Who is your male icon of the year?
Vote now for 2013’s ultimate hero as ShortList launches The Brit List
Britain has always punched above its weight, and it’s not just because of rampant greed or war-mongering aggression. No, it’s largely been because of our world-beating talent. And today, the quality of talent across a wide variety of fields, from sport to film to music to art, has never been stronger.
It’s with this in mind that ShortList will soon be revealing The Brit List, a run-down of the most exciting new talents in the country. For this, we’ve teamed up with that purveyor of British character, Lamb’s Navy Rum, with whom we’ll be holding an event on 23 October at The View from The Shard.
You have the chance to attend the party with the frothy cream of British talent by taking part in our online poll to nominate the British Male Icon Of The Year.
Yes, we’re looking backwards before we look forward, and we’d like you to take your pick of who you consider to be 2013’s most inspiring achiever from the men opposite, then go to ShortList.com/britlist to vote. Keep an eye out for updates on The Brit List in the next few issues, and don’t miss our Brit List special, where the next gen will be birthed. Ugh, that sounds disgusting.
Come to our Brit List party at the Shard
How to enter
Go to ShortList.com/britlist, and simply click on your choice of British Icon of 2013.
First place 2 x two tickets to the event, with overnight hotel stay and a mixology masterclass.
2nd, 3rd, 4th place Lamb’s Navy Rum mixology kits worth £300.
Runners-up 3 x Lamb’s Navy Rum special bottle kits.
(Images: BBC, Jimmy King, Ray Burmiston/Comic Relief; Getty; PA; Rex)
Now, let’s be honest. Would Luther, the final series of which plumbed new depths of bellowy comic-book ridiculousness, be anywhere near as enjoyable if it wasn’t for Idris Elba? No chance. This year, Elba cancelled the apocalypse in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, is already tipped for an Oscar in his upcoming Nelson Mandela biopic and, coolest of all, took a few months out for a rowdy DJ residency in Ibiza and at a north London dive bar. Other A-listers: up your game.
The masterful reappearance in January, the sprawling V&A Museum exhibit, the fantastically weird videos, an Arcade Fire cameo and a Mercury-nominated album. This entire year has been one prolonged lesson in timeless rock star cool from the erstwhile Thin White Duke. That the 66-year-old has done it all while remaining defiantly out of the public eye only makes it more impressive. Especially in the age of incessant selfies and fixed-grin chat-show appearances.
We may be biased in including a regular ShortList contributor, but few writers have prompted as many embarrassing laughter fits on public transport this year as John Niven. Having had a cult hit in 2008 with blood-spattered Britpop satire Kill Your Friends, his riotous – and deftly poignant – bestseller Straight White Male is his move to headlining the main stage. Buy it now. And don’t blame us for those awkward looks on the bus.
Murray took the momentum of last year’s Olympic triumph (and tear-soaked SW19 defeat) and turned it into an extraordinary 12 months where he won both the US Open and, historically, Wimbledon in front of an ecstatic home crowd on that unforgettable Sunday in July. And yet he still gets stick for not pulling funny faces or playing his racquet like a guitar between sets. Determined, tough, unapologetically focused; Andy Murray is what he is. And we love him all the more for it.
It’s harder and harder to square the polo-shirted imp of I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor with the bequiffed, leather-clad lord of sleaze we see now. All Arctic Monkeys triumphs this year – that spectacular Glastonbury performance, their critically-lavished fifth No1 album – have been adorned by Turner’s personal transformation into the mesmerising, fret-twiddling rock star he always seemed reluctant to be.
Amid interminable transfer wrangling and stage-managed handshakes with Cristiano Ronaldo it’s been forgotten that Gareth Bale is a phenomenal one-off. He’s the sort of player – and a British one at that – who regularly performs feats that a Roy Of The Rovers cartoonist would deem too far fetched. The fact he’s boldly gone on to make a goal-scoring start in La Liga only enhances his reputation. We’ll even forgive that bloody heart-hands celebration.
No booky wooks, top-hatted Olympic singalongs or major film roles from Brand this year. Just a pleasing return to his eloquently anarchic days as he rattled cages, continued his swashbuckling campaign to alter attitudes to drug addiction and wrote instant-classic articles about Margaret Thatcher’s death (“the headmistress of our country... her voice a bellicose yawn”) and Alex Ferguson’s retirement. Still smarter, funnier and filthier than any other big-name comic out there.
The grinning face and beating heart of London 2012 could have been forgiven for taking it easy this year. Succumbing to a conveniently timed injury, perhaps. Or simply Moboting his way around black tie events and giant cheque presentations. Thankfully, the Somali-born survivor had other plans. A year that began with him graciously facing down a dunderheaded US news anchor who mistook him for an amateur was capped off by a majestic double triumph at the world championships in Moscow. What a guy.
Show us an image from this year more enduring than Alan Partridge singing along to Roachford while at the wheel, and we’ll... well, we’ll just agree to disagree. The success of the North Norfolk broadcaster’s effortless transfer to the big screen rests squarely on Coogan’s shoulders. Choosing to crown a period of your career that includes fiery Newsnight debates and Michael Winterbottom dramas with losing your trousers while climbing through a window is quite something.
From the moment he hobbled off his bike, the second British winner of the Tour de France has found himself continually, and unjustly, compared to Sir Bradley Wiggins. Never mind that he’d won the Tour, in its centenary year no less, after lung-busting mountain triumphs and an unfortunate early fall. Outrageously talented and commendably modest, the Kenyan-born cyclist is a model in understated talent.