La PINK LIST è la lista dei 100 personaggi gay e lesbici più influenti del Regno Unito, pubblicata annualmente dall’Independent on Sunday. Nell’editoriale che presenta la 10^ edizione della Pink List, la redazione si chiede se sia ancora necessaria una simile iniziative in un paese dove ormai i gay e le lesbiche hanno la massima visibilità, sono ai vertici di tutte le professioni e godono degli stessi diritti degli eterosessuali. La cosa potrebbe sembrare anacronistica, dicono, ma chiedendo ai vari personaggi elencati, questi hanno tutti risposto che la Pink List è ancora indispensabile, in quanto è soprattutto la celebrazione di una comunità che è ormai parte integrante dello stile di vita britannico.
Chissà se anche in Italia i vari personaggi lgbt famosi sarebbero così felici di entrare in una lista simile, da noi ancor più necessaria e utile per accrescere la pressione politica e sociale per l’acquisizione dei diritti legali finora negati.
Ricordiamo che la prima lista, pubblicata nel 2000, era composta solo da 50 nomi presentati in ordine alfabetico. Oggi l’iniziativa è più un’ambita gara tra VIP che un coming out pubblico.
La lista elenca in totale 79 uomini gay e 21 donne lesbiche.
In cima alla lista troviamo addirittura il ministro britannico delle Attività Produttive Peter Mandelson (foto sopra) che, sebbene non abbia mai fatto un coming out pubblico (probabilmente perchè superfluo in quanto notoriamente riconosciuto tale) risulta essere l’omosessuale più influente del Regno Unito (sembra che solo grazie alle sue iniziative il governo Brown stia ancora in piedi).
A noi comunque fa particolarmente piacere trovare al 2° e 3° posto due nostri beniami, rispettivamente Stephen Fry e Sir Ian McKellen, entrambi grandissimi attori. Stephen Fry viene motivato come “genio eclettico, uno dei più prolifici divulgatori del paese da numerosi programmi di tv e radio. Una sua recente lettera aperta a se stesso adolescente ha offerto una toccante riflessione sull’avanzamento dei diritti dei gay negli ultimi 40 anni”.
Nella motivazione per McKellen si legge che “rimane uno dei più instancabili attivisti per i diritti dei gay, e solo la settimana scorsa ha implorato alle star velate di venire allo scoperto, lamentando la mancanza di modelli gay agli occhi della collettività”
Al 4° posto abbiamo David Starkey, ancora un uomo di cultura e spettacolo, che con la serie su Enrico VIII trasmessa da Channel 4 in aprile e con un libro che uscirà in autunno sullo stesso tema si conferma uno degli storici televisivi più acclamato. Parla schiettamente e senza reticenze di temi e problematiche gay.
Al 5° posto abbiamo una eccezione alla regola (in totale sono solo 2 i personaggi non britannici presenti nella lista), la musicista americana Beth Ditto, lesbica dichiarata ed orgogliosa che con le sue opere ha notevolmente influenzato la musica britannica. Il suo nuovo album “Music for Men” è stato lodato dalla stampa di tutto il mondo.
Al 6° posto troviamo lo scrittore Alan Bennett, icona nazionale e primo cronista delle debolezze inglesi, che il prossimo novembre presenterà al teatro Nazionale “The Habit of Art”, un’opera sulla tempestosa amicizia tra W. H. Auden e Benjamin Britten.
Al 7° posto abbiamo il regista Phyllida Lloyd che con il suo “Mamma Mia!”, prima diretto in teatro, ha ottenuto il più grosso incasso cinematografico mai registrato in UK.
Sono ben 26 gli autori o attori legati al mondo della tv, del cinema o del teatro: Gok Wan (11), Evan Davis (12), Simon Russell Beale (13), Russell T Davies (14), Dawn Airey (15), Graham Norton (19), Graham Norton (20), Alan Carr (21), Clare Balding (22), Michael Grandage (27), John Barrowman (28), Paul O’Grady (30), Stephen Daldry (31), Simon Amstell (32), Matt Lucas (38), Matthrew Bourne (43), Rabbi Lionel Blue (54), Fiona Shaw (55), Dominic Cooke (57), Sue Perkins (58), Deborah Warner (67), Julian Clary (78), Zoe Lyons (81), Stephen K Amos (98), Alice Arnold (99), Simon Callow (100)
Sono 8 i musicisti: Neil Tennant (16) Will Young (33) George Michael (36), Sir Elton John (77), Dan Gillespie (87), Patrick Wolf (92)
Sono 9 gli scrittori: Sandi Toksvig (18) Sarah Waters (23), Jeanette Winterson (73), Peter Ackroyd (79), Mark Ravenhill (84), Jake Arnott (86), Paul Burston (90), Ali Smith (91), Val McDermid (94)
Sono 2 gli artisti: David Hockney (59), Sir Howard Hodgkin (95)
Di seguito la lista completa in originale pubblicata da www.independent.co.uk. Tra parentesi la posizione precedente.
1. (last year’s rating 64)
First Secretary of State; Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills; Lord President of the Council
Where do we start? At the time of last year’s Pink List he was a mere EU Trade Commissioner planning his summer holiday in Corfu. Unknown to all of us he had already had talks with Gordon Brown about a return to Government. Then came the yachting adventure with Oleg Deripaska and George Osborne. Last October, he was recalled to the Cabinet, as Business Secretary, in the biggest surprise to hit Westminster since John Major and Edwina Currie. Earlier this month he rescued Brown by persuading fellow Cabinet ministers not to quit; he was rewarded with the extra title of First Secretary of State ? Deputy Prime Minister in all but name. This week, he will help to launch a plan to help Britain recover from recession. Mandelson, 55, refuses to discuss his private life, and has never officially come out ? meaning that he has been criticised by some gay men and women for his lack of support. But there was no debate about promoting Lord Mandelson 63 places to Number 1: he’s not only the most powerful gay man in Britain, but arguably the most powerful individual in the country.
presenter and writer
The genial polymath has added to his substantial fanbase as one of the country’s most prolific tweeters, on top of his copious TV and radio work. A recent open letter to his 16-year-old self offered a moving reflection on the advancement of gay rights over the past 40 years.
Currently in Waiting for Godot on stage Sir Ian will make a rare TV appearance this autumn in ITV’s remake of The Prisoner. He remains a tireless gay rights activist, only last week imploring closeted stars to come out, and lamenting the lack of gay role models in the public eye.
academic, writer, presenter
With a major Channel 4 series about Henry VIII broadcast in April and a book, Henry: Model of a Tyrant, due this autumn, Starkey has cemented his reputation as the telly historian. He is outspoken on gay issues and also an establishment favourite, he was made a CBE two years ago.
As an out and proud American, Ditto should not be allowed on this list ? but the Brit-based singer exerts more influence over British music, fashion and cool than many a politician. Her new album, Music for Men, was praised by this paper, and her plus-size range at Evans has been popular.
National treasure and premier chronicler of English foibles. With his 1980s flop Enjoy recently enjoying a revival, theatregoers now await The Habit of Art. Opening at the National in November, it’s about the tempestuous friendship of W H Auden and Benjamin Britten.
film director and theatre director
A bonanza year for Lloyd. Her film adaptation of Mamma Mia!, which she directed for the stage, became the highest-ever grossing film at the UK box office. Her 2005 Donmar production of Schiller’s Mary Stuart recently transferred to Broadway and bagged her a Tony nomination.
After years in the junior ministerial ranks, Bradshaw, 48, was promoted this month – making him the first Cabinet member to be in a civil partnership. The former journalist is now knocking BBC heads together over the future of the licence fee.
Passed over for the post of Poet Laureate 10 years ago, Duffy finally got the job in May. This makes her the first female/gay/Scottish Poet Laureate, as well as the most popular poet (after Shakespeare) among university English applicants.
Head of Implementation, Conservative Party
Boles, 43, is in charge of preparing a government in waiting – meeting civil servants and drawing up plans to implement Tory policies. He will stand for the safe seat of Grantham and Stamford, and is tipped as a future Cabinet minister.
presenter and designer
Beloved by some women for his idiosyncratic approach to wobbly bits and ‘bangers’, he is best known as presenter and co-creator of Channel 4’s How to Look Good Naked. He’s about the only man who could get away with turning a water cannon on a room full of naked women.
As the enthusiastic new boy on Radio 4’s Today, Davis topped last year’s list. He is still warmly appreciated for bringing a much-needed sense of humour to the programme, and as one of the few mainstream journalists who actually understands the credit crunch.
A guarantee of quality on any cast list. Currently at the Old Vic leading a double bill of The Cherry Orchard and The Winter’s Tale as part of Sam Mendes’s Bridge Project, Beale can also be heard as Le Carre’s spymaster George Smiley on the radio.
Bringing gay to the mainstream with series from Queer as Folk to Doctor Who, Davies was awarded an OBE last year. Though he has officially stood down as Lead Writer and Executive Producer of Doctor Who, his legacy continues in the spin offs, and their spin offs…
Since rejoining Five as CEO last year after eight years away, Airey slammed the Digital Britain report as a “political fudge”, and insists her channel is ‘not in tatters’. She oversaw a partnership with an online gaming service and is gunning for Five to merge with Channel 4.
The Pet Shop Boys? Tennant is the Henry Blofeld of pop music, quietly ruling the dance floor from his Co Durham bunker. Gigs at the O2 and Manchester sold out after the latest album Yes reached No 4 in the UK charts. David Tennant was inspired to take his stage-name from him.
The hits keep coming for the man the New York Times called “the most successful, influential and powerful producer of our time”. In January, his Oliver! became the fastest selling show in West End history, raking in £15m before opening.
Comedian, columnist and Care Bear lookalike, Toksvig’s cosy image betrays a biting wit. A contemporary of Stephen Fry at Cambridge, she is the funniest Chancellor of Oxford University they never had (she lost out to Chris Patten). She has three children and lists staying at home as a hobby.
From risqué, late-night beginnings, Norton has become the face of primetime entertainment, succeeding Terry Wogan as presenter of the BBC’s Eurovision Song Contest. In January, however, he received mixed reviews when he returned to acting in La Cage Aux Folles.
The National Theatre’s top man since 2003, Hytner has been voted the most influential person in British arts. His production ofPhedre with Helen Mirren has divided critics, but he has launched an initiative to broadcast live performances of plays on to cinema screens.
The toothy, camp comic has become increasingly ubiquitous on TV with his Sunday Night Project ? which won him the Entertainment Performance of the Year gong in March ? Celebrity Ding Dong and his Alan Carr, Chatty Man show for which Channel 4 is reputedly paying £3m.
Survived an on-air gaffe and nearly 1,500 complaints after the Grand National ? when the former jockey told winning rider Liam Treadwell he could use the prize money to get his teeth done ? to continue to be the face of not only BBC sport, but also major events.
The author of five acclaimed novels, three of which have been filmed, Waters is garlanded with awards, and was the subject of a South Bank Show special. This paper’s review of her latest book, The Little Stranger, published in May, praised her ‘mastery of storytelling’.
Founder of gaydar.co.uk
Badenhorst is co-founder of Gaydar, the world’s biggest internet dating site, and the Gaydar radio station. South African-born, he founded the site in 1999 with former partner Gary Frisch, who fell to his death from his London flat in 2007, leaving Badenhorst an estate of over £6m.
His personal wealth may have dropped to £280m in the credit crunch, but the ex-baggage handler is still one of Britain’s most successful businessmen. He sold a 50 per cent stake in BMI last week, pocketing £223m, to be pumped into his charity, the Michael Bishop Foundation.
Tory blogger and publisher
One of the best-known bloggers in British politics, Dale, 46, continues to add to his portfolio: publisher of Total Politics, public speaking, TV and radio commentary and contributing editor of GQ. In the top 30 through nomination for the Orwell Prize for his blog, started in 2003.
The Donmar artistic director’s decision to take over Wydnham’s for a West End season paid dividends, with the success of Ivanov, Twelfth Night and the Jude Law-starring Hamlet. He has been rewarded with a clutch of awards, including an Evening Standard gong for Best Director.
A square-jawed leading man come cheeky-grinned TV personality, who has blazed a trail for primetime gayness with his role as the omnisexual Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and spin-off Torchwood. Will follow Graham Norton in donning a frock for the West End revival of La Cage Aux Folles from September, and is soon to publish his second autobiography in as many years.
London planning adviser
Effectively Boris Johnson?s chief of staff, his position is strengthened by his status as one of only three deputy mayors still standing. Increasingly in charge at City Hall, he has still had to scale down his ambition in his own area, with the downturn scuppering his target of 50,000 new homes.
O’Grady still remains in the nation’s heart thanks to his Channel 4 teatime chat show and Radio 2 slot. Reportedly taking a cut on his seven figure salary, he says he will continue at Channel 4 until at least 2011. His autobiography last year won critical praise unusual for celebrity memoirs.
theatre and film director
A good year for Daldry, 48, who describes himself as gay, but is married with a daughter. He was nominated for an Oscar for The Reader, and his Billy Elliot The Musical cleaned up at the Tony Awards in New York, winning ten gongs including Best Director and Best Musical.
Not yet 30, the stand-up comedian’s skill for innocent putdowns normally only children can get away with on Never Mind the Buzzcocks has won him a bag-load of awards and a cult TV following. He says he won’t host another Buzzcocks in order to concentrate on his live performance.
singer-songwriter The inaugural Pop Idol winner continues to shrug off the curse of the reality-show winner; his fourth album Let It Go bagged the No 2 spot last September. Appearing at Glastonbury today, he is currently working with Groove Armada on a fifth album and plans to tour the UK this autumn.
As a tireless human-rights activist, Tatchell has to be admired for his courage. Campaigning for the Green Party this year, he was one of 32 arrested for unfurling banners at the banned Moscow gay rights march, which coincided with the Eurovision Song Contest being staged there.
At 29, he became the youngest-ever winner of the Orwell Prize last year. He is a columnist for The Independent and The Huffington Post and a contributing editor of Attitude. A scourge of right-wing commentators, his website also reveals that the Dalai Lama once called him ‘fat’.
Although often in the papers for the wrong reasons, George Michael, 45, has attained such status and wealth that he doesn’t have to perform any more. An art collector, the singer has a large collection of Damian Hirsts, and has an art gallery in Dallas with his partner Kenny Goss.
Shadow Commons Leader
Out long before Cameron made homosexuality more acceptable to the Tory party, and a fixture of the Shadow Cabinet ever since. Remains controversial ? not least after repaying over £4,000 of expenses to the Fees Office. Became the first Tory MP to enter into a civil partnership.
comedian and actor
Made it big with Little Britain after years of struggle with his straight but camp comic partner David Walliams. Has increasingly turned to acting, with roles in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. In September he will play Kenneth Halliwell in Simon Bent’s play about Joe Orton.
London marketing director
Perhaps the most stylish member of Boris Johnson’s inner circle to have graced our Pink List, Ritterband, 35, has impeccable Tory credentials, working in Central Office for David Cameron. Is now leading a rebranding campaign for London along the lines of New York’s NYC logo.
Chief executive, Stonewall
Summerskill, 47, received his OBE this year for ‘services to Equality and Diversity’. As Stonewall celebrates its 20th birthday, he said while ‘much has been achieved, there?s much left to do’. He vowed to fight until lesbian, bisexual and gay people enjoy full equality.
Director, British Museum
In the hot seat since 2002. In that time the museum has put on numerous ‘blockbusters’, such as Hadrian and China’s First Emperor, turning the 250-year-old museum into Britain’s biggest attraction – beating off Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Moctezuma II, opens in September.
creative director, Burberry
Bailey has turned the heritage label around since ‘that’ photo of Daniella Westbrook and child in matching checks. The signature rain macs continue to sell well, while Burberry Prorsum is a favourite with the fashion crowd, known by its iconic ad campaigns shot by Mario Testino.
A justly celebrated mainstream choreographer, Bourne, 48, is fanatical about the quality of his shows: His production of Dorian Gray is touring the UK this year, including two weeks in July at Sadler’s Wells and his seminal version of Swan Lake with male swans is back in the UK at Christmas, prior to another long international tour.
Last year, the one-time artistic director of Givenchy, famed for his darkly romantic style, saw his own label turn a profit for the first time. His dramatic autumn 2009 show was the highlight of the Paris season, and showcased his skills not only as one of fashion’s greatest visionaries, but also as a craftsman and modern-day couturier.
Government Chief Whip
Once a Pink List stalwart, Brown slipped out of the rankings in 2006 as his political fortunes nosedived under Tony Blair. He returns owing to his reappointment under close friend Gordon Brown. He kept his sexuality a private matter until 1998, when he was forced out by tabloid allegations by a former lover.
Vice-chair and prospective candidate for Stourbridge Deeply involved in the long-term pre-election campaign in Stourbridge, but combining it with work for the national party and work on gay issues. James moved into politics ? she is currently a Kensington & Chelsea councillor – after a meteoric business career. She lives with her long-term partner, BBC TV presenter Jay Hunt.
Eagle became the first female MP to enter into a civil partnership last year, when she married Maria Exall, whom she met at Southwark Labour Party in 1991. She was also the first lesbian MP to come out while still in the House of Commons. Like her twin sister Maria, who is also an MP, her career has prospered under Gordon Brown and she remains loyal to him.
Galliano launched his first eponymous perfume last autumn to acclaim frompress and buyers alike. His collections as creative director at Dior continue to thrill and, more importantly, to sell ? especially because France’s first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, now wears the label head-to-toe for most state occasions. In difficult times, Galliano?s own collection and his creations for Dior couture shows are as vibrant, beautiful and well-received as ever.
Foreign Office minister
One of the MPs who took part in the September 2006 coup against Blair, Bryant, 47, was given a proper ministerial role this month after serving as Harriet Harman’s deputy in the Commons for more than a year. A keen swimmer, marathon runner and Carla Bruni fan.
Having begun his presenting career on local radio at the tender age of 16, 35-year-old Mills now rules the Radio 1 airwaves on weekday afternoons with his drive-time show. Earlier this year Mills holidayed at ex-Baywatch star David Hasselhoff’s LA home for a reality show; Hasselhoff is currently returning the favour with Mills in the UK.
The debonair man of mystery’s second year on the list, after he came out to this very newspaper in 2007. Far and away the country’s most impressive and successful magician, he has been causing jaws to drop with new stage show Enigma and will return to our screens in September with four one-off specials. A recent book of celebrity caricatures also revealed a hitherto unheralded artistic streak.
A former head of press at Parlophone, Chalmers is as much of a legend within the PR industry as the stars he looks after – among them Kylie, Coldplay and Radiohead. Since quitting his role at the EMI label, he has founded his own agency, Infinite. Chalmers famously dubbed singer Lily Allen ‘the Wordsworth of the MySpace generation’.
TV producer and Labour peer Alli made a fortune in TV production, following careers in publishing and the City. A solid backer of New Labour under Tony Blair, he was also a significant fund-raiser. He became the first openly gay Muslim peer under Blair, but does not enjoy such a close relationship with Gordon Brown and was reportedly among MPs and peers trying to organise a leadership election last autumn.
author and commentator
Came out in the 1960s but publicly declared his homosexuality in 1981 to become Britain’s first openly gay rabbi. As a regular on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day for the last 25 years he has become a bit of an institution. He still lectures and gives talks around the country.
An award-winning actress best known for her fearless, controversial interpretations of classical stage roles from Medea to Richard II, she recently made her opera-directing debut with a highly praised version of Vaughan William’s Riders to the Sea for the ENO. She will also be a conspicuous big-screen presence in coming months, reprising her role as Aunt Petunia in the new Harry Potter, and starring in an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray.
One of the protestors who last year scaled Parliament to protest against plans for a third runway at Heathrow, Omond leads the group called Climate Rush. In April, she and three other protestors held hands and glued themselves around a statue of Viscount Falkland ? the site of a protest by a suffragette 100 years ago.
A shaky season devoted to US playwright Wallace Shawn aside, Cooke has continued to impress with innovative, ambitious programming in his third year as the Royal Court’s artistic director. Notable recent successes include The Pride, an era-spanning exploration of shifting attitudes to homosexuality, written by none other than partner Alexi Kaye Campbell.
Having started out as one half of double act Mel and Sue, Perkins has become a TV star in her own right. She conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra in front of 30,000 people as winner of baton-wielding reality show Maestro, and can currently be seen reprising her oddly flirtatious relationship with critic Giles Coren for the second series of time travel foodie show The Supersizers Eat?
One of Britain’s greatest living artists Hockney, at 72 he is still unafraid to try new things. Earlier this year he revealed he had created work on his iphone and he uses digital techniques for some of his landscape paintings ? taking pictures of canvasses, piecing them together on screen, and then going back to the canvass. Lives in his mother’s house in Bridlington, Yorkshire, after decades in California.
A retired English basketballer who became the first NBA player to come out in February 2007. He did basketball broadcasts for the BBC at the Beijing Olympics and appeared on Shirts & Skins, a reality TV show in the US, where he acted as team mentor and psychologist to the San Francisco. He is a broadcaster and political activist in the UK.
The editor-in-chief of glossy style-and-business magazine Monocle seems to be riding out the recession with the aplomb you’d expect from the original brain behind design bible Wallpaper. Whilst the rest of the media are furiously cost-cutting, Canadian born Brule has been busy expanding his brand with a retail chain, books and even a designer fragrance.
CEO, Shed Productions
Gallagher, 49, a former LWT boss, recently stood down as CEO of Shed Productions, the independent television company she co-founded in 1998. However she still remains on the Board as Chief Executive of the company that made its name with Footballers’ Wives and Bad Girls. It is one of Britain’s biggest production houses with pre-tax profits of £31m in 2008 up from £23m in 2007.
The most senior openly gay civil servant, Jenkins’ official titles are Her Majesty’s Procurator General, Treasury Solicitor and head of the Government Legal Service. He heads the government’s in house legal team of 600 lawyers, so is the most powerful lawyer in Whitehall after the Attorney General. He was made an honorary QC in March.
Shadow environment minister
A bright young thing whose prospects took a blow when it emerged that he had left his wife for a gay lover in 2006, he has fought back to become a trusted member of David Cameron’s team. He reacted to the claim that he had bought a flat with the help of taxpayers’ money and sold it after just 27 months at a £320,000 profit by claiming that he had ploughed his own money into the house.
Conran’s career in British fashion spans 20 years and his annual turnover dwarves that of most other independent designers. His show is a fixture on the London Fashion Week schedule, and his lines for Wedgewood and Debenhams ensure that his name is known and trusted across the consuming public.
The bracingly experimental 49-year-old director reunites with longtime collaborator Fiona Shaw once again for a National Theatre revival of Mother Courage and Her Children, opening in September. Also forthcoming is her ENO staging of Handel’s Messiah to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. Her partner is Jeanette Winterson.
The first openly gay person to become a judge, the 56-year-old High Court judge was elected to the International Criminal Court in 2003 and is now hearing the case of alleged Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga – the first case to come to trial since the ICC was created a decade ago as the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal.
A must-read parliamentary sketchwriter and still a venerated political columnist although no longer based at Westminster. Supported gay rights as a Tory MP, and outed himself in a newspaper. Lives in London with civil partner Julian Glover, chief leader writer at The Guardian.
Shadow environment secretary
Was shifted sideways from justice to environment earlier this year and has kept a low profile ? which is why he remains in the 70s. But Cambridge-educated Herbert, 46, is tipped for a prominent role in any future Conservative Cabinet.
Royal Naval officer
The senior officer has worked her way through the ranks since joining the Royal Navy in 1986 and is based at HMS Excellent, in Portsmouth. She is the chair of the Navy’s first LGBT forum, and works with Stonewall to promote equality in the RN.
Assistant editor at The Daily Telegraph, we promote him a few places not least because of that newspaper’s scoop on MPs’ expenses. Pierce, 47, spent nearly 20 years at The Times, is a prolific journalist and broadcaster, and has recently written movingly about being adopted.
With her coming-of-age novel, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, still selling steadily 25 years on (a new paperback edition will be published next year), Winterson has now cornered the market in children’s fiction. Last year’s Tanglewreck won almost as much praise as her award-winning novels for adults. The Battle of the Sun will be published in November.
CEO, Hachette Livre UK
Still struggling against the world domination of amazon, Hely Hutchinson recently spoke out against the online giant’s demand for a cut in wholesale book prices. Since Hachette bought Time Warner in 2006, he is effectively the head of the country’s biggest publishing group, comprising Little, Brown and Hodder & Stoughton, among others.
Labour Party General Secretary
He moved from the unions into Labour’s top managerial post a year ago, but Collins appeared the antithesis of the oldschool backroom fixer. However, a man who helped manoeuvre the TGWU and Amicus into a merger has attracted praise for reorganizing the party from the bottom, opening up new funding streams.
public relations guru
Head of corporate affairs at Barclays since last year, when the civil servant ? John Major’s former press secretary ? left his role as the Government’s chief press officer to work in the City. One of Peter Mandelson’s circle, he was formerly a director at Cable & Wireless and at the BBC, and ran his own PR firm.
Not even Sir Elton is immune from the recession, it seems, after seeing his fortune plummet by a quarter in the past year, though he can console himself with the recent Tony Award-winning success of Billy Eliot: The Musical, for which he composed the score. Together with partner David Furnish, he has raised over $150 million for the fight against Aids via the Elton John Aids Foundation.
It has been a busy year for the south London-born comedian with a penchant for sparkly make-up. Despite celebrating his 50th birthday in May, the flamboyant entertainer has already managed to pack in a Strictly Come Dancing tour and a well-received second novel, and is about to embark on his Lord of the Mince UK stand up tour.
novelist and biographer
An unlikely TV star and relentless chronicler of London in his magnificent fiction and non-fiction books, Ackroyd is about to take on another world city. Venice: Pure City, published this September, is likely to do for La Serenissima what London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River did for London.
Her role as First Civil Service Commissioner [corr] ? to ensure recruitment in Whitehall is fair and open – is one of several held by the 63-year-old, who ‘married’ her long term partner Mary in a civil partnership in 2006. As well as being a board member of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, and chair of the Olympic Lottery Distributor, she also heads up the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.
Nominated for Best Newcomer at the if.comedy awards in 2007, Lyons runs nights in London and Brighton and won the award for the best joke of the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008. As Attitude magazine’s tip for the next breakthrough comedian on TV, she fits the mould of the gay comic whose act isn’t just about being gay.
RAF Squadron Leader
With 20 years’ service flying Chinook helicopters, he is the RAF’s most senior serving gay officer and tours of duty in Pakistan and Afghanistan earned him an MBE last year. Chairs the RAF LGBT Forum, which he helped to establish, and now holds regular meetings with RAF officials at Air Headquarters.
London deputy mayor
Another member of Boris Johnson’s inner circle who is gay, the former Tory leader of the London Borough of Hillingdon Barnes has been out as a gay Tory for over two decades. He takes a special interest in policing and security but he has been active in HIV charities since a partner died of AIDS several years ago.
Since coming to prominence in the nineties, when the Bristol University graduate’s play Shopping and Fucking, was performed at London’s Royal Court Theatre, he has cemented his reputation as one of Britain’s most controversial playwrights – often combining acute social observation with gay characters and themes.
Todd has taken Attitude by storm since taking over the magazine for gay men. He can boast a raft of exclusive interviews, including Tony Blair, who said the Pope’s line on homosexuality was out of line with most Catholics. A comedian and writer, his play Blowing Whistles continues to tour the world.
A controversial re-admission to the list, since he is currently in a heterosexual relationship with the previously- lesbian writer Stephanie Theobald, Arnott is nonetheless a gay icon. His novels, from The Long Firm (1990) to this year’s The Devil’s Paintbrush, are butch and brutal depictions of gay and straight life.
musician, lead singer, the Feeling
Brought up by his mother and her lesbian partner, the 30-year-old singer has gone from strength to strength since The Feeling won the Ivor Novello Songwriters of the Year Award in 2007. He appeared on the front cover of Attitude in March 2008, and featured on the cover again in September last year – alongside Alan Carr and Sir Ian McKellen.
minister, Church of Scotland
Scotland’s first openly gay minister is a member of the Church of Scotland’s Taskforce on Human Sexuality. His appointment as minister to Queen’s Cross Church, Aberdeen, has been the subject of fierce controversy since it was announced last year. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has spoken in defence of his appointment.
A tireless campaigner against AIDS over the past 24 years, and chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust since 1991 ? during which time the charity has grown to employ hundreds of staff, helped by an army of more than a thousand volunteers. He has worked to get HIV clinical trials off the ground that have helped in the fight against the disease and was knighted in December  for services to healthcare.
As host of Soho’s premier gay literary salon, Polari, and editor of the gay section of Time Out, last year Burston won a Stonewall award for his coverage of gay issues. One of his novels, Lovers and Losers, inspired a club night of the same name. His latest ? and fastest-selling yet – is The Gay Divorcee.
Of her four novels, two (Hotel World, 2001) and The Accidental(2005) have reached the shortlists for both the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize. But it is in the short story form that Smith really excels. Her latest collection, The First Person and Other Stories, shows what the form can really do in expert hands.
He started out when just 14, playing with pop-art collective Minty. Since then he has collaborated with the likes of Marianne Faithfull and become a regular fixture at festivals. His fourth album, The Bachelor, was released earlier this month [June] to critical acclaim and the 25-year-old is spending this summer touring the UK before dates in the US and Europe.
Fashion journalist turned-designer and London socialite, Holland encapsulates a specific wave of East End hipness that has put London back on the fashion map. His first collection in 2007 featured slogan T-shirts that paid homage to industry favourites, like Giles Deacon and Gareth Pugh, and September will see his third catwalk show as part of Topshop’s prestigious NewGen sponsorship scheme. His childhood friendship with Agyness Deyn ensures he’s a presence both on the scene and in the tabloids.
With an impressive aAmazon sales ranking of 562 for her latest novel, A Darker Domain, McDermid’s literary crime fiction has brains and a pulse. She has been the winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger, the Theakstons Old Peculier Award and the Sherlock Award. Her next book, The Fever of the Bone, is published in September.
The Turner prize-winning painter and printmaker, who came out in his mid-40s after years of marriage, has just completed the two largest prints he has ever made. His As Time Goes By exhibition, at London’s Alan Cristea Gallery, is named after the song from Casablanca and features enormous prints more than 6m wide.
The Telegraph Group
The Cambridge history graduate is a former director of communications for the Tory party, director of the Press Complaints Commission and one half of a power couple with partner Mark Bolland. Since 2005 Black has been corporate affairs director for the Telegraph Group.
Fashion designer Known for his red carpet pieces, as seen on Sienna Miller and Kelis. His feminine aesthetic makes him a favourite among society girls, and his recent collection for H&M sold out within days. He is soon to launch a menswear collection.
Stand-up comedy circuit stalwart Amos hit the headlines earlier this year when he revealed that Prince Harry had told him he ‘didn’t sound like a black chap’. South London born Amos tried to calm the resulting furore by jokingly pleading for people to stop jeopardising his OBE.
BBC Radio 4 announcer
Partner of BBC sports presenter Clare Balding, with whom she tied the knot in 2006. The former actress and magistrate, an ex-partner of Sandi Toksvig, is a regular on Radio 4, having been the voice of the shipping forecast and the Today news, since she joined the station in 1991.
One of the first openly gay actors in Britain and still one of the most popular, Callow declared ‘that there are some political acts one can do that actually make a difference. And I think my coming out as a gay man was probably one of the most valuable things I’ve done in my life.’
Vedi sito dell’Idependent con l’introduzione e la lista illustrata
Qui sotto gli attori Stephen Fry e Sir Ian McKellen rispettivamente 2° e 3° della Pink List