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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Stencil graffiti depicting slain cartoonists, from left; Wolinski, Cabu, Charb and Tignous, on a wall near the Paris headquarters of 'Charlie Hebdo' (Getty)
newsMurdered Charlie Hebdo editor's defiant, impassioned final work
News
peopleHe really doesn't like the Tories
Life and Style
food + drink
Sport
football
Life and Style
Could what you wear affect your job prospects?
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, in a scene from Avengers: Age Of Ultron
filmReview: A great cast with truly spectacular special effects - but is Ultron a worthy adversaries for our superheroes? spoiler alert
News
Ukip council candidate Peter Endean poses with leader Nigel Farage
news
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Inspection, Inventory and Maintenance Clerk

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Executive - OTE £50,000

£19000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Executive is re...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Financial Accountant

£30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company was established in ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Web Developer

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Ed Miliband interview: 'There is only one party standing up for the integrity of the UK'

'There is only one party standing up for the integrity of the UK'

Ed Miliband talks zero hours contracts, non-doms and the NHS
Libya's criminals undermine attempts to prop up a collapsing state

Libya's criminals undermine attempts to prop up a collapsing state

It's not just people-smuggling rackets, reports Patrick Cockburn
Global warming: Experts say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100, with cataclysmic results

Scorched Earth?

Scientists fear 6C rise in temperature by 2100 - with cataclysmic results
Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: Lawyer, wife of Nick Clegg and a secret food blogger

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez

Lawyer, wife of Nick Clegg and a secret food blogger
Charlie Hebdo editor's final book: 'Letter to the Islamophobia Frauds Who Play into the Hands of Racists'

Terror couldn't silence him, and nor will death...

Murdered Charlie Hebdo editor's defiant, impassioned final work
General Election 2015: On the campaign trail in Rochdale – the town globalisation left behind

On the campaign trail in Rochdale

The town globalisation left behind
Bugsy Malone is back: Plenty of splurge guns but no twerking teens

Bugsy Malone is back

There's plenty of splurge guns but no twerking teens in the Lyric Theatre's reopening production
Should we be drinking milk? Arguments for and against dairy

Should we be drinking milk?

Arguments for and against dairy
Ivor Novello awards 2015: Meet James Napier, the backroom hitmaker for Sam Smith and Clean Bandit

Meet James Napier

The backroom hitmaker for Sam Smith and Clean Bandit is the hottest name in pop you've never heard of
14 best girls' summer dresses

14 best girls' summer dresses

Whether they're on the beach in the south of France or in the garden at nan's house, there's a dress to keep them cool, comfortable and looking fabulous
David Haye interview: Thought of Las Vegas lures Haye back to the ring

Thought of Las Vegas lures Haye back to the ring

Having overcome an injury that seemed to have ended his career, the heavyweight realised there were things left undone – a fight at the spiritual home of boxing
Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time