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Ringing in the new year with Who’s Who

As 2015 draws to a close, Who’s Who prepares to usher in the new year with its latest cohort of changemakers in the United Kingdom. From government and media, to business and the arts, over 1,000 new entries provide a glimpse into the lives of the world’s most influential leaders, marking the end of a particularly memorable year. Below, explore leading personalities in every area of public life, as written by the entrants themselves.

Arts & Entertainment

Oscar-nominated Felicity Jones enters Who’s Who for the first time, along with fellow actor and writer Miles Jupp, who enjoys watching cricket and drinking cider in the bath. Dr. Gabriele Finaldi, the newly appointed Director of the National Gallery, Sean O’Connor, Editor of The Archers, and Christopher Priestley, the highly regarded painter and illustrator, also make their first appearance.

Publishing & Literature

The world of publishing boasted a motley crew, with the inclusion of crime writer Mo Hayder, author of Hanging Hill and Wolf, and Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones novelist and screenwriter, who enjoys everything from salsa to scuba diving. Also included in this year’s class were poet Imtiaz Dharker and playwright Moira Buffini, who topped off this diverse group of literary giants and brought our list full circle.

Business & Enterprise

Entrepreneurial spirit also flourished, particularly with the inclusion of London-based venture capitalist Eileen Burbidge, Zoopla Property founder and CEO Alex Chesterman, Not on the High Street co-founder and Director Sophie Cornish, Whitley Asset Management founder Edward Whitley, and the fashion designer and gentlemen’s tailor, Patrick Grant, who works with brands including Norton & Sons, E. Tautz, and Hammond & Co.

Science & Academia 

Dr. Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome Trust, made the grade, as did Professor Steven Cowley, CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Cancer Research UK’s Chief Clinician Professor Peter Johnson—who enjoys theatre, opera, wine and sleeping through the news—is also new to Who’s Who; so too is stem cell biologist Dr. Douglas Winton, who lists his interests as travel, jam making, collecting books on islands, and finding good coffee bars.


When it came to the musical sphere, Virgin EMI President Ted Cockle and Alison Goldfrapp hit the right notes, as did composer Jocelyn Pook. Award-winning poet and rapper Kate Calvert, best known for her work Brand New Ancients, also earned a spot in this year’s lineup.

Military & Global Affairs

Captain Samuel Shephard of the Royal Marines, awarded the George Cross in 2014 for bravery, Victoria Wallace, the Director General and Secretary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Maajid Nawaz, the Chairman of counter-extremism think tank Quilliam Foundation, and counter-terrorism pundit Richard Barrett, all joined the ranks of Who’s Who this year. Group Captain Mark Hunt, Station Commander, RAF Cosford, who enjoys rescuing chocolate Labradors, running marathons, and is practising heartily to become a Master of Wines, is also included for the first time.

Human Rights

Last but not least, the youngest new entrant in this year’s Who’s Who update is Nobel Peace Prize-winning campaigner for education, Malala Yousafzai. She is joined by Victim Support CEO Mark Castle, and Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, Sarah Wootton.

Image Credit: “Malala Yousafzai” by Southbank Centre. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

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