Hot 100 - 2007's hottest talent

James McAvoy

James McAvoy

Scottish culture has shone in 2007, and so have Scottish stars. Throughout the year we have been working tirelessly to spot the hottest talent out there. We also invited you to nominate the people, places and events you think have made the greatest impact on our cultural life, at home and abroad. This is what you and our critics thought. Prepare to be surpised, infuriated and delighted – it’s The List’s Hot 100!

100. Sara and the Snakes


In her library girl specs and party frock, Sara Forshaw’s butter-wouldn’t-melt demeanour gives way to a voice bigger than PJ Harvey and twice as dirty in a three-piece distillation of raw, off-kilter and utterly beguiling 21st century blues. Greatness beckons. (LD)

99. Fraser Doherty


Doherty started making jam in his gran’s kitchen at 14 and was soon producing over 1000 jars a week. Worried his unusual teenage hobby would lead to toothache, he invented a healthy alternative using grape juice instead of sugar and Superjam was born. This year Tesco and Waitrose agreed to stock the stuff and the 18-year-old business student won a Strathclyde University Enterprise Award along with a Global Entrepreneur Award in Chicago. (KG)

98. Aileen Campbell


Campbell joined the SNP when she was a teenager. Now 27, she’s Scotland’s youngest MSP. She started her political career as parliamentary assistant to Nicola Sturgeon but after standing as a list MSP for the south of Scotland – and winning – she’s had to hire her own researcher. (KG)

97. Rosemary Goring


Having spent years reviewing books as The Herald’s literary editor, Goring put her own head on the critical block this year with Scotland: The Autobiography. Her wide-ranging history of the nation as seen through the eyes of those who lived it, from an eight-year-old Dundee factory worker to John Logie Baird, was praised by the public and critics alike. (BD)

96. Polly Frame


Frame’s TV career sky rocketed this year. The 31-year-old Edinburgh actress was recently snapped up to star in Disney Channel’s kids’ TV sensation, Bunnytown, with no less than two million adoring viewers worldwide. (KA)

95. Eilidh’s Daily Ukulele Ceilidh


Eilidh McAskill – not to be confused with the new editor of InStyle, also on this list – set out on 1 January 2007 to see if she could play a ceilidh, on her ukulele, for every day of the year. And, whether cooped up in a corner of the 78, taking to the main stage of the Traverse, playing for 400 people at the Nova Scotia Ukulele Festival or just recording herself on YouTube, with only days to go, she has succeeded so far. Good for her. (KI)

94. The Glasgow Girls


Forget the Spice Girls – if you want real girl power look no further than Amal Azzudin, Emma Clifford, Toni-Lee Henderson, Jennifer McCarron, Agnesa Mursela, Roza Salih and Ewelina Siwak. The teenagers – from Sudan, Iraq, Eastern Europe and Scotland – met at Drumchapel High School and were united in the fight for asylum seeker rights when Agnesa and her family were detained. Their campaign, recorded by an award- winning BBC documentary, was a success and doubled their determination. Politicians beware. (KG)

93. Eilidh MacAskill


Considering how seriously New Yorkers take fashion, the interest in MacAskill’s new role as deputy editor of US glossy InStyle is not surprising. MacAskill previously worked at Scotland on Sunday, was fashion editor of the Daily Express and most recently edited UK fashion magazine, Happy, something she’s sure to be feeling about the new job. (KG)

92. Alex Arthur


Already the British, European and Commonwealth champion, 29-year-old Hibs fan Arthur made good on his potential by claiming the interim WBO Super-Featherweight title in Cardiff in July. Next up – defending the title against Salford’s Steve Foster Jnr at Meadowbank this month. (DP)

91. Gill White


White became the inaugural winner of ‘One Minute Wonder’, The List and Metro Ecosse’s national short film competition that seeks to unearth new film screenwriting talent. White’s script I Was a Honky Lover was made into a short film directed by Scottish actor and director Alison Peebles. (PD)

90. Jessica Harrison

Visual art

The recent recipient of the RSA’s Sculpture Prize creates visceral sculpture that takes on big, ambitious themes. Despite only graduating two years ago, she’s exhibited in the National Galleries and is set for huge things next year with major shows in New York and London. (KI)

89. Mark Mackie


Mackie and his company Regular Music have staged some big name spectacles over the last 12 months. Events like Red Hot Chili Peppers at Hampden, Pink and Blondie at Edinburgh Castle and 18,000 Runrig loving maddies giving it some at Drumnadrochit all pleased huge crowds while Glasgow’s ABC went from strength to strength. (MR)

88. The Forest of Black

Film production

Director Blair Young and producer Beth Allen’s distinctive, Super8-filmed music videos for the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Belle & Sebastian and Idlewild are little bits of art in themselves. They recently drenched Sons & Daughters in gold for the ‘Gilt Complex’ video, made an old-style rockumentary for Antony & Johnsons, and announced their intentions to remain resolutely in Glasgow. (KI)

87. Stéphane Denève

Classical music

Denève continues to charm audiences as music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Among his many successes this year, his first recording with the orchestra won France’s Diapason award for the finest symphonic recording of 2007. (CM)

86.James Mackenzie


As the eponymous Celtic warlord in CBBC’s Raven, Mackenzie sends children on physical and mental challenges most adults would baulk at. The BAFTA-winning Raven has just been released in a DVD box set, ensuring Mackenzie’s mysterious presence reaches an even wider audience. (KA)

85. Six Cities


Nick Barley, former editor of The List and now director of The Lighthouse in Glasgow, headed a team that brought the best of design and architecture to Scotland’s major cities in the Six Cities festival in 2007. (AK)

84. Cabaret Voltaire


Perhaps Edinburgh’s most vibrant club venue, this place also does a great line in live music. Sugarbeat, Ultragroove and Trouble are just three of the mainstays, with Tokyoblu and Optimo joining in 2008. (HN)

83. Camille Lorigo


Scotland’s Creative Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 is a New York-bred dynamo, who this year moved her showroom for emergent Scottish designers, Che Camille, to the heart of the upcoming creative community in the Saltmarket. Lorigo works hard to keep Scottish design talent in Scotland. (KI)

82. Kirsty Balfour


One of the big Scottish success stories at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, winning silver and bronze in the 200m and 100m breaststroke, Balfour added another silver to her medals tally in the 200m breaststroke event at this year’s World Championships in Melbourne. She is one of the big medal hopes for the 2008 Beijing Olympics in August. (AR)

81. Nicola Killean


At just 27 the young musician, tutor and former head of Youth Music UK in Scotland, was this year appointed director of the Venezuela Scotland music project, a radical scheme inspired by El Sistema – an initiative to get children from the Caracas slums playing in orchestras. She launched the Scottish counterpart in the deprived Raploch estate in Stirling this August and hopes to give kids ‘the chance to dream’. (KG)

80. Marc Lambert


From the huge success of the Royal Mail Children’s Book Awards, and the Festival of Scottish Writing as part of New York’s Tartan Week, to the establishment of a dedicated writer’s retreat on the Isle of Jura (so far taken up by Will Self, Philip Gourevitch and Janice Galloway) Lambert and the Scottish Book Trust have made a huge contribution to the way Scottish literature is thought of at home and abroad this year. (KI)

79. Mutley

Visual art/music

Mutley is the softly-spoken, bespectacled mastermind behind the Studio Warehouse, the old Commes Des Garçons shop tucked underneath the railway tracks in SoFi (that’s South Finnieston to you). This year saw it become Glasgow’s consistently most interesting, hippest gallery space/underground gig venue. (KI)

78. Chris Hoy


Cyclist Hoy has won everything in his sport. He is a multiple world champion, including this year’s title, has won Olympic Games gold and silver medals, and in May 2007 he set the world record for the 500m flying start. Phew. (CB)

77. Christopher Young


2007 is a year that Skye-based film producer Young (Festival, Venus Peter) is not going to forget. In May a film script Young is attached to called The Strangest Thing won the Hartley Merrill screenwriting prize at Cannes. In October he released the world's first Gaelic feature: Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle – a joy of a film. Then there was historical epic The Last Kings of Dalriada and two new TV shows: The Smallest Game in Town and Baggy Trousers. That's some kind of work ethic. (PD)

76. The Outsider


New music festivals were almost as common as sudden downpours in summer 2007 but The Outsider, at Rothiemurchus Estate near Aviemore, stood out from the crowd. Outdoor activities, a family friendly atmosphere and a theme of environmental awareness all made suprisingly comfortable bedfellows with old-fashioned rock’n’roll abandon. (MJ)

75. Visible Fictions Theatre Company


Renowned for creating imaginative theatre, which entertains children and adults, Visible Fictions has surpassed itself this year. Both Shopping For Shoes and Jason and the Argonauts used innovative sets and superb acting to cater for over nines. And in January, the Glasgow-based company will head for the States, to show them how it’s done. (KA)

74. Craig Tannock

Venue owner

Tannock had a seriously busy 2007, overseeing the opening of three new additions to the city’s boho going out scene – vegan café/bar The 78, club The Flying Duck, and bar/venue Stereo. At the same time he was continuing café/bar/record store Mono’s success. (MJ)

73. Ali Smith


A year of consolidation for the Inverness-born, Cambridge-based writer as she contributed to the Canongate Myths series with Girl and Boy, a fresh take on the Iphis legend. And at the start of the year, she also helped out on Roddy Woomble’s Ballads of the Book project collaborating with the Trashcan Sinatras on ‘Half an Apple’. (BD)

72. KT Tunstall


Difficult second album syndrome is a nasty affliction that has affected everyone from Paul Weller to The Stone Roses but there were no such worries for KT. An album of two distinct halves – one part glitter to one part kohl – Drastic Fantastic showed she could play pop princess as readily as she could raspy troubadour. (MR)

71. Neil McGregor


The Glasgow-born director of the British Museum is credited with restoring the pride and prestige of the megalithic 250-year-old institution after years of straitened financial circumstances and declining visitor numbers, enjoying some favourable publicity as part of a ten-part fly on the wall BBC documentary, The Museum, broadcast in the spring. The current exhibition of Chinese terracotta warriors is experiencing such unprecedented demand that McGregor is planning to keep the museum open 24 hours a day. (AR)

70. Karen Cargill


Almost certainly the first diva to come out of the east coast town famous for Scotland’s Declaration of Independence, Arbroath mezzo Karin Cargill has been making her mark in the UK and beyond. Her debut in the role of Rosina in Scottish Opera’s Barber of Seville has placed her firmly on the operatic map and a BBC Proms appearance has led to a Wagner date with the Berlin Phil and Rattle for 2009. (CM)

69. Connect


The nation’s voracious appetite for outdoor music experiences was sated momentarily with a three-day ho-down of tremendous music in the spectacular environs of Inveraray. Beastie Boys, Björk, LCD Soundsystem, Jarvis Cocker, M.I.A. and the first live appearance by The Jesus and Mary Chain provided the sonic highpoints while lamb burgers and mussels to chow down on only added to the sense of occasion. (MR)

68. Edwyn Collins


After 20 months spent recovering from a double cerebral haemorrhage suffered in early 2005, Edwyn Collins returned in 2007 with a fine solo album, Home Again, which garnered rave reviews and a return to the live stage in London. (MJ)

67. Ashley Page


Having been awarded an OBE in 2006, Page had much to live up to. As artistic director, he’d already reinvented Scottish Ballet, and taken it back to the Edinburgh International Festival and London stage after a substantial absence. Could he improve on that in 2007? The answer was yes – the dancers kept getting better, the work more exciting, and this year’s Christmas show, Sleeping Beauty, is bigger than ever. (KA)

66. Sutherland Hussey


The architecture practice started by Mackintosh School of Architecture graduates Charlies Sutherland and Hussey went from strength to strength in 2007, picking up commissions in Bosnia and Ireland as well as working on the proposals for the redevelopment of the Haymarket site in Edinburgh. Sutherland Hussey also provided an insight into their working practice this year in a fascinating exhibition of their sketches and models at Glasgow’s Lighthouse, entitled Microstructures. (AR)

65. Hannah McGill


McGill hit the ground running for her first year as artistic director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, with a programme that combined indie offerings with blockbusters like Ratatouille. She also emphasised the screenwriter’s craft through seminars and talks and a (List sponsored) retrospective focusing on legendary screenwriter Anita Loos. (PD)

64. Vicky Featherstone


Featherstone’s contribution to Scottish theatre as artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland this year has been substantial. The revival of such pieces as The Wonderful World of Dissocia and Molly Sweeney shows Featherstone’s savvy as a programmer, and her awareness of the needs of Scottish audiences. Beyond this, for the master stroke of her commissioning of Dominic Hill’s Peer Gynt, as well as the international links she continues to forge with the ongoing tours of Black Watch and Aalst she warrants acclaim. (SC)

63. Kirsty Young


When Kirsty Young took over presenting Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs from Sue Lawley in October 2006, the audience panicked. But the honey-voiced one, who perched her way to success at Channel Five news, has made the Roy Plomley stalwart her own with record audiences. Such is her popularity with audiences that she has also been snapped up to front the new series of Crimewatch, which enters its 24th year on BBC One. (CB)

62. Cam Kennedy, Alan Grant & Matthew Fitt


The Edinburgh City of Literature event was a huge success. Copies of Kidnapped flew off the shelves but none proved more popular than the graphic novelisation by veteran comic artist Cam Kennedy and Alan Grant who adapted the classic text. If that wasn’t enough Matthew Fitt translated Robert Louis Stevenson’s prose into old Scots, to create another unique version of the adventure story. (HN)

61. Morag Deyes


When Scotland’s National Centre for Dance opened in 2001, it was after years of hard graft by one woman – Morag Deyes. As artistic director of Dance Base, she has worked tirelessly to give professional and amateur dancers a home, with over 2500 people using the centre each week. And in 2007, she finally got the pat on the back she deserved – an MBE. (KA)

60. Real Time Worlds


Founded by David Jones, who helped unleash Lemmings and GTA on the world, Dundee-based videogame developers Real Time Worlds had their first smash hit in 2007. In Crackdown you take the role of an enhanced police officer bringing justice to the streets of Pacific City, an exhilarating third person actioner, packed with adrenalin pumping set pieces. It scooped two Develop Industry Excellence Awards and two BAFTAs this year. (HN)

59. 59 Productions

Audio-visual design

Fast-tracking their way to international success as audio-visual designers, Mark Grimmer and Leo Warner have worked with Suspect Culture, Grid Iron and, for the National Theatre Of Scotland, Black Watch. Following extensive work at the National Theatre, the Royal Ballet and New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, future projects include a new play at The Traverse and Salome at the Royal Opera House. (LD)

58. Alan Cumming


Clad in cloth of gold and descending bare bum-first from the ceiling, the prodigal son did return. And what a return. The critical reponse to The Bacchae was mixed, but there was no denying Cumming’s star power, the snap, crackle or pop of his performance, or the fact that Scottish audiences welcomed him back to the fold with open arms and affection. (KI)

57. Philip Howard


Howard’s decade long tenure at the Traverse comes to an end this month, and after his substantial input to Scottish theatre, not just over the last year, where his production of Damascus was a highlight, but for a succession of high quality pieces over the years, Howard has more than earned his place in the Hot 100. (SC)

56. Wilma and Duncan Finnigan


This husband and wife budget filmmaking team already have a handful of great films to their name but this year the Scottish press finally woke up to the joys of these so-called ‘Coatbridge Cassavetes’, thanks to sell out screenings of their new media satire My Life as a Bus Stop. (PD)

55. Deryck Walker


Walker is part of the new wave of Scottish designers taking London by storm. He became one of the country’s most talked-about menswear designers after only three collections, and this year he not only branched out into sexy, severe womenswear, but proved he hadn’t forgotten his roots with an installation at Glasgow’s Studio Warehouse gallery space. (KI)

54. The Twilight Sad


This Kilsyth quartet have led a wholesale changing of the indie vanguard in Scotland over the last year, stepping up to fill the hole left by Aereogramme and Arab Strap’s respective retirements. Their powerful and beguiling mix of sensory post-rock and strange lyrics has wowed audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. (MJ)

53. JK Rowling


It wasn’t just Ian Rankin who was getting rid of the creation that has brought a steady flow of cash and critical acclaim. For the peskiest kid of them all, Harry Potter, witnessed the Hogwarts Express come screeching to a halt as millions of weans gathered en masse this summer to scoop up the Deathly Hallows. For many, life will never be the same again. (BD)

52. Joanne Brown

Visual art

The first ever Edinburgh Art Festival director, Joanne Brown brought together over 40 venues and many more artists for the fourth annual event. Highlights included exhibitions by Warhol and Picasso, Nathan Coley and David Batchelor. (AK)

51. Slam


DJing across the world and running their ever popular Pressure night in Glasgow has become the norm for Slam (aka Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle). And once again the Slam Tent at 2007’s T in the Park rocked like no other to sounds from Dave Clarke, Wu-Tang Clan and DJ Shadow. Add to that another album of quality underground house and deep techno, Human Response, and it’s been another killer year for Slam. (HN)

50. Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan


You don’t have to be young to be hot. Metzstein and MacMillan, two of the most influential Scottish architects of the past 50 years, are both in their 80s, but as The Lighthouse’s major retrospective of their practise Gillespie, Kidd & Coia shows, the impact of their work on Scotland’s urban landscape over the past 50 years has never been so acutely felt. (KI)

49. Nicola Benedetti

Classical music

She may only be 20 years old, but virtuoso violinist Nicola Benedetti has an astounding talent. The past year has included the stellar release of a CD of British music by John Tavener and Vaughan Williams, including his glorious Lark Ascending. (CM)

48. Hardeep Singh Kohli


Kohli bounced back from disappointing sitcom Meet the Magoons to become one of the most ubiquitous personalities on the box in 2007. Kicking off the year with the amusing Channel 4 exploration of gambling, £50 Says You’ll Watch This, the Glasgow-born writer, director and performer is also a regular on Newsnight Review and The One Show and guest presents Radio 4’s Loose Ends and Saturday Live. (AR)

47. Neil Gillespie


Design director of Edinburgh-based architects Reiach and Hall, Gillespie picked up the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland’s 2007 Andrew Doolan Award for the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney. The Stromness building uses bronze, glass and zinc, and won plaudits for its design simplicity – a Gillespie speciality. (CB)

48. Ian McKenzie Smith

Visual art

The artist and outgoing president of the Royal Scottish Academy has enjoyed a hugely successful tenure at the head of the venerable Edinburgh institution since he took over in 1998. His achievements include overseeing the Playfair Project, which created an underground link between the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy Building at the Mound in Edinburgh. He is also credited with promoting contemporary Scottish art to a wider audience. (AR)

45. 1990s


This Glasgow bunch are a shining example of how perseverance really can pay. After cult successes with V-Twin and The Yummy Fur, they went on to form 1990s and this year struck gold with magnificently punchy indie pop debut Cookies. (CP)

44. Martin Compston


The boy from Greenock who first came to our attention in Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen came of age this year with powerful performances in Dito Montiel’s New York drama A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and Steven Hudson’s Scottish trawler/illegal immigrant drama True North. You will also soon be able to see Compston in Neil Dog Soldiers Marshall’s new futuristic thriller/horror Doomsday. (PD)

43. Iain Glen


Film, theatre and TV actor Glen is surely one of the busiest men in showbusiness. He could be seen as struggling musician Doug in delightful Irish indie Small Engine Repair, as well as sword and sandals epic The Last Legion, Britcom Mrs Radcliffe’s Revolution (alongside Catherine Tate) and he reprised his role as Dr Issacs in the Resident Evil franchise. On television he was remarkable in harrowing drama The Relief of Belsen. A real Scottish treasure. (PD)

42. Morna Pearson


Arguably the smartest young writer to emerge from Scotland in recent years, at the tender age of 27, Pearson has been commissioned by the Traverse to produce a new play next year after much acclaim for her 2006 debut with Distracted. After this year’s promising one act Elf Analysis, and the inaugural Rod Hall award for new work, leading to a commission from leading English new writing company Paines Plough, Pearson’s quirky, gothic humour is likely to become a familiar fixture in the theatre, both here and across the border. (SC)

41. The View


They’re certainly not the prettiest of bands, but what this Dundee foursome lack in the looks department they more than make up for music-wise. 2007 saw them plunder the mainstream with addictive number three single ‘Same Jeans’ and a debut album Hats off to the Buskers which shot straight to the top of the charts in its first week of release. Whatever will these cheeky tykes get up to next? (CP)

40. Virginia Webb & Robert Winters


When Virginia Webb and Robert Winters opened Tapa Coffee and Bakehouse, an organic bakery and café in Dennistoun, it sparked the gentle Renaissance of this East End Glasgow district. In 2007 Tapa expanded the shop from its tiny beginnings and today you’ll find their artisan breads amid the fare of such diverse new operations as One Ten restaurant and Fifi and Ally café. (BS)

39. Karol Chojnowski

Polish community leader/Entrepreneur

A graduate of Edinburgh’s Napier University, Polish-born Chojnowski spied a yawning gap in the market for providing his compatriots with advice and information on living and working in Scotland. The result,, is now the second biggest portal for Poles emigrating to the UK, providing information on jobs and travel as well as liaising with Polish businesses, community groups and churches and offering advice on integrating into Scottish life. (AR)

38. Denise Mina


So, the Glasgow-based writer is a crime novelist, end of? Well, actually, no. She may have further cemented her reputation as the queen of Scottish noir with her latest Paddy Meehan novel, The Last Breath, but she also got dabbling in the fine art of comics writing. There, she teamed up with Leonardo Manco with the further tales of John Constantine in Hellblazer: The Red Right Hand. (BD)

37. Kevin MacDonald


Director and producer MacDonald kicked the year off in fine form with his excellent film adaptation of Giles Foden’s bestselling book The Last King of Scotland. Since then he’s been touting his new documentary My Enemy’s Enemy about Gestapo leader Klaus Barbie at film festivals and has seen it released in several European countries to great acclaim. MacDonald is currently working on US political thriller mini series State of Play which has Edward Norton and Helen Mirren attached to it. (PD)

36. David Tennant


Christmas TV wouldn’t be the same without an extraordinary Dr Who special and, this year, the Bathgate lad will be joined on his time travels by one Kylie Minogue. 2007 also saw him being voted part of the Best Scottish Comedy Moment (care of ScotsCare) for his Comic Relief sketch with Catherine Tate. (BD)

35. Susanna Beaumont

Visual art

Beaumont, who runs Doggerfisher gallery, had a cracking year in 2007 which saw her take four of her roster of artists to the Venice Biennale (Charles Avery, Rosalind Nashashibi, Louise Hopkins and Lucy Skaer). Previous Biennale exhibitors have included Turner prize nominees (Jim Lambie), and winners (Simon Starling), so future success is almost guaranteed for Beaumont’s artists, who happen also to include 2007 Turner nominee Nathan Coley. (AK)

34. James McFadden


A cult hero at Everton for his terrier-like tenacity, 24-year-old McFadden became an icon of Scottish football in 2007, courtesy of the screamer which beat France 1-0 at the Parc des Princes in September. Sadly we won’t be seeing more of the same at Euro 2008, but the rumour is that Celtic will be chasing his signature in the next transfer window. (DP)

33. Jonathan Mills


The Australian composer, producer and academic took over from Brian McMaster as director of the Edinburgh International Festival late last year, and his first programme showed the kind of creative thinking and willingness to experiment which bodes well for the future. (SC)

32. Andrew Marr


You can’t imagine anyone bringing more enthusiasm to a dual TV/books project such as A History of Modern Britain than Andrew Marr. This was an intelligent and engrossing dissection of the country post-WW2. (BD)

31. King Creosote


After years in relative obscurity Kenny Anderson broke into the consciousness of the general populace with KC Rules OK, a big band spectacular celebrating his nimble folk sound. For the follow up he toned down the eccentricities with a sound that almost (gasp) rocked in places. The tear jerking harmonies of Bombshell were augmented by shades of Springsteen and Petty without diffusing King’s distinctive tones, as witnessed on his many live dates this year, including a support tour with his kin KT Tunstall. (MR)

30. Julie Fowlis


The Gaelic singer and multi-instrumentalist from North Uist broke into the mainstream this year with her second solo album, Cuilidh, a top-seller in worldwide traditional music charts. An appearance on Later with Jools Holland led to widespread acclaim, since which she’s been raking in awards, and garnering celebrity fans, including Björk, Ricky Gervais and members of Radiohead. (DJ)

29. Roderick Buchanan

Visual art

It’s difficult not to be preachy when creating work about sectarianism in Scotland but Buchanan avoided this by presenting his findings almost as research, in his show at GoMA. The exhibition included two large film projections, where Republican and Loyalist bands fought it out. (AK)

28. Ewan McNaught


McNaught is the brains behind Vegas! (along with Lenny Love and Nick Sutherland) which celebrated its tenth birthday this year, with the usual classy mix of swing, country, big band, easy listening and jazz. McNaught also helped launch The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh, a new haven for clubbing, cocktails and live music. (HN)

27. Martin Boyce

Visual art

One of Scotland’s leading sculptors, Boyce brought one of the most successful exhibitions to Glasgow’s Modern Institute this year, with work influenced by stark modernist interiors and the International Style. (AK)

26. Sandy Grierson


The Leith actor’s career went from strength to strength in 2007, with a succession of outstanding performances. In June he picked up a Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland for best actor after an astounding performance in Fergus Lamont and followed this with his guileful lead in Subway and his superb one man Oresteia at Cumbernauld. (SC)

25. Angela Towler


There’s no denying that Aberdeenshire-born Towler is the jewel in the crown of Rambert Dance Company. Recently nominated for a TMA Achievement in Dance award (usually reserved for companies or choreographers), Towler is widely respected as one of the best modern dancers of her generation. (KA)

24. The Murrays


British number one and world number 11 Andy had an erratic year, recovering from injury and splitting with his coach, but 2007 also saw him successfully defend his San Jose title, while brother Jamie won the doubles title in the same tournament along with the Wimbledon mixed doubles. The boys’ continued success would not have been possible were it not for ace coach and former tennis player and mother Judy. (AR)

23. Rhona Cameron


A busy year on two fronts for the Musselburgh wag as she published her debut novel, The Naked Drinking Club, as well as returning to her first love, stand-up. Her Fringe return had her throwing caustic fireworks at everything from multinational coffee companies to flip flops. (BD)

22. Keith Hartley

Visual art

The chief curator at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art had a huge hit in 2007 with Andy Warhol: A Celebration of Life and Death, which drew widespread praise from critics and the public alike. The most talked about exhibition of the year, it saw the Royal Scottish Academy filled with car crashes, gold Marilyns and silver balloons, and attracted an impressive 95,411 visitors. (AK)

21. Ashley Jensen


A breakthrough year for the Borders lassie with some decent performances down LA way as the Scottish seamstress in the cult of Ugly Betty and a cameo in Night at the Museum. Her reputation looks set to grow even stronger with another superbly subtle showing as Maggie in the finale of Extras later this year. (BD)

20. David Mackenzie


Mackenzie enters this list courtesy of Hallam Foe, a clever and thrilling take on Peter Jinks’ novel about a curiously nosey young man set loose on the streets of Edinburgh starring Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles. The film had the honour of opening the 61st Edinburgh International Film Festival. Mackenzie is back on form and long may he stay that way. (PD)

19. Ballads of the Book


The brainchild of Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble, brought together by Chemikal Underground Records, this extraordinary album saw Scotland’s leading literati (Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan, Ali Smith et al) penning lyrics for our best bands to turn into songs. A remarkable achievement of consistent excellence, it’s the very epitome of artistic cross-pollination, and has paved the way for future cultural collaborations. (DJ)

18. Pacific Quay


Shining in steel and glass, Pacific Quay is Scotland’s hi-tech media hub tasked with regenerating the Clyde. The star of the 28 hectare site, linked to Glasgow by what’s affectionately known as ‘the squinty bridge’, is the BBC’s new headquarters designed by David Chipperfield and opened by Gordon Brown in September. The country’s first purpose-built, integrated broadcasting facility, it has been hailed as the most advanced broadcasting centre in Europe. (CB)

17. Sir Tom Hunter


The Ayrshire entrepreneur, who started his career selling trainers out the back of a van and wound up as Scotland’s first home-grown billionaire is now better known as an industrious philanthropist. The Hunter Foundation, established in 1998, has already donated millions to educational, international development and entrepreneurial causes. In July Sir Tom pledged to give £1bn to charity, the single most generous philanthropic pledge in British history. (AR)

16. Grant Morrison


Not content with reinventing JLA and X-Men in the past, comics powerhouse Grant Morrison is still one of the most widely read Scottish authors of all time. Now writing two of the most iconic names in pop culture, Batman and Superman, he also picked up a ‘Best Series’ at the Eagle Awards and ‘Best Ongoing Series’ at the Eisners in 2007. (HN)

15. Alison Peebles


Peebles had a cracking year as star and director of Dundee Rep’s Happy Days and Playhouse Creatures respectively. In film she received plaudits and awards for her short documentary Multiple about living with Multiple Sclerosis. (PD)

14. Frankie Boyle


Arguably the country’s finest stand-up comic he aired his wares on the box with much verve and wit in Mock the Week while cropping up as a tactless AA man in BBC3 sketch show Rush Hour. But his sell-out appearances at the Fringe in Morons, I Can Heal You, will go down as a career high. (BD)

13. Gordon Brown


Having nursed his vaulting ambition for a decade, the former Iron Chancellor finally acceded to the top job in July. While his honeymoon proved short-lived, with a series of crises – from the collapse of Northern Rock to the recent party funding scandal – bringing the government’s opinion poll ratings back down to earth with a bump, the jury’s still out on whether the Fife man can turn his party’s fortunes around in the run up to the next general election. (AR)

12. Optimo (espacio)


Ten years on and still one of the best nights out in Scotland, if not the world. Twitch and Wilkes have made Optimo a vital part of Scottish club culture, investing it with a boundless sense of what can be achieved with great music when you ignore the confines of musical genres. The pair are once again taking Optimo around the world, showcasing their innovative approach to mixing globally. (HN)

11. Dominic Hill


Hill’s tenure at Dundee Rep ended with his brilliant Peer Gynt, a co-production with National Theatre of Scotland which garnered more five star reviews than any Scottish production of recent years. Given his record in both directing and programming, his recent appointment at the Traverse, a post which he takes up next month, bodes well. (SC)

10. Tom Kitchin


Tom and Michaela Kitchin celebrated the first anniversary of their restaurant, The Kitchin, as well as Tom’s 30th birthday, in June this year, by which time the undisputed bright young thing of the Scottish culinary scene had already picked up his first Michelin star. It was just the beginning of a bagful of prestigious awards and accolades to come his way in the course of 2007, including Scottish Chef of the Year. Championing well-sourced seasonal food from Scotland with an imaginative, skilful and yet approachable menu prefaced by the motto ‘From Nature to Plate’, Kitchin has caused a stir with dishes such as roast Anstruther langoustines with rolled pig’s head and crispy ear salad. With fellow star-holder Martin Wishart’s restaurant just a few hundred yards away, The Kitchin has been instrumental in cementing Leith’s reputation as the country’s dining hotspot. (DR)

9. The Proclaimers


Sometimes, things just all go right. The Proclaimers’ stock has been on the rise again over the last few years, but 2007 saw their profile go through the roof. Firstly, the Reid twins re-recorded a version of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ with Matt Lucas and Peter Kay as the official Comic Relief single. A massive hit, it re-launched the band internationally onto a bigger stage, just at the time when they were inking a major label deal after having to self-release their last three records. The resulting album, Life With You, confirmed that Craig and Charlie have lost none of their impeccable songwriting prowess. Meanwhile, the Dundee Rep put on Sunshine on Leith, a musical based on their back catalogue, which turned out to be a huge success, further adding to the band’s kudos, ensuring that they’re now firmly ensconced as Scottish national folk heroes. (DJ)

8. Christopher Kane


He’s launched two of the most successful, trend-spawning London Fashion Week collections in recent memory, dressed Kylie, secured a consultancy at Versace thanks to patron Donnatella, and created a Topshop collection that sold out far, far faster than anything Kate Moss has put her name to. And that’s just this year. On top of that he’s just been named Best New Designer at the British Fashion Awards. In short, Kane’s just a little bit more fabulous than any 25-year-old from Motherwell ought to be. The dayglo elastic frocks he sent down the catwalk for Spring/Summer 07 might have had fashion commentators muttering about ‘one hit wonders’ but the sturdy beautiful jewel tones and pleated leather of his Autumn/Winter collection set him apart as a major talent not just to watch, but already at work. (KI)

7. Nathan Coley

Visual art

After a series of hugely successful exhibitions (his residency and show at Mount Stuart being a particular highlight), Nathan Coley went on to be nominated for this year’s Turner Prize. Coley’s recent work focuses on the relationship between faith and society, architecture and camouflage, using light as a straight metaphor for enlightenment. His work, while conceptually based, always contains a strong sculptural aesthetic. (AK)

6. Calvin Harris


In a whirlwind year that has seen him achieve major hits with first offering I Created Disco as well as being employed to give musical tips to both Kylie Minogue and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Harris has certainly come a long way from writing songs in his bedroom in Dumfries. Myspace spawned him – he signed a record deal after his label found him on the social networking site – but he’s now undoubtedly a boy of the big league, and seems to be settling in just fine. (CP)

5. Louise Martin


As chair of the Scottish Commonwealth Games Council, Martin was instrumental in securing the 2014 Games for Glasgow, acquiring the nickname ‘Queen Louise’ for her passionate, dignified performance at the bid’s final presentation in Sri Lanka in November. The former Olympic swimmer capped a memorable year by being re-elected for a third term as honorary secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation. (AR)

4. Ian Rankin


You’d think being guest editor of The List would be the highlight of anyone’s year. But the man who created John Rebus had other things to contemplate in 2007; such as how to kill him off. This year saw the publication of the seventeenth and final Rebus tale, Exit Music, in September though Rankin admitted in press interviews that he hasn’t ruled out another outing for Rebus in some shape or form. In March the author became the first ever recipient of the new Edinburgh Award, and the following month he was named Deputy Lieutenant of Edinburgh. He also found time to present a Radio 4 series about the role of music in crime fiction and won a British Book Award for The Naming of the Dead, which was the Worldbooks Crime Thriller of the Year. (BD)

3. Alex Salmond


Few would say Alex Salmond is a man in need of a confidence boost. But, if he was, Scotland’s first Nationalist First Minister couldn’t have had a better year. Pipping Labour at the electoral post, he sealed the 2014 Commonwealth Games bid and pick up three political gongs for his troubles, including the Scottish Politician of the Year award and the Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year title. Whether he’s shooting the breeze with the political hacks, trading blows with Wendy Alexander or urging the nation to sporting success, the bombast of Scotland’s comeback kid is hard to resist. (CB)

2. Biffy Clyro


This trio of unassuming, hirsute young men were at the peak of their powers in 2007, blowing minds and confounding opinions with Puzzle, the finest rock album this year, brimming over with fractious energy and emotive charge. They’ve managed to create a distinct space for themselves at right angles to pretty much every music scene fad currently around while racking up support slots for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rolling Stones, acoustic shows alongside U2 plus several massive sell out tours. Such is their crossover appeal that they were among the highlights of both Download and T in the Park this year. Who would have thought that the bastard offspring of Rush and Nirvana could have sounded so good? (MR)

1. James McAvoy


As predicted in The List’s 2007 preview issue, it has been one hell of a year for McAvoy. Things got off to a heady start with his brilliant turn as Dr Nicholas Garrigan, the shameless befriender of dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. His performance was so full of nuance and depth that it alone could have guaranteed him a place in the Hot 100. But McAvoy did not stop there. He was by far the best thing in Julian Jarrold’s ‘Jane Austen in love’ drama Becoming Jane in which he played cad with a heart Tom Lefroy to Anne Hathaway’s Austen.

He then rounded the year off with another great turn as Robbie Turner, an idealistic working class lad whose life takes a ruinous turn when he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit in the seamless film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s popular novel Atonement. He is being talked about as a hot Oscar contender for the performance and was recently hailed as one of the ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ alongside Brad Pitt and Matt Damon in America’s People magazine.

Glasgow-born McAvoy, who is 28, was no one’s top tip to become a big movie star a few years ago but here he is – dynamic, versatile and incredibly gifted. It is little wonder that he is now being tipped as the natural successor to Ewan McGregor. You will next be able to see McAvoy in April in Wanted – a big screen adaptation of Scot Mark Millar’s comic book series. (PD)

Contributors: Kelly Apter, Claire Black, Steve Cramer, Paul Dale, Louise Deans, Brian Donaldson, Karin Goodwin, Kirstin Innes, Malcolm Jack, Doug Johnstone, Alexander Kennedy, Carol Main, Henry Northmore, Camilla Pia, Dave Pollock, Allan Radcliffe, Donald Reid, Mark Robertson, Barry Shelby


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