Independent on Sunday's Happy List 2015: Ten household names

And finally...10 household names who went the extra mile

Emma Ledger
Saturday 06 June 2015 18:58

David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough: Believes wolves have been unfairly demonised

The inimitable 89-year-old naturalist steadfastly highlights the dangers of denying climate change, and campaigns to save critically threatened habitats with the World Land Trust. "Let us all rise to the challenge: reduce our impact on the environment and vest any cash we have in saving what is left of the world’s wild spaces."

Peter Capaldi

The current Doctor Who recorded a personalised video for fan Thomas, a nine-year-old autistic boy who wrote to tell the Time Lord he was struggling to cope after his grandmother’s death. "Sometimes sad things happen to us," Capaldi says in the poignant video. "Look after yourself. Be happy.”

Ricky Gervais

Netflix will be premiering a new comedy film from Ricky Gervais in 2016

Not only does his comedy (mostly) make the world a happier place, Ricky is a long time defender of animal rights, using Twitter to publically shame anyone who abuses them. Working with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) he spoke out against the cruelty of foie gras and the use of animal fur and skin.

Danny Ings

Danny Ings has given his word that he will join Liverpool when his Burnley contract expires

An example of footballer’s salary being used for good, he self-funds The Danny Ings Disability Sport Project, delivering football coaching to disabled youngsters and those with learning difficulties in Burnley. The striker says; “seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces is what means the most to me. That’s why I want to give as much back as I can.”

Jack Monroe

Jack Monroe has created recipes to feed herself and her son, Johnny, on £10 a week

Political activist whose budget food blog ‘A Girl Called Jack’ is comprised of recipes invented while trying to feed her and her son for just £10 a week, due to delays in unemployment benefits being paid. She campaigns to raise awareness of growing poverty issues, particularly food banks and Britain’s rising hunger crisis.

Jo Pavey

Pavey pictured in 2014

Jo, who last year became the oldest 10,000m European champion in history aged 41, has been a strong voice in the battle to clean up sport and ban the use of ‘unethical’ hormone replacement drug thyroxine. She also campaigns with Join In's 'Run It' campaign to get more people involved in community sport.

Nicole Pisani

Nicole Pisani, chef

Former head chef at Yotam Ottolenghi’s celebrated London restaurant Nopi, Nicole left the job to lead a team preparing daily nutritious lunches for 500 children at an inner London state primary school. Nicole is now perfecting the menu in order to share it with other schools locally, with a nationwide plan to follow.

JK Rowling

The wizard of words is a staunch defender of equal rights, using Twitter to challenge everyone from misogynists to the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church. As well as donating huge sums to combat social deprivation in Scotland she founded charity Lumos, which works to end the institutionalisation of children worldwide.

Emma Watson


The 25-year-old Harry Potter actress became a star of the humanitarian stage after launching HeForShe, a UN campaign to include all men in the fight for gender equality. Her first of many impassioned speeches extended a “formal invitation” to men to participate in the conversation. She has gone on to campaign for women’s rights. Hermione who?

Oritsé Williams

(© James Whatling/Splash News/Corbis

Erstwhile member of X Factor boy band JLS, singer Oritsé has spoken widely about his childhood spent caring for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), and younger siblings. As a patron for the National MS Society he works to improve the help offered to young carers as well as offering them support himself.

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