TODAY we reveal our annual Hot 40 – the people who have made the biggest impact on the Capital in 2012.
The list – which includes entries from business, sport, politics, charities, health and entertainment – highlights many deserving names who have put Edinburgh in the spotlight this year.
The countdown is intended to be a bit of fun and not comprehensive or scientific. So what do you think? Who should have made the Hot 40 and who should have been left out in the cold? Get in touch and let us know
1. LESLEY HINDS
Edinburgh’s transport convener has juggled an astonishing workload that covers roads and bins, and done it while grasping that seemingly poisoned chalice of a tram project.
Placing her as Edinburgh’s person of the year may be controversial, but she has earned respect for finally steering what had been a nightmare of stop-start delays, soaring costs and PR blunders into something that actually does look like it might eventually become a functioning tram line.
Her year hit a peak earlier this month when, at long last, the first tram rolled slowly but incident free on a test run along Princes Street. Even wild wind and driving rain couldn’t dampen what was surely a victory parade of sorts.
It capped a busy year for the Inverleith councillor, which kicked off with a row over whether OAPs would be entitled to concessionary tram travel and continued with fierce debates surrounding cyclists’ safety on the city’s roads and Edinburgh’s £1 million tally in bus lane fines.
Few residents might thank her for the “too full” bin ruling that saw incidents of slightly overflowing bins lying uncollected as the city council switched to fortnightly collections. At one stage the council was juggling 72 complaints a day relating to bin collections.
Councillor Hinds is also one of the more accessible of local politicians, tweeting from meetings and regularly replying politely to tweets from concerned members of the public.
2. Professor Peter Higgs
With a Nobel prize in physics, the Freedom of Edinburgh and an £11m space centre about to be named after him, the “God particle” scientist is finally planning retirement.
3. Susan Boyle
Starred in her first solo tour and first movie, The Christmas Candle. Her new album, Home for Christmas, features a duet with Elvis, and she has told of her relief at being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
4. Ian Murray MP
Juggled being an MP with his role as chairman of Foundation of Hearts. The FOH £2.5m offer could see a new era of ownership at Tynecastle by the spring.
5. The Proclaimers
Charlie and Craig Reid celebrated the movie release of Sunshine on Leith, featuring their songs. Their Very Best Of.. album coincided with appearances at Glastonbury and T in the Park.
6. Tian Tian
Hopes for the patter of tiny paws were dashed in October when Edinburgh Zoo finally confirmed Tian Tian appeared to have lost her baby panda.
7. Krispy Kreme doughnuts
Never could anyone have anticipated the furore a humble doughnut might cause. Krispy Kreme’s arrival at Hermiston Gait in February brought traffic chaos and saw five million doughnuts sold in the first six months.
8. Tom Gilzean
The 93-year-old from Peffermill broke a £100,000 fundraising target after rattling his tin can in the city centre since 2008. The money’s gone to the Sick Kids hospital and injured soldiers.
9. Irvine Welsh
Trainspotting marked its 20th birthday this year by being named Scotland’s favourite book in a recent poll, while Welsh also his equally gritty novel, Filth, become a big-screen hit.
10. JK Rowling
Named as the real author of critically acclaimed detective novel The Cuckoo’s Calling led to the work becoming a number one bestseller.
11. Nina Nesbitt
A television advert platform for her version of Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop, New York gigs and Most Stylish Scottish Musician title, just Edinburgh’s Hogmanay left to cap a busy 2013.
12. Terry Butcher
The former England captain became Hibs’ seventh manager in seven years following the resignation of Pat Fenlon.
13. Chief Superintendent Mark Williams
Edinburgh’s top officer with the launch of the new Police Scotland. A blitz on saunas and community police changes kept him busy.
14. Kezia Dugdale MSP
Shone this year in her new role as Labour’s Holyrood education spokesperson and with a powerful campaign against payday loan companies.
15. Gordon Dewar
The Edinburgh Airport chief executive has overseen an 8.5 per cent jump in year-on-year passenger numbers. He recently announced new international services.
16. Margo MacDonald
A free spirit of the political scene, she recently relaunched her assisted suicide bill, setting the scene for lively debate in the year to come.
17. Dame Elish Angiolini
The former Lord Advocate has completed her inquiry into the Mortonhall ashes scandal. Her report, due next month, will be painful but essential reading for many.
18. Greg McHugh
Now a television regular with appearances as geeky Howard in Channel 4 comedy Fresh Meat, and roles in Dates and Bob Servant Independent.
19. Prof Steve Chapman
The principal of Heriot-Watt University was behind the winning £30m bid to run a state-of-the-art National Performance Centre for Sport at the campus, beating Stirling and Dundee for the sports hub.
20. Tim Davison
NHS Lothian’s new chief executive took immediate action over bullying and waiting time scandals with a series of internal probes.
21. Ian Fyfe
Dignified and determined, Ian, 81, from Joppa battled hard for justice for his late wife, Audrey, who was motorist Gary McCourt’s second bike victim.
22. The Lion King
The spectacular musical has thrilled audiences at the Playhouse and earned the first ever seven-star Evening News review.
23. Gordon Strachan
Muirhouse-raised Strachan became Scotland boss in January. A string of good results has raised Scottish hopes for Euro 2016.
24. Gayle McRobert
Diabetes nurse Gayle, 38, was crowned Lothian’s NHS Health Hero for her work at the metabolic unit at the Western General.
25. Saskia Eng
The 12-year-old from Murrayfield belted her way past hundreds of performers to win Edinburgh Has Talent in November.
26. Sir Chris Hoy
The nation’s greatest Olympian gulped back emotions in April and announced his retirement. But there were smiles in September when he was awarded the Freedom of Edinburgh.
27. Dorothy Maitland
The operations manager at stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands Lothian has worked alongside grieving parents seeking answers to the Mortonhall ashes scandal.
28. Billy Adams
It’s been a long, expensive, time coming, but earlier this month Billy Adams drove the first tram along Princes Street since 1956. Billy was chosen by ballot for the historic task.
29. Gaynor Salisbury
Her long cancer battle forced the sad closure of her award-winning Loopy Lorna’s tearoom in Morningside.
30. Freya Mavor
Freya, 20, joined former Doctor Who assistant Karen Gillan in her first film, Not Another Happy Ending. She also appeared in Sunshine on Leith and BBC drama The White Queen.
31. Clare Smith
Scottish Government marketing boss behind the highly acclaimed Elaine C Smith breast cancer campaign. Also named Scottish Communicator of the Year.
32. Dario Franchitti
The four-time IndyCar champion was forced into retirement after a horror accident that left him with spinal and ankle injuries. It brought to an end a glittering motorsport career.
33. Michele Corcoran
The manager of Edinburgh Women’s Aid has worked tirelessly to support hundreds of abused women, providing shelter and support when their need is greatest.
34. Neil Reid
Five times in the past year Lothian Buses driver Neil, 38, from Gilmerton has dashed to the aid of others, earning him a commendation from the police for his actions.
35. Leigh Griffiths
The ex-Hibs striker’s successful return to Wolves prompted him to reveal his torment over online bullies which drove him to the “brink of suicide”.
36. David Caesar
Clinical director of emergency medicine at the ERI offers a warts and all insight into life in A&E in his regular Evening News column. The accident and emergency department is among the busiest in the land.
37. Marion MacDonald
The Engine Shed boss came out fighting when the social enterprise cafe and bakery was threatened with a funding cut. News came in August that it was safe.
38. The Mac Twins
Buckstone twins Lisa and Alanna MacFarlane, 25, have had a remarkable year rubbing shoulders with celebrities, presenting their show on Radio 1Xtra and, in Lisa’s case, battling the nightmare of E.coli.
39. Susan McNaughton
Host of the regular #EdinHour chat and photo-sharing sessions on Twitter, helping raise the city’s profile worldwide
40. Gary Miller
Raised in a Leith slum and with long periods of his childhood in foster care, Gary, 52, turned his life around and in June become Liverpool’s first openly gay Lord Mayor.