Grace Dent: Nigella Lawson. For her dignity and strength.
Jane Merrick: Anna Soubry - today's leading centre-ground politician, when the three party leaders spend their time tacking left then right. A Conservative MP (and first female Defence Minister) who gave a passionate speech (on Question Time) about how great immigrants have been for our country.
Archie Bland: Southampton's manager Mauricio Pochettino, although I'm biased. If he's not allowed, Malala.
Lisa Markwell: Jack Monroe, who writes the blog A Girl Called Jack about feeding herself and her toddler son on £10 a week. In the last year she has achieved fame (and notoriety) for becoming independent, vocal and a real force for change. She has a book coming out next year, drew a standing ovation at the Tory party conference (no mean feat) and created a petition which has led to a question in the House on poverty in the UK. She’s received a ton of flak from right-wing newspaper columnists and Twitter trolls, but continues to speak, clearly, for many who would otherwise be unheard. Her recipes are ace too.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: David Tennant: the roles he inhabits, from Dr Who to Richard II, make him among the greatest actors ever. He does it without obvious egotism.
John Rentoul: Nick Foles, substitute quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, who took over from an injured Michael Vick and has pulled the team back into contention for the play-offs.
Andreas Whittam Smith: Pope Francis.
Ellen E Jones: The US senator Wendy Davis stood up for all of us this year.
Stefano Hatfield: Possibly Mandela in his death, but probably the new Pope, who does seem like a genuine breath of fresh air, Vladimir Putin for his absolute grip on power and disdain for international opponents.
Owen Jones: All of those who fought back. UKUncut, who took to the streets over the cuts to legal aid. Disabled People Against The Cuts, courageously fighting the intolerable treatment of disabled people. Firefighters, who save countless lives each year, on strike for basic fairness. Feminists like Caroline Criado-Perez, fighting misogyny and sexism and often facing a vile backlash. The People's Assembly groups in communities across the country fighting austerity. And Nelson Mandela, a man persecuted in his day, who now the whole world is falling over to claim as their own, including people who made the struggle against Apartheid longer, harder and deadlier.