The year in Trending: They came, they saw, they were found in Ikea... - This Britain - UK - The Independent

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
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
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

Teacher

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

Year 2 Teacher and Group Lead

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Teaching Assistants urgently r...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £135 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:We are looking for a ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week