As we near the end of 2015 I thought that it might be appropriate for me to name – and in some cases shame – those who have made an impact on politics, the media, culture, sport and the wider world during the year. The first group of awards were posted last week.
Best PR Stunt of the Year – Kingsley, the scary new mascot for Partick Thistle generated a massive amount of national and international media coverage. He boosted the profile of the football club, artist David Shrigley and club sponsor Kingsford Capital Management.
Worst PR Stunt of the Year – Plenty of competition in this category, particularly from Labour’s disastrous Ed Stone pre election photo call. However, the award goes to UKIP for agreeing to work with the BBC on a “fly on the wall” documentary featuring their members. Meet the Ukippers was compulsive, if often uncomfortable, viewing. What on earth were they thinking?
Hero of the Year – My vote goes to Andrew Jennings, the investigative reporter whose tireless pursuit of Sepp Blatter and his cronies led to the FBI investigation into the rampant corruption at FIFA. As Jennings said in one of his memorable BBC Panorama reports, “the beautiful game has been stolen by crooks.”
Villain of the Year – Sticking with the sporting theme, the award goes to Craig Joubert, the South African referee who wrongly awarded Australia a last minute penalty at the Rugby World Cup, thus depriving Scotland of a semi final place. It’s just as well that responsibility for foreign affairs hasn’t been devolved from Westminster to Edinburgh; otherwise a major diplomatic incident may well have developed!
Sporting Highlight of the Year – On a purely personal level, I was delighted to see Glasgow Warriors winning the Pro 12 title.However, the sporting highlight of the year has to be Britain winning the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years. Let’s hope that the LTA use this success as vehicle to broaden the appeal of tennis and encourage more people to take up the game.
Sporting Failure of the Year – The runaway winner here has to be England’s woeful performance in the Rugby World Cup. It was painful to watch and the post mortem still features prominently in the sports pages of the broadsheets.
Museum of the Year – Forget the British Museum or the V&A, the winner has to be the Lawnmower Museum in Southport which is currently appealing for public support to help it acquire Hilda Ogden’s lawnmower.
Finally, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.