An Academy based in Thetfor...

Secondary Teacher Great Yarmouth

£115 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad are currently work...

Teaching Assistant to work with Autistic students

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...

Special Needs Learning Support Assistant

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes