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
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015