Edinburgh’s Hot 40 list: Shining spotlight on city glitterati

Edinburgh zoo residents Yang Guang and Tian Tian made our list. Picture: PA
Edinburgh zoo residents Yang Guang and Tian Tian made our list. Picture: PA
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TODAY we reveal Edinburgh’s first ever Hot 40 list – the people who have made the biggest impact on the Capital in 2012.

We compiled the list from all areas, including business, sport, politics, entertainment and even an enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo.

It highlights many deserving names who have put Edinburgh in the spotlight this year – and a couple who have made the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Our very first Person of the Year, named opposite, was an easy decision, but choosing the rest of the Hot 40 was far more difficult, with many well-known names just missing the final cut.

After a year which included the Olympics and the all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final, it is not surprising to see many familiar sporting names here, and there is a nod to our local politicians and business leaders.

The arguments will continue over some of the other entries but, above all, this is intended to be a bit of fun and not in anyway a comprehensive or scientific list.

2 The Portobello campaigner: Not a single person, not even a particular group. The Portobello campaigner has been active in 2012 on a range issues, most notably the battle to build a new school. Whether in the pro or anti-park camp, the campaigners show a desire to help shape the community they care about and have led a mostly healthy and respectful debate. Whether we agree with them or not, we salute them.

3 Lesley Hinds: The woman with perhaps the toughest brief on the city council including, as it does, bins and trams. She has had one disaster after another thrown at her since being appointed after the election in May and has managed to deal with it all efficiently and impressively. The former Lord Provost may be hoping for a

quieter year in 2013.

4 The fans of Hearts and Hibs: It’s not easy being a football fan in Edinburgh. Agony and ecstasy have been experienced in equal measures by both sides of the city’s divide. The all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final in May was a credit to the supporters of both teams, while Hearts fans went on to raise hundreds of thousands to save their club from the taxman.

5 Dorothy Maitland: The 57-year-old operations manager with stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands Lothians helped uncover the Mortonhall ashes scandal and bring it to public attention. The outcome of a council investigation into the practices at the crematorium will be revealed

in the new year.

6 Tim O’Shea, vice-principal of Edinburgh University: The university’s fundraising campaign has brought in an incredible £350 million, unprecedented in the Scottish higher education sector, while the reputation of the establishment continues to grow across the world.

7 Lynne McNicoll, Edinburgh’s fundraising queen: The woman behind the It’s Good 2 Give! charity responded to the death of her stepson in a cycling accident early in the year by setting up a memorial fund to improve bike safety. A true inspiration.

8 Tim Davison, NHS Lothian chief executive: Davison took over in April before being made permanent four months later. He has had to endure a barrage of negative headlines about waiting times, bullying staff and operations completed by torchlight. But he has moved to put the organisation on a better footing.

9 Andrew Burns and Steve Cardownie, leader and deputy leader of Edinburgh City Council:

The return of competent leadership at the city council will help bury the tram debacle and restore pride in our fantastic city. A series of new ideas will help make the council more accountable and transparent moving forward.

10 The pupils and staff of the Wester Hailes Education Centre: The school was in the headlines when it was revealed its Standard Grade success rate had soared from one per cent to 21 per cent in the space of just three years. It is a real success story and will be used as a model for others to follow.

11 Tom Buchanan, former head of economic development at Edinburgh City Council: Buchanan has been fighting serious illness for much of this year but has continued to work tirelessly for the city. Whether for Caltongate or SoCo, or in pushing

for the Green Investment Bank, he has been at the forefront of the city’s economic future.

12 Rudi Skacel, former Hearts midfielder: Already a legend with Hearts fans after he scored a double in the 5-1 cup final victory over Hibs, Rudi secured his status by jumping over the bar to pull pints at the Brauhaus to raise funds for his ailing former team. His choice of squad number at Dundee United – 51 – also went down well at Tynecastle.

13 Gerry Farrell, creative director of the Leith Agency: Mr Incredinburgh, the man behind THAT advertising slogan which will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Whatever you say about it, Edinburgh’s winter campaign certainly got people talking.

14 Yang Guang and Tian Tian: Edinburgh’s pandas may only have been here for a year but they must be the city’s most profitable residents. They are thought to have earned an incredible £4 million already – by doing, er, not very much except eating bamboo and looking cuddly.

15 Leigh Griffiths, Hibs striker: An often controversial character, but you cannot argue with his prolific goal statistics. Griffiths is one of the main reasons for the Easter Road side’s upturn in fortunes this season and the club will be trying hard to keep him beyond January.

16 Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport boss: As the debacle over the Incredinburgh campaign showed, rebranding is never easy. Dewar has brought in a new slogan for the airport and is quietly improving quality of service and standards across the board. He is working to secure new routes for 2013.

17 Edinburgh Monarchs fans: Perhaps less high-profile than the Hearts support, but Monarchs fans rallied to save their club from closure this year by pledging an incredible £30,000. It means the speedway team will live to ride again in the 2013 season. That’s real supporters for you.

18 Django Django: The band formed after meeting at the Edinburgh College of Art were the first Capital act to be nominated for the acclaimed Mercury Music Prize this year. The four-piece, whose musical style has been described as “folktronica”, are on the up.

19 Libby Clegg, Paralympian: Was a silver medallist at each of the last two Paralympic Games and if that wasn’t enough, she this year also became the face of the Evening News’ Christmas Appeal for the Royal Blind.

20 Stephen Hester, Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive: What? A banker in Edinburgh’s Hot 40? The target of much opprobrium, but Hester has ensured RBS has repaid £163 billion of public debt to the UK Government and has stabilised the bank. This has helped to restore the position of the city as a financial centre.

21 Alex Mackie, the man behind the Foundation of Hearts bid to take over at Tynecastle: He carries the hopes and dreams of many a Jambo on his shoulders. He has not put a foot wrong so far, but 2013 will be a big year for the future of the club – and he is sure to play a part.

22 Rebecca Traynor, Edinburgh’s Got Talent winner: You are sure to be hearing a lot more of the 15-year-old in 2013 after her stunning performance in the final of this year’s contest. The Musselburgh Grammar pupil went on to wow the crowd at the Radio Forth Awards. Watch this space.

23 Pat Fenlon, Hibs manager: Has to be on the list for pure bouncebackability. From the horror of the Scottish Cup final defeat to rivals Hearts, Fenlon turned the Easter Road side around to be riding high in the league (for a while anyway). Some pride was restored when Hibs knocked the Jambos out of this year’s cup – a pressure game they had to win.

24 Lynsey Sharp, Olympic athlete: The 22-year-old daughter of former Olympic sprinter Cameron Sharp reached the semi-finals of the women’s 800m at London 2012 – and she is not afraid to speak her mind on the state of Edinburgh’s sporting facilities. Go Lynsey!

25 Chris Fujiwara, Edinburgh International Film Festival artistic director: Brought credibility back to the festival this year. Was hailed after the event was declared a huge success, with more than 40,000 flocking to screenings. Will remain in the post for at least another three years.

26 Chief Superintendent Malcolm Graham, Lothian and Borders Police: In charge of the 1256 officers on duty in the Capital and committed to engaging with the public, as well as encouraging more bobbies on bikes. He’s even on Twitter – @EdPoliceChief.

27 Margo MacDonald, Independent MSP for Lothian: How could you not include Margo on the list? One of the most popular – and effective – politicians at Holyrood. Always puts Edinburgh first.

28 Donald Anderson, former city council leader: He was this year instrumental in steering through the redevelopment of the Cowgate fire site in his new role representing the public face of the scheme.

29 Sue Bruce, Edinburgh City Council chief executive: Instrumental in getting the tram

project back on track, she has also delivered the Edinburgh Guarantee – increasing jobs, training and education opportunities for the young. A short period of illness didn’t stop her working and she dragged officers to her bedside to keep projects moving.

30 Jonathan Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival: The Australian impresario will be a tough act to follow having just masterminded another year of record-breaking takings and ticket sales. A hunt is now on for his replacement but bosses have a bit of time. Mills is sticking around to take charge of his final Festival in 2014.

31 Sarah Boyack, Labour MSP for Lothians: Works tirelessly to promote the city and fights for what’s best for Edinburgh. Is particularly active in holding health chiefs to account.

32 Gordon Drummond, boss of Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh: 2012 marked ten years of top designer brands. The store has anchored the development of Multrees Walk, ensuring the Capital shopping offering extends beyond the regular high street brands.

33 Nina Nesbitt, singer: The teenage former Balerno High School pupil is tipped for the very top after signing a £1 million deal with Universal (and she wasn’t even on The X Factor). With a huge Twitter following of “Nessies” and YouTube views running to the millions, she is a pop princess in waiting.

34 Chris Lewis, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust: Well-respected and clever, he manages Edinburgh’s green space. This is the Trust’s 21st anniversary year.

35 Tim Visser, Edinburgh Rugby winger: Once again the top try scorer, Dutch-born Visser also made his Scotland debut against Fiji – and scored two tries, naturally, in a 37-25 win.

36 Craig Chalmers, singer and actor: Certainly made an impact this year, but perhaps not for the reason he wanted. Craig hit the headlines when he was sacked from the Dunfermline panto version of Cinderella when it emerged he had been making X-rated films.

37 Ian Rankin, author: The city’s crime-writing legend and prolific tweeter had a storming 2012. He wrote a bestselling new Rebus tale which saw him take the Christmas number one spot and, to top it off, a Boxing Day dramatisation of his Doors Open novel on STV. Not a bad year all in all.

38 Gaynor Salisbury, founder of Loopy Lorna’s Tearoom: It’s been another award-winning year for Gaynor. There can be few people partial to a cup of tea and a slice of cake in Edinburgh who haven’t paid a visit to Loopy Lorna’s in Morningside.

39 Adam Bojelian: The 12-year-old has cerebral palsy, is blind and suffers from a severe seizure disorder and can only communicate by blinking. That hasn’t stopped him winning a host of awards for his poetry and this year releasing a Christmas single. Simply incredible.

40 Raul Campos Folgado, bus driver: Edinburgh’s friendliest bus driver - official. Raul, who

spoke little English when he moved to Edinburgh from Madrid five years ago, claimed the title of Lothian Buses’ favourite driver this year. There’s no secret, he says, just smiling

and saying “hello”.

So what do you think? Who should have made the Hot 40 and who should have been left out in the cold?