The <i>IoS</i> Pink List 2010

It's back: bigger, better and bolder than before: our annual celebration of the gay and lesbian community

Sunday 01 August 2010 00:00 BST

Pink List judges – including former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, broadcaster Clare Balding, Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill, and John Amaechi, the psychologist and author – fought long and hard to decide on the 101 most influential gay and lesbian people in Britain today.

We also include new categories: foreign nationals based here; national treasures; and those we thought of featuring but, for often rather waspish reasons, decided against: a rogues' gallery. And the aim? To entertain and celebrate, infuriate and amuse. Above all, to kick-start a debate around the breakfast and lunch-table. Please let us know what you think at the bottom of the page.

1= (new entry) Gareth Thomas; Rugby player

The revelation of Thomas's homosexuality in an interview with the Daily Mail last December confirmed what had been an open secret in rugby union for years after his separation from his wife, but it highlighted the taboo over gay people in professional sport. Thomas, the 35-year-old former Wales and British & Irish Lions captain, won 103 international caps and played club rugby for Cardiff Blues and Toulouse. He said in his interview that he was unaware of any other gay player "still in the game". From living a lie, he has taken on the role of campaigner, working with Childline to reach out to young people facing the dilemma with which he struggled from the age of 17. The reaction in the macho world of rugby has been universally sympathetic although, earlier this summer, as Thomas was playing his second game of rugby league for south Wales side Crusaders, he was subjected to homophobic abuse from Castleford fans, for which the Yorkshire club was fined £40,000. Thomas says he has had no problems in his other Super League games. Both Thomas and Nigel Owens, the Welsh referee who was previously rugby union's only high-profile gay figure, contemplated suicide before coming out.

1= (new entry) Mary Portas; Broadcaster, PR and Queen of Shops

For such a candid personality, it's a surprise that Portas has kept her private life just that for so long. Within the magazine and public relations worlds, her relationship with the fashion journalist Melanie Rickey was common knowledge, although she never discussed it in the media. This year it all changed. The couple's civil partnership in June – and discussion of it on Jonathan Ross's chat show and in Grazia magazine – meant the many fans of her Mary Queen of Shops TV show learnt about what Portas, 48, described as a day of "lots of tight dresses and high heels". Sexual preference is no barrier to success in the fashion industry where Portas made her name in the early Nineties by turning Harvey Nichols into a must-shop destination before setting up her consultancy, Yellow Door, and then becoming a retail guru in print and on TV. But for the wider public Portas has, in coming out, enlightened many about how lesbians look and behave (just like anyone else, that is). Like any good PR, she would rather create publicity for clients than for herself, but her inclusive nature and stratospheric success make her a fantastic role model.

3 (2nd last year) Stephen Fry; Broadcaster and writer

The wit, polymath and all-round clever person has become a champion of the smart – he recently berated the BBC for not crediting its audience with having any brains; QI proves you don't have to be dumb to be popular, and he's soon to host a documentary on languages.

4 (12) Evan Davis; Broadcaster

A gentle yet effective interviewer, Davis proves that you don't have to be over 60 to present Today. A keen biker unfairly teased for his exotic piercings, he was briefly involved in the imbroglio over whether B&Bs should be able to turn away gay couples. A soothing start to the day.

5 (9) Carol Ann Duffy; Poet Laureate

Both Poet Laureate and the author of the Mirror's "Poetry Corner", Duffy is the friendly face of poetry. She has campaigned against cuts in the arts and set her own agenda for the laureateship, writing about the expenses scandal, banking crisis, war and David Beckham's Achilles.

6 (21) Alan Carr; Comedian

The chatty man continues to cut through the fake-smile world of celebrity with his toothy grin and sharp sarcasm. His "Eva Peron" moment at Gay Pride, when his appearance at a window resulted in the crowd below chanting his name, proved his appeal.

7 (34) Peter Tatchell; Human rights activist

His tactics divide opinion, but Tatchell's Duracell Bunny approach to campaigning is unrivalled. He knows how to pick his enemies, from Robert Mugabe to the Russian far right. He moves up the list having been crucial in urging David Cameron to do more on gay rights.

8 (new entry) Michael Salter; Broadcast adviser to PM

The PM's adviser on gay issues also heads the Conservatives' broadcast operation. He once asked the media to stop calling Conservatives "Tories". He told Stonewall's recruitment guide: "I'm valued for who I am and what I do; my sexuality has never been an issue."

9 (20) Sir Nicholas Hytner; Theatre director

The National's head honcho continues to open theatre to wider audiences via schemes such as NT Live cinema screenings, while acting as a champion of the arts. Knighted this year, he will be crucial in defending creative industries from cuts.

10 (58) Sue Perkins; Comedian and writer

Perkins holds her own on Radio 4's Just a Minute and pops up with increasing frequency on TV panel games. She's also developing a foody reputation from her stints with restaurant critic Giles Coren – the latest a reality show based on the 1970s comedy The Good Life.

11 (new entry) Simon Hughes; Deputy leader, Lib Dems

Elected MP for Southwark and Bermondsey in 1983. Popular with Lib Dem grassroots, since becoming deputy leader after the coalition was formed he has opposed a VAT rise and cuts in housing benefit, while proposing civil partnerships have the same status as marriage.

12 (50) Scott Mills; Radio 1 DJ

A mix of sharp banter and witty features has made Mills's drive-time show irresistible. Currently Sony Radio Personality of the Year, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Southampton University. Catch him in the flesh at his Edinburgh Festival show.

13 (42) Christopher Bailey; Chief Creative Officer, Burberry

Since his arrival in 2001, Bailey has propelled Burberry from the commercial and creative doldrums to the forefront of fashion. His contemporary take on classic Englishness and savvy online marketing produced a 27 per cent rise in sales in the first quarter of this year.

14 (57) Dominic Cooke; Theatre director

In his five-year reign at the Royal Court, the theatre's reputation as Britain's champion of new writing has soared higher than ever. Last year was his best yet with both Lucy Prebble's Enron and Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem receiving breathless acclaim and West End transfers.

15 (27) Michael Grandage; Theatre director

Artistic director of the 250-seat Donmar Warehouse. The theatre has an influence far outstripping its size, as evidenced by the Broadway success of two of its productions, the Jude Law Hamlet and the Mark Rothko drama Red, the latter bagging him the Best Director Tony.

16 (35) Johann Hari; Journalist

The Independent's 31-year-old star columnist keeps raking in the prizes, recently scooping Amnesty International's Journalist of the Year and the Martha Gelhorn prize. His investigations into corruption, and gender and racial inequalities have earned him a worldwide following.

17 (28) John Barrowman; Actor

One moment he's Captain Jack Harness in Torchwood, then he's popping up in Desperate Housewives, and he recently added La Cage Aux Folles to his West End credits. He's released a new album, is in pantomime, and has advised the Government on gay legislation.

18 (17) Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Impresario

The producer of such hits as Oliver!, Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera, Mackintosh staged a successful West End revival of Hair in April. A former Labour Party donor, he publicly backed David Cameron in the last election.

19 (new entry) James Wharton; Trooper, Household Cavalry

The Iraq veteran was on the cover of Soldier magazine last year in a bid to combat the taboo against gay people that remains in many parts of the armed forces. But things are changing – for when Trooper Wharton got married in March, the reception was held at the Household Cavalry's Knightsbridge barracks in London.

20 (25) Sir Michael Bishop; Businessman

The former BMI chairman's baggage-handler-to-riches story continued last year when he made nearly £150m selling his stake in the airline he helped build from scratch. ITV tried to snare him as its new chairman but he said he hadn't the energy to sort out its problems.

21 (24) Henry Badenhorst; Co-founder of

Standing down as managing director of the world's biggest online dating site was a big step for Henry Badenhorst last year. However, he has since become chairman of Qsoft Consulting which is behind Gaydar and owns Profile and Lo-Profile, a bar and nightclub in Soho.

22 (7) Phyllida Lloyd; Film and theatre director

Best known for her film adaptation of Mamma Mia!, which became the highest grossing movie of all time at the UK box office, her next project is directing the film Iron Lady, a biopic of Margaret Thatcher, starring Meryl Streep. Lloyd was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list.

23 (41) Neil MacGregor; Director, British Museum

As well as turning the British Museum (where he's been director since 2002) into Britain's most popular attraction, this year MacGregor presented a much touted Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects, based on items taken from the British Museum.

24 (53) Lord Alli; TV producer and peer

Waheed Alli is a media tycoon whose backing for Tony Blair was recognised with a peerage. His influence waned under Gordon Brown, but he is now pushing to allow civil partnerships on religious premises. Business is thriving, with his Chorion company helped by Olivia the pig.

25 (new entry) Lord Justice Etherton; Judge

First High Court judge to announce his civil partnership, in 2006, and first openly gay judge appointed to the bench of the Court of Appeal in 2008. Sir Terence is a former Olympic fencer. He was made Chairman of the Law Commission in 2006.

26 (53) Sarah Waters; Author

As author of BBC-adapted Tipping the Velvet, Booker-shortlisted The Little Stranger and the PhD thesis "Wolfskins and togas: lesbian and gay historical fictions, 1870 to the present", Waters has almost single-handedly turned lesbians in fiction into a BBC drama staple.

27 (70) Nick Herbert; Minister for Policing

A founding member of the Countryside Alliance, he was shadow environment secretary. Now has a wide- ranging brief across the Home Office and Ministry of Justice. Said the Tory stance on gay equality is "neither a temporary phenomenon, nor an agenda which can be reversed".

28 (55) Fiona Shaw; Actress

A much-loved and award-winning actress, Shaw has been busy this year delighting audiences as Lady Gay Spanker in London Assurance at the National, directing her second opera, Elegy for Young Lovers, for ENO at the Young Vic, and filming the new Harry Potter.

29 (new entry) Alan Davey; Chief exec, Arts Council

A public servant for 35 years, moving to the Arts Council in 2008. His partner is Paddy Feeny, communications director at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Davey was criticised in 2008 when the Arts Council asked grant applicants to state the sexuality of their boards.

30 (46) Margot James; Tory party vice-chair

James became the first openly-lesbian Tory MP in May after emerging from David Cameron's A-list to win in Stourbridge. A successful businesswoman, she acts as the Tories' vice-chair for women's issues. She lives in Kensington with her partner, TV presenter Jay Hunt.

31 (re-entry) Robert Taylor; CEO of Kleinwort Benson

As chief executive of one of the City's most established names in private banking, Taylor has had a storming year. He spearheaded the £225m sale of the bank to Belgian investment firm RHJ International. The businessman also chairs the Whitechapel Gallery.

32 (13) Simon Russell Beale; Actor

Frequently hailed as the finest stage actor of his generation, Beale has been playing Sir Harcourt Courtly in London Assurance this year and performing in Radio 4's 20-hour dramatisation of John Le Carré's Smiley novels.

33 (15) Dawn Airey; CEO of Five

Failing to land a BBC traineeship set Airey on a path to become a leading face of commercial television. She quit ITV to rejoin Five in May 2008 and now faces an uncertain future after the channel's recent sale to Richard Desmond for £103.5m.

34 (38) Matt Lucas; Comedian and actor

Lucas has kept a low profile since pulling out of the West End's Prick Up Your Ears following the death of his former husband Kevin McGee in October. Playing Tweedledum and Tweedledee in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland kept him in the public eye, however.

35 (63) Eileen Gallagher; CEO Shed Productions

As founder of Shed Media, creator of Footballers' Wives, Gallagher could pocket more than £5m if the television production firm is sold to Time Warner. Although she stood down as CEO in 2008 to become CEO of subsidiary Shed Productions she is still on the main board.

36 (32) Simon Amstell; Comedian

Only 30, Amstell is the king of the withering observation, but has put the music-panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks behind him to focus on acting and performing. He's written and stars in an upcoming BBC sitcom, Grandma's House, and his live DVD is out in November.

37 (new entry) Steve Reed; Leader of Lambeth Council

Regarded as one of the most influential Labour figures in London politics, Steve Reed led the party back to victory in Lambeth in 2006 after the one-time Labour fiefdom was lost following a period of shambolic administration. In May this year he won an increased majority.

38 (re-entry) Mark Gatiss; Actor and writer

The League of Gentlemen star is set for a bonanza 2010. As well as co-creating the BBC's acclaimed Sherlock Holmes reboot, he'll soon be seen in his adaptation of HG Wells's First Men in the Moon. An appearance in an Alan Ackybourn revival at the National Theatre is also mooted.

39 (68) Sir Adrian Fulford; Judge

The first openly gay British judge, Sir Adrian, 57, presided over the first case tried at the International Criminal Court, that of the Congolese ex-rebel leader Thomas Lubanga. He also oversees high-profile national cases, such as the trial of those accused of the 2005 London bombings.

40 (new entry) Heather Peace; Actor

Known for action roles in London's Burning and Ultimate Force, in which she played the first female SAS member, and as single mum Fiona Jones in The Chase, Peace is also a musician and is gigging at Pride events this summer. In the upcoming BBC3 drama Lip Service.

41 (80) Dame Janet Paraskeva; Civil servant

Dame Janet, 64, holds a clutch of prestigious roles, from First Civil Service Commissioner to heading up the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. She also sits on the board of the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

42 (47) Angela Eagle; Shadow treasury minister

The first lesbian to come out while an MP, she married Maria Exall in 2008. Returned to government under Gordon Brown, first at the Treasury and later as pensions minister. Re-elected as MP for Wallasey in May, she has been outspoken against spending cuts.

43 (67) Deborah Warner; Director

Warner's critically adored and generous-hearted vision of Handel's Messiah playing at the ENO late last year caused her to soar up the list. Raised as a Quaker in Oxfordshire, Warner is now one of Britain's most respected opera and theatre directors. She was made a CBE in 2006.

44 (98) Stephen K Amos; Comedian

After coming out to an Edinburgh fringe audience four years ago, the stand-up comedian performed a short set on the main stage at this year's London Gay Pride. He chose 1980s band Five Star as his Mastermind subject. He has a new show on BBC2 later this year.

45 (new entry) Richard Heaton; Civil servant

With pensions a key target for reform, the director general for strategy, information and pensions is a top adviser to ministers drawing up coalition policy. The Oxford-educated former lawyer is also responsible for targets to tackle poverty at a time of looming cuts.

46 (48) John Galliano; Fashion designer

In a recession, Galliano's role as creative director at Christian Dior is a tough gig. Nevertheless, the most recent figures for the house's eye-wateringly expensive haute couture arm were the best since his arrival in 1996. Penelope Cruz got married in one of his gowns last month.

47 (51) Derren Brown; Illusionist

The illusionist and parrot lover, who came out as gay in this newspaper in 2007, continues to work his particular brand of magic on the television-viewing public. Most recently he popped up exploring the paranormal in Channel 4's Derren Brown Investigates.

48 (31) Stephen Daldry; Theatre and film director

Daldry has recently returned to the media spotlight after his appointment to take charge of the 2012 Olympics' opening ceremony alongside Danny Boyle. Also forthcoming is a big-screen adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

49 (69) Matthew Parris; Times columnist

Parris has been a Tory MP, political sketch writer and Radio 4 presenter. Infamous for outing Peter Mandelson on live television, his column in The Times is considered by many to be essential reading. Lives in the Peak District with Julian Glover of The Guardian.

50 (new entry) Allegra McEvedy; Chef and broadcaster

Now an MBE, the woman who taught us Economy Gastronomy on TV and set up the healthy fast-food chain Leon (of which she remains a shareholder), set trends at her 2006 civil ceremony with a tiered cheeses "wedding cake". She is a passionate ambassador for fair trade produce.

51 (71) Mandy McBain; Lt-Cmdr, Royal Navy

The most senior openly gay officer in the Royal Navy, Lt Cmdr McBain has more than 20 years of service and is based at Navy Command in Portsmouth. She was instrumental in creating the Navy's first Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender Forum, which she chairs.

52 (1) Lord Mandelson; Labour peer

How far he has fallen. Was No 1 in 2009, while in Government. His recent memoirs damages rivals, embellishes his panto-villain rep, even suggests he might work with David Cameron (while skating over his sexuality), and should rescue Peter Mandelson from the wilderness.

53 (new entry) Sue Sanders; Human rights advocate

The instigator with Paul Patrick of LGBT History Month, which has now been running for six years involves over 1000 events across the UK. Sanders is also the co-chair with Tony Fenwick of LGBT History Month and Schools OUT, an organisation that has worked on making LGBT people visible in education since 1974.

54 (74) Tim Hely Hutchinson; CEO Hachette Livre UK

One in six British books is produced by Hachette under this popular – and populist – titan of publishing. The son of an Earl, he went to Eton and Oxford but started his career penniless, propelling himself up. He recently snubbed Amazon, making ebooks available on iBookstore.

55 (85) Matthew Todd; Editor, Attitude magazine

Only two years into the job, Todd has been nominated editor of the year by the British Society of Magazine Editors. As well as being a playwright and comedian, he has a keen eye for a story, landing a series of agenda-shaping interviews.

56 (11) Gok Wan; Broadcaster and designer

Champion of the female form, the Channel 4 presenter won over British women with his relentlessly positive attitude and quirky line in anatomical terms. This year, he's diversified into books, co-presenting More 4's TV Book Club and penning his forthcoming autobiography.

57 (new entry) Jean Osborne; Campaigner

A domestic violence expert, Osborne founded the first domestic violence crisis intervention centre in a British police station. She raised more than £1m to fund the project, and was commended by the Met Police for her pioneering work.

58 (new entry) Ravi Mirchandani; Publisher

The Cambridge history graduate has surged through the ranks of the top publishing houses in a 30-year career taking in Macmillan, Penguin, Orion and Random House. Publishing director of small independent Atlantic Books, he is expert at snapping up talent at book fairs.

59 (new entry) Kele Okereke; Musician

Formerly best-known as the frontman of Bloc Party, this year Okereke underwent a glorious transformation from introverted, semi-closeted indie-rocker to buffed-up, out-and-proud solo artist. As our own chief music critic declared: "We've got a brave new pop star."

60 (86) Philip Hensher; Writer

Both a literary heavyweight and respected journalist, Hensher writes forthright columns for The Independent. The author of six novels, his latest, The Northern Clemency, was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Commonwealth Writers' Prizes. Teaches aspiring writers at Exeter.

61 (92) Val McDermid; Crime novelist

A multi-award-winning and best-selling novelist, McDermid is a proud member of the Fife literary set and considers her work to be Tartan Noir. Though many of her books star a lesbian detective, she says that September's Trick of the Dark will be her first novel with a lesbian plotline.

62 (new entry) Patrick Strudwick; Journalist

Uncovered an industry of therapists offering gay-to-straight conversion, and published the results, "The Ex-Gay Files: The Bizarre World of Gay-to-Straight Conversion", in The Independent. Strudwick established the Stop Conversion Therapy Taskforce (Scott).

63 (new entry) Clare Dimyon; Activist

While Britain celebrates great improvements in gay rights, Clare works to highlight C&E European countries which are still catching up. In 2008, the Quaker persuaded British embassies across Europe to raise the rainbow flag for the first time, and she was this year made an MBE.

64 (14) Russell T Davies; Writer

Steven Moffat's assumption of the chief writer role on Doctor Who has resulted in Davies, the previous incumbent, sliding down the table. Still, the Welsh writer-producer was responsible for the Doctor's 2005 revival, and was awarded an OBE in 2008. He lives in Los Angeles.

65 (96) Lord Black; Exec director, Telegraph Group

Ennobled in May, Guy Black is the first openly gay Conservative peer. A former director of communications for the Tories, he boasts gold-plate contacts within government. he is the partner of Prince Charles's former deputy private secretary, Mark Bolland.

66 (re-entry) Stella Duffy; Actress, writer, campaigner

Writer of books about lesbian detectives and Roman hussies, prolific playwright, improvisational comedian and political campaigner, Duffy is both a literary novelist and sure seller. She is married to playwright Shelley Silas. Her latest novel is Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore.

67 (new entry) Susie Orbach; Psychoanalyst and writer

Orbach has been a major feminist voice since Fat is A Feminist Issue 32 years ago. Last year, she released the book Bodies and co-founded the Women's Therapy Centre in London. After more than 30 years in a relationship with Joseph Schwartz, her partner is now Jeanette Winterson.

69 (95) Sir Howard Hodgkin; Artist

The Turner Prize-winning painter, 77, is holding a major exhibition of new and previously unseen work at Modern Art Oxford. Called Time and Place, it demonstrates his unwavering status as a major contemporary abstract painter.

70 (78) Julian Clary; Entertainer

The master of the double entendre's well-received second novel, Devil in Disguise, was published in paperback in June. The besparkled one now practically has "National Treasure" status and is about to embark on his Lord of the Mince tour around the UK.

71 (new entry) Alison Goldfrapp; Musician

A trailblazer for the current wave of electro-pop females, the glam 44-year-old confirmed she was dating the film editor Lisa Gunning (one to watch) while promoting her recent album Head First. She rejects the lesbian label, however, saying: "I am in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful person. It just happens to be with a lady."

72 (re-entry) Jackie Kay; Poet and novelist

Her recent memoir, Red Dust Road, follows Kay's journey as she tries to trace her Scottish and Nigerian birth parents. Echoing her 1991 poetry collection, The Adoption Papers, it cements her reputation as a fine writer of non-fiction as well as of acclaimed novels and poetry.

73 (72) Ray Collins; General secretary, Labour

Joined the Labour Party aged 15, the former union official took the reins in 2008 in the wake of the "third-party loans" scandal. Collins kept a low profile during the election campaign but his influence is likely to rise with the arrival of a new party leader in September.

74 (54) Rabbi Lionel Blue; Author and commentator

Britain's first openly gay rabbi – who declared his homosexuality in 1981 – has become a minor institution thanks to some 30 years of contributions to Radio 4's Thought For The Day. This year his "thoughts" earned him a special award from the Sandford St Martin Trust.

75 (89) Sir Nick Partridge; Aids activist

Knighted in 2008, Sir Nick has spent more than 20 years campaigning for Aids awareness, fighting to establish HIV clinical trials, and working his way up from the post room to CEO of the Terrence Higgins Trust. He also chairs Involve, which promotes public involvement in the NHS.

76 (33) Will Young; Musician

Eight years after winning Pop Idol, the posh soul smoothie remains one of our most successful male solo artists, as marked by the release of his platinum-selling Greatest Hits album last November. His recent collaboration with Groove Armada heralded a left-turn into dance-pop.

77 (37) Alan Duncan; Minister of State, DfID

An ebullient and wealthy MP prone to upsetting people, not least when he complained that MPs had to live on "rations" following the expenses scandal. But the new minister for International Development was out long before Cameron made homosexuality acceptable to the Tories.

78 (82) Mark Abrahams; RAF Wing Commander

This year, a decade after the ban on homosexuality in the armed forces was lifted, Mark Abrahams welcomed guests to the first Quad Service Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender conference. Wing Cdr Abrahams is the RAF's most senior serving openly gay officer.

79 (83) Richard Barnes; Deputy Mayor of London

The most prominent of several gay members of Boris Johnson's high command. Barnes is a former leader of Hillingdon council. He is an economist who takes a particular interest in policing and security and is active in HIV charities, having had a partner die of Aids some years ago.

80 (new entry) Michael Clark; Dancer/choreographer

Launched Michael Clark and Company in 1984 and is now widely considered one of the most daring and fascinating choreographers around. He is an Artistic Associate of the Barbican and his dance company is currently at Tate Modern, transforming the Turbine Hall into a space for experimentation and creating new work.

81 (new entry) Tris Reid-Smith; Editor, Gay Times, and

Overseeing two of the gay media's most influential titles, Reid-Smith reaches some 400,000 readers. GT sparked one of the big stories of the election when David Cameron stumbled over his position on gay equality in a filmed interview.

82 (new entry) Andrew Davis; Founder, Von Essen Hotels

Andrew Davis is rightly proud of his Von Essen Hotels group which was ranked by PricewaterhouseCoopers as one of the fastest-growing British companies this year. It has 31 hotels including the recently opened Hotel Verta at the London Heliport in Battersea.

83 (new entry) Jane Hill; BBC newsreader

A newsreader on BBC News 24, Hill has reported on major stories including 9/11. She came out this year in Ariel, the BBC in-house magazine. Hill, 41, once went out with Strictly Come Dancing winner Chris Hollins, but now lives with Sara, a camera-operator.

84 (26) Iain Dale; Tory blogger and pundit

Falls 58 places after failing to secure a constituency in this year's election, but has cemented his position as a leading political commentator. He publishes Total Politics magazine and his blog Iain Dale's Diary is among the most respected. More influential outside politics than in.

85 (90) Paul Burston; Writer and salonista

"Gay London's Jane Austen", according to this newspaper's review of his novel The Gay Divorcee, which topped Amazon's Gay Fiction list and was rushed out in paperback this year. He also hosts "London's peerless gay literary salon" and edits the gay section of Time Out.

86 (99) Alice Arnold; Radio 4 announcer

Full disclosure: she is the partner of one of this year's judges, Clare Balding. But the former actress and magistrate is up this year as she continues to soar at Radio 4, and is now a newsreader on Today. She and Balding are popular staples of London's party scene.

87 (new entry) Russell Tovey; Actor

Best known for his role in the wildly popular vampire series Being Human, Tovey has been acting since childhood when he appeared in Mud on CBBC. After coming out to his parents at 18, he has filled the absence of – in his own words – gay "role models that [are] blokey".

88 (new entry) Natalie Gamble; Partner, Gamble & Ghevaert

Established her own family through donor conception and became a pioneer in fertility law. Heavily involved in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and was nominated in 2008 as Stonewall's Hero of the Year. Met Gordon Brown in recognition of her work.

89 (49) Chris Bryant; Shadow foreign minister

In March the MP for Rhondda made history by holding the first civil partnership ceremony in the House of Commons. The one-time biographer of Glenda Jackson has been relentless as an MP and sparked a bit of a storm when he claimed that French is a "useless language".

90 (new entry) Femi Otitoju; Activist

Formerly of The Observer, Otitoju founded the diversity training consultancy Challenge 22 years ago. Always an in-demand speaker, her 2005 e-learning package, Same Difference, proved an invaluable resource for both the public and private sectors.

91 (new entry) Jeffrey John; Dean of St Albans

In 2003, Jeffrey John became the first openly gay minister to be nominated a CofE bishop, but withdrew his candidacy in the face of the ensuing controversy. This year he weathered a similar storm after reports he was the preferred candidate for next Bishop of Southwark.

92 (new entry) Rikki Beadle-Blair; Polymath

Actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, singer, aerobics teacher, designer, choreographer/dancer and songwriter. His play, Fit, about homophobic bullying in secondary school, is being adapted into a film, produced by Stonewall.

93 (new entry) Tim Franks; CEO Pace

Since joining Nottingham's Gay and Lesbian Young People project 20 years ago, Franks has been a tireless campaigner. He founded Nottingham Trent University's LGB Society, and has lectured in Lesbian and Gay studies. Pace is a gay mental health charity in London.

94 (new entry) Tim Teeman; Journalist

Started on The Independent and has steadily risen through the ranks during 10 years at The Times. A favourite of editor James Harding, he has swapped a desk in Wapping to become their New York correspondent. Sharp, witty and a good writer.

95 (re-entry) Jonathan Harvey; Playwright, screenwriter

Leading dramatist, Harvey queered up the teen romance with his 1993 play Beautiful Thing and was behind Coronation Street's first same-sex storyline. Returned to the fore this year with Canary, a stage examination of the past 50 years of gay rights.

96 (88) Reverend Scott Rennie; Church of Scotland minister

Scotland's first openly-gay minister. Rev Rennie became minister of Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen, last year. Some worshippers complained, but since he arrived attendances have been up.

97 (52) Murray Chalmers; Music executive

PR mogul in the music biz who represented Coldplay, Lily Allen, Radiohead and The Pet Shop Boys among others when he worked at EMI. He left to set up his own firm, Murray Chalmers PR, in 2008 and his clients now include Kylie and Robbie Williams.

98 (new entry) Julie Bindel; Journalist and campaigner

The founder of Justice for Women, a human rights group which opposes violence against women "from a feminist viewpoint". This year, Bindel has written about returning to the radical lesbian feminism of the 1970s and 1980s, and has raised the issue of sex trafficking.

99 (new entry) Sheila Shulman; Rabbi

The Brooklyn-born rabbi moved to London in 1970 and founded gay and lesbian synagogue Beit Klal 20 years later. Having lacked a permanent home for many years, members now meet in Notting Hill. The synagogue has generated five rabbis, and one student rabbi.

100 (new entry) Joe McElderry; Musician

X-Factor winner always insisted he was straight but came out only yesterday, though the suspicion is that the decision was forced on him. McElderry, 19, spoke bravely, and may inspire others to come to terms with their sexuality. As he says: "I'm happy. I now know who I am."

101 (new entry) David Laws; Former chief secretary to the treasury

To have enjoyed the shortest Cabinet career in modern British politics is a distinction few MPs will crave, and Laws might have been No 1 on this list had he been both out and in his job at the same time. Now he stews in ignominy at No 101. The Liberal Democrat MP for Yeovil was a key negotiator in the coalition deal, and was rewarded with a job as George Osborne's deputy. But after being lauded for his deft handling of the post election spending review, his 16 days in high office ended abruptly with the revelation that he claimed £40,000 for rent payments to his partner James Lundie, in breach of expenses rules. Laws, 44, had kept his relationship secret because even his parents had not known about his sexuality. He continued claiming £950-a-month after paying rent to a spouse or partner was banned in 2006, fearing a change to his arrangement would reveal his sexuality. He denied financial motivation, insisting: "I'm still somebody who hasn't exploited the expenses system." He repaid the money and admitted: "I suppose it was pretty stupid because all the people I have spoken to have accepted it [my sexuality] without hesitation." He is widely expected to return to government.

Judges at the top of their game

Our expert panel would be on the list, if they hadn't been compiling it

John Amaechi

Psychologist, author, retired basketball star and social entrepreneur

First picked up a basketball at 17 but was written off. Six years later he became a starter in the NBA and went on to be the first Briton to gain a place in the US Basketball Hall of Fame. Has expertise in keynote and motivational speaking, conference chairmanship, and workshop administration. In the UK, he works with his own charity as well as local and national government to harness the power of young people through holistic sporting centres for urban communities. Has appeared on Richard & Judy, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Oprah, speaking on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Clare Balding

TV and radio presenter

A BBC presenter with an impressively varied portfolio of sporting and non-sporting programmes, Balding continues to front live horse-racing, her first love. She is seemingly unflappable but also has the knack of conveying enthusiasm without gushing. Her presenting skills have seen her host programmes on a variety of events including the Lord Mayor's Show, Trooping the Colour and Crufts. She is currently presenting BBC4's Britain by Bike, and works on Wimbledon tennis for radio 5 Live. A leading amateur jockey in her younger days, she lives in London, in a civil partnership with radio newsreader Alice Arnold. Balding has battled successfully against thyroid cancer.

Greg Barker

Environment minister

A consummate Establishment Tory for the majority of his political career (married to an heiress, a passionate supporter of hunting), Barker broke with convention when he separated from his wife in 2006 and soon afterwards confirmed his homosexuality. His career has not suffered. An early supporter of David Cameron, he has been rewarded with a post as Minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, where he will have the opportunity to pursue the interest in green issues.

Ben Bradshaw

Shadow culture secretary

Beginning as Deputy to the Leader of the House of Commons, Robin Cook, in 2002, Bradshaw rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Minister for Health. Having registered his civil partnership with Neal Dalgleish, a BBC producer, in 2006, Bradshaw became the first Cabinet minister in a civil partnership when he joined Gordon Brown's top team in June 2009. A popular figure in Westminster, the ex-BBC journalist and fluent German speaker saw off a Conservative "decapitation strategy" to hold his Exeter seat.

Jane Czyzselska

Editor, Diva magazine

Czyzselska had already spent 10 years championing gay rights as a columnist when she became editor of Britain's only magazine for gay women in 2004. Under her, the title has blossomed, combining fashion and style pages with hard-hitting coverage of gay equality rights – as well as publishing its own Power 50 List in 2009. Now out monthly – twice as often as before – the magazine attracts mainstream advertisers such as Yves Saint Laurent.

Paul Jenkins

Civil servant

A lawyer for more than 30 years, Paul Jenkins moved into the public sector early in his career and, at 55, is at the pinnacle of the Government legal operation, and became an honorary QC last year. Jenkins, who as HM Procurator-General, Treasury Solicitor and Head of the Government Legal Service leads a team of 600 lawyers, is the most senior openly gay civil servant. Jenkins, who lists his interests as "opera, theatre and London", entered a civil partnership last year.

Sir Simon Milton

Deputy Mayor of London for Police and Planning

As Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff to Boris Johnson, Milton has had a busy year helping the Johnson administration to navigate a change of government, budget pressures, the oncoming Olympic juggernaut, and speculation over the Mayor's private life. He and his partner, Robert Davis (the Cabinet Member for Planning in Westminster and Deputy Leader of the council), entered into a civil partnership in June 2007.

Ben Summerskill

Chief executive, Stonewall

A former Observer journalist, he now rivals Peter Tatchell among gay royalty since taking over Stonewall and propelling it to become the leading gay rights charity. Campaigns have included the repeal of Section 28, the introduction of civil partnerships, and tackling discrimination in the provision of goods and services, such as bed & breakfasts. He uses his journalistic contacts to maximum effect and frequently writes for newspapers or appears as a pundit.

IoS judges

Brian Brady, Whitehall editor; Katy Guest, literary editor; Lisa Markwell, executive editor;

Hugh Montgomery, arts & music correspondent; Susannah Frankel, fashion editor of The Independent;

Marc Padgett, sports editor; Margareta Pagano, business editor; Matthew Bell, media editor.

Another country: They're not on the list because they weren't born here – but they deserve a mention

Tyler Brûlé

Magazine proprietor

Although leading most trends, Canadian-born Brûlé seems to be bucking at least one: the recession. His style-and-business magazine Monocle is expanding; with an ever growing retail chain and a new 60-page print newspaper on sale, he is a one man phenomenon.

David Collins


With an impish sense of fun, an internationally renowned design studio and an address book groaning under the weight of all those A-list friends, the Irish-born, London-based Collins seems to have it all. The design brain behind the Wolseley, J Sheekey and many more.

Beth Ditto


Plus-sized frontwoman, Beth Ditto, has had another busy year, leading her band, Gossip, on a barn-storming European tour while still finding time to attend the Cannes Film Festival, where her choice of outfit sent the blogosphere into a spin. The Arkansas export was nominated for outstanding music artist at the 2010 Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) awards.

Tom Ford


Already a successful designer, business tycoon and friend of the rich and beautiful, 2010 saw the Texan's directorial debut. His film of Christopher Isherwood's novel, A Single Man, drew critical plaudits and proved a commercial success.

Daniel Kramer

Theatre director

Burningly ambitious and fiercely talented, Ohio-born Kramer is one of the most hotly tipped young directors on the London theatre scene. In the past year alone, Simon Callow's former partner has directed operas by Rufus Wainwright, Béla Bartok and a play about the life of Joe Orton.

Graham Norton


Having successfully made the jump from late-night to primetime, the Irishman's career continues to flourish. After fronting reality show Over the Rainbow, he has been confirmed as Jonathan Ross's replacement on Radio 2 and is tipped to take over his Friday night chat-show on BBC1.

Jake Shears


After spending most of 2008/2009 in the recording studio, the puckish frontman and his trail-blazing band, Scissor Sisters, are back with a new and well-received album, Night Work. Born in Arizona but raised in Seattle, his band's performance with Kylie Minogue at Glastonbury was a highlight.

Wolgang Tillmans


With a well received retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery in London, the photographer's stock continues to rise. German-born but based in London, much of his work reflects on his relationship with the city as well as gay culture.

Colm Tóibín


Melancholy in print but ebullient in person, Tóibí*has enjoyed a stellar 12 months; his novel, Brooklyn, scooped the 2009 Costa Novel Award and was long-listed for the Booker Prize. Most recently, the Dublin-born writer led a successful campaign to have his native city declared a Unesco City of Literature.

Sandi Toksvig


The Danish comedian's forays into theatre in the last year have been a marked success: her "Playhouse: Live" season of TV-plays being as well received as her Sandi Toksvig's Christmas Cracker at the Royal Festival Hall. She has three children and lists staying at home as her hobby.

Sam Muston

National treasures: What would we do without them?

Alan Bennett


With his gentle and funny memoir A Life Like Other People's recently published in paperback, his gentle and funny play The Habit of Art (directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Richard Griffiths) newly launched in London, and his gentle and funny contributions to the London Review of Books, the brilliant literary Yorkshireman is someone you just want to hug.

Maggi Hambling


As confirmed by her CBE in the 2010 New Year Honours, Hambling is as quintessentially British as warm beer, dissent, and scones for tea. Her best- known works are a memorial to Oscar Wilde and a four-metre sculpture in metal of two interlocking scallops, erected on Aldeburgh beach and dedicated to Benjamin Britten.

Simon Callow


If the IoS Pink List were to award a Lifetime Achievement prize, Simon Callow would surely be the first recipient. His "alternative autobiography" My Life in Pieces was published last month and he currently has four films in post-production, but he maintains that "coming out as a gay man was probably one of the most valuable things I've done in my life."

Jasper Conran

Fashion designer

His lines are a well-loved hardy perennial of London Fashion Week with an annual turnover that dwarfs that of most other independent designers. Conran's designs for Wedgwood and Debenhams mean that he's also a fixture in the homes of less dedicated fashionistas. No wonder his first book, published in April, was called Jasper Conran Country.

Sir Ian McKellen


Proving that gay men can crack Hollywood (and play such iconic characters as Lear and Gandalf), McKellen can do no wrong on stage or screen. After blowing away audiences in Waiting for Godot, he still campaigns internationally (shocking a Singaporean TV audience, for example) on his "most urgent concern": legal and social equality for gay people worldwide.

Neil Tennant


Winner of last year's Brit award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music and the inspiration for David Tennant's stage name, the Pet Shop Boys' frontman inspires total dedication from his fans. The band's set at Glastonbury in June was considered the highlight of the festival. They are currently touring in the Far East.

Paul O'Grady

TV personality

Since the semi-retirement of his alter ago Lily Savage, O'Grady has made a name for himself as a comedian, chatshow host and memoirist. His early-years autobiography At My Mother's Knee (And Other Low Joints) won critical plaudits and sold well. It will be followed by The Devil Rides Out next month. Lily Savage will return in panto this Christmas.

Jeanette Winterson


Accrington's most famous daughter published her autobiographical first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, when she was only 26. She has given strength to young gay people around the world, and decades of superb literature to everyone else. This year, she is celebrating the book's 25th anniversary, making fans feel extremely old. Winterson now writes books for children and adults.

David Hockney


One of Britain's greatest living artists, 73-year-old Hockney is still trying new techniques, creating work on his iPhone using digital brushes and emailing the results to his friends. Based in the fashionable ends of London and Bridlington, he serves on the advisory board of the political magazine Standpoint and is a staunch pro-tobacco campaigner.

Rupert Everett


Though his attempts to break Hollywood and his recent beard growth have been similarly unsuccessful, Everett has cornered the market in a particular kind of Englishman, gay or straight; Wilde and Coward could have been writing with him in mind, and he is currently starring as Professor Higgins in Pygmalion.

Katy Guest

Rogues' gallery: They're out... but they're not in

Peter Ackroyd

Novelist and biographer

Dazzling and prolific author Ackroyd qualifies for the list on all counts but the one that matters. "Is it some sort of gay thing? ... I'm not even gay," he claimed after hearing that he'd made it on to last year's list. We pray that you won't be weeping into your cornflakes as we bid this impostor adieu.

Lord Browne

President of the Royal Academy of Engineering

The former BP Chief Exec (until he resigned in 2007 when he was rudely outed) bounced back as the new government's "super non-exec". John Browne has appealed to others to be bold and come out. A bit rich given his official response to the 2006 Pink List's compilers: "I don't know what you are suggesting, but it is not in the least appropriate that his name is associated with that article."

Samantha Fox

Model/Singer/TV personality

From Page 3 queen to renowned autocue reader and I'm A Celebrity ... survivor, Fox has been a true renaissance lesbian over her three-decade career. But then we heard her recent Greatest Hits CD, and felt that single-handedly killing off the Eighties revival might be considered achievement enough for one year

Jason Gardiner

TV Mr Nasty

Omitted on the basis that influence should not be confused with a devotion to self-publicity, Dancing on Ice's Mr Nasty has done his best to stir up controversy with quips about Sharron Davies' resemblance to faecal matter. Said show's resemblance to said faecal matter is seemingly a moot point.

Boy George


Refused entry to the Celebrity Big Brother house and now to the Pink List as well? We do hate to kick a man when he's down, but it may take more than a Mark Ronson collaboration for this escort-assaulting chameleon to regain his pop crown.

Sir Elton John


Oh Elton. Long have we admired you for your tireless dedication to Aids fundraising and consumerist excess, but cadging $1m to play at the wedding of homophobic shock jock Rush Limbaugh? Really? Please atone by forwarding said cheque to The Independent on Sunday, and your position will be restored forthwith.

George Michael


Ever since his 1998 outing, we've admired Michael's unapologetic refusal to play by pop's squeaky clean rules. But there's a fine line between liberated hedonist and abject train-wreck, and he may just have crossed that with his recent fourth arrest in five years, for ploughing his car into Snappy Snaps, no less.

Andrew Pierce


Following last year's Jan Moir uproar, the hope was that this recent Daily Mail signing might ruffle some feathers within that bastion of fine feeling. More fools us, of course, as witnessed by his February article offering support to the Pope in the face of the "madness" of Harriet Harman's Equality Bill.

Louie Spence

Choreographer and TV star

Had this been a list for the greatest reinforcers of gay stereotypes, the star of Sky 1's car-crash reality show Pineapple Dance Studios would obviously mince it. Alas, as it stands, we can't help but hear the clock ticking on those 15 minutes of his.

David Starkey


The Tudor expert made it to No 4 last year, but in 2010 his notorious acid tongue finally obscured all academic prowess, with ex-culture secretary Ben Bradshaw ("The French take culture seriously. We have Ben Bradshaw") and female historians (writers of "historical Mills and Boon") among those on the receiving end.

Hugh Montgomery

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