Pick of 2006 - Hot 100

The top 50

The List's Hot 100 celebrates the people who have made the biggest impact on cultural life in Scotland over the past 12 months.

Have you read positions 100 down to 51?

50 Pratibha Parmar (-)

Pratibha Parmar
Asian stereotypes were smashed by Parmar and screenwriter Andrea Gibb's slight but important Glasgow-based film Nina's Heavenly Delights. The romantic comedy about a young lady's return to Glasgow is the first widely distributed film to deal directly with the queer Asian experience. And for that, Parmar, who struggled for years to make the film the way she wanted to, deserves acclaim. (PD)

49 Geoff Ellis (-)

Geoff Ellis
Last year we gave a place to T in the Park for being, well, the biggest and best - the people spoke and the awards came flooding in - festival in the land, but this year, Ellis deserves singling out for spearheading not only the continued growth of T in the Park but for Connect, the new festival we announced earlier this year, which arrives next September. We salute his cojones for developing yet another weekend music hoolie in an already crowded festival landscape. And with his rep, it should be a cracker. (MR)

48 Peter Irvine (-)

He's the man who has given Scotland some of its best-known and characteristic festivals. Irvine is particularly noted for transforming Edinburgh's Hogmanay into a festival as international as the one in August. But Irvine's vision has also enlivened Glasgow's arts scene with the Glasgow International, and next year will bring a new sparkle to the Highland calendar with Summerfest Outsider. (ER)

47 Andrew Fairlie (-)

Andrew Fairlie
In early 2006, Perthshire's acclaimed Andrew Fairlie @ Gleneagles became the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars. A raft of further accolades followed, crowned by the award of the UK Chef's Chef of the Year by the AA, voted for by his peers in Britain's top restaurants. (DR)

46 Cara Kelly (-)

Cara Kelly
As Kelly was quick to point out on the occasion of her acceptance of the CATS best actress award, Jeremy Raison, Artistic Director at the Citizens' Theatre deserves great credit for tempting her out of semi-retirement and back onto Scottish stages a bit over a year ago. Since then, she has moved from triumph to triumph, with her great performance in Elizabeth Gordon Quinn a particular highlight. A subtle, detailed and psychologically very insightful actress, we will certainly see more of Kelly in the year to come. (SC)

45 Paul McGuigan (-)

Paul McGuigan
A long overdue entry in the Hot 100 for this variable but talented Scottish filmmaker. The trouble is he has made nothing of merit since The Acid House (1998) and Gangster No 1 (2000). 2007 however saw his excellent mistaken identity thriller Lucky Number Slevin, plus he began work on the film adaptation of Paul Webb's play Four Knights in Knaresboro, after which he will move onto a big screen adaptation of TV show The Equalizer. The boy from Bellshill is making a slight return we think. (PD)

44 Don Paterson (-)

The Dundee-born poet and jazz-folk muso embarked upon one of his toughest challenges yet by tackling Orpheus, the masterwork of German legend Rainer Maria Rilke. He may be uncomfortable telling strangers that he's a poet but Paterson is clearly one of the form's foremost UK pioneers. (BD)

43 Andy Arnold (11)

Andy Arnold
He decided to celebrate 15 years of running one of the most innovative venues in the country by staging a no-budget show in a toilet, and (almost accidentally) produced the outstanding Spend A Penny. The Arches was voted one of the top ten clubs worldwide this year, but it's Arnold's raw creativity, embedded in the brickwork, which gives the place its identity. (KI)

42 Gordon Strachan (-)

Winning the CIS Cup and league title was a grand finale to his first season in charge at Celtic, but beating his mentor Alex Ferguson and Manchester United to gain a spot in the Champions League knock-out stages was the icing on the cake. Surely now he has won over the fickle few among the Parkhead faithful who have remained stubbornly unconvinced by him. (BD)

41 Christine Borland (-)

Christine Borland
A mini retrospective showing now at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery brings together the very fragile but weighty work by one of Scotland's leading artists. Borland's aesthetic sneaks up on you in significant works that have influenced a younger generation of quietly confident environmental and installation artists. (AK)

40 Carol Ann Duffy (-)

The Glasgow-born Manchester-based poet kicked off the year by scooping the TS Eliot Prize (and a cheque for ten grand) with her collection of love poems, Rapture and ended it with another kids' collection, The Lost Happy Endings, as a witch steals some classic fairy tale dénouements. (BD)

39 Gregory Burke (-)

Gregory BurkeBurke had one of the most sensational debuts in the history of the Fringe with his Gagarin Way a few years back, but his follow up, The Straits was not so well received. With Black Watch, Burke certainly dispelled the second play blues. His account of a group of soldiers in Iraq was crammed full of thoroughly believable dialogue and earthy humour. (SC)

38 Janey Godley (-)

Janey Godley
Making a fair old stab at becoming the hardest working woman in comedy, Godley had just the three shows on at the Fringe this year while her commitment to causes fighting violence and abuse earned her a slot on the Scotswoman of the Year shortlist run by the Evening Times. (BD)

37 David Shrigley (-)

David Shrigley
You either love or hate Shrigley's funny little drawings, but most people fall into the former camp. The artist has managed to bridge popularity and success without losing any of his credibility - a difficult task. A retrospective at DCA brings together drawings, paintings and sculptures that drip with wit and dark nonsense. (AK)

36 The View (-)

Notable bands from Dundee could be counted off on the fingers of a frostbite victim: The Associates, Average White Band … well that's it really. Nonetheless, in 2006 The View came steaming out of the east coast city like just the sort of teen punk scallies the business needs its arse kicked by every once in a while - ones raised on Sex Pistols, cider and a diet of Don't Give A Fuck. With a handful of songs honed in the backroom of HQ and local The Bayview pub (from where they claim since to have been banned for riding a scooter along the bar), the four-piece have built a reputation, with a succession of explosive live dates. Alongside that there have been Radio 1 playlisted singles and misbehaviours including drummer Steven Morrison's arrest for driving a car the wrong way up a one way street. Taken under the wing of former Rough Trade guru James Endeacott, they recorded with Oasis producer Owen Morris, who hails their debut LP Hats Off to the Buskers - due in January - as the best record since Definitely Maybe. 2007 just might be theirs for the taking. (MJ)

35 Frank Deasy (-)

After gaining a spot in our list two years ago for the provocative England Expects, Deasy returned with his most high-profile telly writing gig to date, the final Prime Suspect. As DS Tennyson strode off into the sunset with her dignity intact, British TV lost one of its finest cop creations. (BD)

34 Ali Smith (12)

Ali Smith
Barely a literary shortlist announcement went by this year without Smith's The Accidental popping up, with the Orange and James Tait Black Memorial prizes both acclaiming the book. She also got busy with her comic play The Seer which debuted in her hometown of Inverness. (BD)

33 Ron Butlin (-)

The French and Welsh (Irvine) have long been punting this guy's work and the rave reviews across the board for this year's Belonging should broaden his appeal. Jack McCall is his latest drifter, a man who winds up in a hippy Spanish community where madness and chaos reign. (BD)

32 David Tennant (1)

David Tennant
Still blazing a TARDIS trail as the tenth Timelord, Tennant found himself the top gay icon according to the Pink Paper while New Woman had him high up in their Top 100 Men poll. Also, he traced his Northern Irish roots in Who Do You Think You Are? and played Simon Hoggart in the BBC4 drama The Lady Chatterley Affair. (BD)

31 Anthony Neilson (77)

Anthony Neilson
Neilson's return to the International Festival in 2004 with The Wonderful World of Dissocia was a triumph. This year, his Realism, a hilarious psychological insight exploring one man's Saturday morning can only whet the appetite for further returns. (SC)

30 Andrew O'Hagan (-)

The prose crafted in O'Hagan's Booker longlisted Be Near Me ranked among his best work to date. Its subject is the story of a vicar who courts controversy in a bleak Ayrshire town. It's horrifying, moving, and brilliantly original. (NB)

29 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (-)

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The numbers are undoubtedly impressive. £35m spent on refurbishment; 5000 new exhibits, making 8000 altogether; fourth most visited museum in Britain. In the six months since it reopened, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum attracted 1.8m visitors to Edinburgh Castle's paltry annual 1.2m. However, reducing Glasgow's Favourite Building down to a series of press-release friendly statistics rather misses the point.

From the outside, the towering, floodlight ramparts, reminiscent of a fairytale castle, inspire nothing short of gawping wonder, while inside an exciting jumble of curios, organised loosely into sprawling 'stories' allow for chaotically free roaming and accidental discovery. Information is non-didactic and accessible, whether you want to know about the development of the steam engine or Glasgow's deep-rooted love of country and western, experience the Dalziel and Scullion installation or visit Sir Roger the African elephant. Kelvingrove continues to mine affection from its visitors because it makes children of all of us again. (KI)

28 Michael Clark (-)

Clark, the bad boy of ballet, may have grown up, and mended his drug-abusing ways, but man he still knows how to choreograph. Clark's stunning double-bill 'O' and 'OO', played to a packed Tramway this year, and reminded us all just how powerful modern dance can be. (KA)

27 Frankie Boyle (58)

Frankie Boyle
The brilliantly titled Voice of Black America was Boyle's inaugural full Fringe run and proved that he is performing at the peak of his stand-up powers while his telly work continued unabated as he turned up to Mock the Week. And that pink suit was a sight to behold. (BD)

26 Martin Compston (-)

Martin Compston
After being stranded in TV soaps for the last five years, Compston re-emerged in fine form as a kindly Celtic supporter in railway triptych film Tickets. Since then there has been no stopping him. He was by far the best thing in the Scottish werewolf flick Wild Country, was superb in Red Road and his performances in two soon to be released films - A Guide to Recognising the Saints and True North - are excellent. A star is on the rise. (PD)

25 Stéphane Denève (29)

Stéphane Denève
In his second season as RSNO Music Director, conductor Stéphane Denève continues to make a startling impact on classical music in Scotland and abroad. His programming dream of the musical equivalent of a large, colourful bouquet of flowers is going to be a vital strand in setting the orchestra's 21st century agenda. (CM)

24 Ian Rankin (-)

Ian Rankin
If it's true that Rankin is currently writing his final Rebus, then this year's Naming of the Dead will be a fitting penultimate piece, set amid the Gleneagles G8 and a suicide at Edinburgh Castle. Rankin also found time to pen words for the Douglas Gordon exhibition catalogue and appear in a pop video dressed as Vettriano's singing butler. (BD)

23 Ashley Page (-)

Ashley Page
Things were already going well for Page, since his re-invention of Scottish Ballet three years ago. But in 2006 his achievements skyrocketed yet further, with the company's return to the London stage after seven years, a triumphant appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival and a cheeky wee mention on the Queen's birthday Honour's List. (KA)

22 Snow Patrol (67)

Watching Snow Patrol batter through a free show at Sleazy's as part of Triptych several years ago there was a sense that they had missed their chance and were a spent force. Now, with the biggest selling British album of 2006 under their belt, that seems like a very long time ago. Like Pulp before them, they are proof that persistence can pay off. Eyes Open manages to sate the mainstream's need for post-'Run' anthemics but remains true to Gary Lightbody's truly romantic musical vision. (MR)

21 Optimo (26)

Twitch and Wilkes are still a vital part of Scottish club culture, remaining at the cutting edge over all these years (nine and counting). Aside from their consistently open-minded take on DJing, this year has really seen them consolidate their place on the international stage, and as a result they have continued to be our best Scottish clubbing. (HN)

20 Ben Harrison and Judith Doherty (-)

These two are at the beating heart of Scotland's most innovative site specific company. For Roam alone, their clever, innovative and intelligently political drama following the fortunes of a group of refugees staged at Edinburgh Airport, they deserve to figure high up in this list. After a decade of high quality work, that included such notables as Gargantua, Fermentation and The Devil's Larder they have finally been rewarded by support from both the NTS and the SAC. (SC)

19 Tony Curran (-)

Tony Curran
All hail the ginger prince! You may have seen prolific actor Curran in TV show This Life or films Gladiator, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Flight of the Phoenix. In 2006 he could be seen in Underworld: Evolution and Michael Mann's Miami Vice. It was, however, his remarkable, pained and deeply intelligent turn as the mysterious Clyde in Andrea Arnold's Red Road that wins him inclusion here. It is no wonder that Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney begged him to take a significant role in their new film The Good German (out March 2007). (PD)

18 Zaha Hadid (-)

Zaha Hadid
The gravel voiced, Miyake-clad grande dame of architecture has spent 20 years shedding the accusation that she's a 'paper architect' whose designs are 'unbuildable'. But now the smart money has discovered that not only do her buildings stand up; they are capable of taking architecture to giddy heights. This year, every major world city suddenly wants a Hadid building in its collection. It's neat, then, that Scotland won the race to build her first permanent project in Britain. The Maggie's Centre in Fife is a modest little number, but it offers a clear demonstration of her monumental abilities - and the people of Kirkcaldy are saying they absolutely love it. (NB)

17 Armando Iannucci (10)

If the job of a satirist is to get into the most blazing of hot waters, then Armando Iannucci achieved that this year. His BBC2 fantasy political show Time Trumpet featured Tony Blair being assassinated amid a terrorist attack on London. Earlier in the year, Iannucci was the subject of a South Bank Show, dropped in on Oxford University to deliver a series of lectures entitled 'British Comedy: Dead or Alive?' and neglected to cancel his Festival of Politics appearance. (BD)

17 Martin Wishart (28)

Martin Wishart
Scottish Chef of the Year for the second time in 2006, Wishart has, in his undemonstrative and assured way, become Scotland's most influential chef. Quietly spoken and comfortably distant from celebrity chef status, Wishart has championed Scottish cuisine both overseas and at home, successfully initiating the Scottish Food Scholarship to identify the country's most talented young chefs. Imminent is a new cook school aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia and, surely, further recognition for Restaurant Martin Wishart from the Michelin man. (DR)

15 James McAvoy (57)

James McAvoy
The hardest working man in showbusiness this year has got to be the vertically challenged Mr McAvoy. The heartthrob from Shameless has made some ill judged forays into film before but with box office hit comedy Starter For Ten he finally hit paydirt. He can also soon be seen in adaptations The Last King of Scotland and Atonement, and as if that wasn't enough, he plays the love interest in Austen biopic Becoming Jane released in September 2007. Phew! Time the boy from Glasgow took a holiday. (PD)

14 Limmy (-)

Long gone is the day when a wannabe comedian would simply write a few jokes down and grab an open mic. In this techno ticklestick age, you just need a marginally presentable room, a functioning webcam, maybe even a funny idea or two and away you go. No one has grabbed this moment more than Limmy aka Brian Limond whose website (www.limmy.com) and podcast (Limmy's World of Glasgow) have led him to challenge Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand in the iTunes top 20 and to be namechecked by Franz Ferdinand in a Q interview.

Journey into Limmy's universe and you find a range of comedy styles; from the podcast's West Coast 'characters' to the site's more trippy interactive elements where you help a wrist bleed its owner to death or play a profane xylophone. Nowadays, anyone can nab their five minutes of fame through the YouTube revolution. Or, in this case, YaTube. (BD)

13 Callum Innes (-)

Innes takes formal risks in paintings that drag the whole of Modernist Art into the rectilinear arena of his canvases. These gallery machines come fully armed, demanding your attention through their unshakeable confidence. This is difficult art made to look very easy. The best bits of your favourite paintings are examined through processes of application and paint removal, so that the final piece bears the scars of work, thought, struggle and then peace. (AK)

12 John Tiffany (-)

The three very diverse plays that John Tiffany directed for NTS this year, all politically resonant and immediately relevant, set the agenda for a national theatre rooted deep in the Scottish psyche. After Home: Glasgow, an explosion of abseiling cameramen and floodlit towerblocks, he retreated indoors for a slow-burning, beautiful revival of Elizabeth Gordon Quinn. It's Black Watch, his third collaboration with Gregory Burke, which sticks like desert sand, though - bitterly funny and flickering with anger. (KI)

11 Andy Murray (6)

Andy Murray
The Dunblane-bred tennis pro ascended the world rankings to number 17 in September. With an increasingly devoted fan following, he has stolen Tim Henman's crown as Britain's best hope. Passionate on and off the courts, he has an outspoken public persona that places him in a proud tradition of ballsy Scots. (SBl)

10 Kate Dickie (-)

Kate Dickie
One of the most thrilling breakthroughs of the year has got to be that of Dickie. Long celebrated in Scottish theatre as one of the finest and most energetic performers in such stage triumphs as Boilerhouse's Running Girl and Suspect Culture's Lament, Dickie has had less success in more two-dimensional formats. Red Road changed all that; her multi-award winning, scene hugging performance as troubled, stoic CCTV operator Jackie in the film was simply brilliant. Actress of the year without a doubt. (PD)

9 Paolo Nutini (-)

Paolo Nutini
Snow Patrol may be the big sellers this year but Paolo Nutini is the real success story. Part teen heartthrob, part soul troubadour, Nutini convinces as both, often in the same song. The List witnessed Nutini perform a private show to 60 or so people at the start of 2006 and watched with glee as he swept T in the Park, the Top 40, and now Edinburgh's Hogmanay gently into his bulging haversack of conquests. His debut record, despite being shiny enough for mainstream adoration had moments of depth and beauty that remind us all young people aren't out torching cars and collecting ASBOs for fun.

Its easy to scorn when people become successful - just ask the indie kids bitching about Snow Patrol around the tables at Sleazy's - but unlike messrs Blunt, Morrison and Rice, Nutini appears to have more options to play with musically, and at 20-years-old he has learned from the mistakes of his peers like the lowly departed Speedway. As the first artist ever booked to play four consecutive nights at Caring Academy, 2007 seems to be going his way already too. (MR)

8 Irvine Welsh (-)

Irvine Welsh
There's only really one person in this 100 who, in one year, could take a play about the Wizard of Oz munchkins to San Francisco and Dublin, direct a Keane video, fend off accusations of being a David Cameron fan and edit The List for one week during the Festival. Irvine Welsh is that person. He even found the time to publish his first book in four years, The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs, which featured two environmental health officers at war with themselves and each other. (BD)

7 The Fratellis (-)

The Fratellis
This Glasgow-based band have made a huge dent on the music scene in 2006, packing out venues across the country and securing a number two album with storming debut Costello Music - not bad going for three wild-haired upstarts who met while working on a fairground and only played their first gig in March of last year. Rowdy, raucous and maddeningly infectious, The Fratellis are an important reminder to the world that there's much more to Scottish guitar music than weedy brothers touting cheesy, harmony-filled tunes. (CP)

6 Phil Nichol (-)

Phil Nichol
Is he a comedian? Is he an actor? Is he Canadian? Or Scottish? Yes to all of those, but we will happily claim the inaugural victor of the if.comeddie award (or, we suppose, the Eddies) award as one of our own, considering he was born in Glasgow. While it was in Ontario that he tapped into his comedic sensibilities with Corky and the Juice Pigs, his return to British soil in the early 90s witnessed the honing of those talents which have led him to a habit of picking up awards during August. Having won a Stage Award for Best Actor in 2005, he was nominated once again this year for his central performance as Barry Champlain in Talk Radio but it was his Naked Racist show that earned him the ultimate comedy acclaim. While Nichol could certainly have filled out the Stand's main venue, the decision to house him at their second space just around the corner was inspired. As intimate and claustrophobic an experience as you could imagine, the in-your-face finale merged the political with the very, very personal. Where Phil Nichol goes from such dizzying heights (and lengths) is difficult to guess. (BD)

5 Grant Morrison (45)

Grant Morrison
What more can we say about comics creator Grant Morrison? There's the small case of the highest selling graphic novel of all time, Arkham Asylum; the perverted yet profound Invisibles, his revamp of top series' such as JLA and X-Men or we could go all the way back to Zenith in 2000AD. But it is perhaps 2006 where he has really risen to the fore, back with DC after a stint at Marvel, now with a consultancy role 'with special attention to revamping series'. He started the year by rounding off his 'Altman-esque' masterpiece Seven Soldiers, then hit the ground running. A key writer in DC's ambitious weekly comic 52, relaunching WildCATS and The Authority for the Wildstorm imprint and in a real coup he's currently writing not just Batman but All Star Superman as well, two of the most iconic figures in pop culture. When you combine the sales for all his projects he's regularly shifting over 500,000 comics per month. And this work has been rewarded by his peers picking up two Eisner Awards and two Eagle Awards this year (including a Lifetime Achievement award). Beyond the comics his WE3 project has been picked up by New Line with Morrison as screenwriter. Not bad for a Glasgow lad who got into comics 'just to get off the dole.' (HN)

4 Vicky Featherstone (30)

Vicky Featherstone
Vicky Featherstone is coming to the end of her first year of actual productions at the NTS, and can look back on her achievements with real pride. The former Artistic Director of Paines Plough, who in her tenure there, had brought such distinguished voices as Sarah Kane and Mark Ravenhill to a broader public notice, has risen well to the challenge of running Scotland's first national company.

Her programming, insight and artistic vision have made for a great year for the NTS, from the rough and ready house party that was the series of Home events, staged all over Scotland and incorporating professionals and community actors from local areas, through to succession of youth theatre projects that have shown real imagination in approach and involvement techniques. But most folk will remember the major productions. Among these, Grid Iron's Roam, a site specific at Edinburgh Airport enthralled audiences and scored well at the CATS awards, while Greg Burke's Black Watch which appeared at the Festival, might well exceed even these achievements. Add to these Anthony Neilson's brilliant Realism, also at the Festival and John Byrne's lively, moving and funny Tutti Frutti in September, and Featherstone has plenty of cultural cache in the bank.

While her own two productions, The Wolves in the Walls and Mary Stuart were by no means poor, but didn't quite reach these stellar heights, anyone who has seen Featherstone's earlier work could not doubt her ability, and will expect better work ahead. A woman of energy and boundless creativity, we can expect Featherstone to continue to make a major impact on the Scottish arts scene for as long as she chooses to stay. (SC)

3 Mogwai (-)

To make one great album is a job well done. To do two, well that's just careless. Mogwai thrust Mr Beast out into the bright unforgiving daylight in March this year, while a second long (ish) player, the soundtrack to Douglas Gordon's movie/art piece Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait slipped out in October. The former was among the band's very finest work, the quintet's dark, circular guitar patterns building into more textured and varied shapes than ever, with the hellish rumble of 'Glasgow Mega Snake' distilling all that is heavy and thrilling about Mogwai in one three-and-a-half minute hunk.

Mogwai remain a singular force in music; underrated underdogs, chewing at the heels of fakers. After finding their own groove they have hacked into it undeterred and are in no hurry to vacate it. The collaboration with Douglas Gordon may help their credentials in the grown up world of art but it is on the floor of the Barras that it really matters and they stand proudly as purveyors of some of the finest music that has emanated from these borders all year. (MR)

2 Andrea Arnold (-)

Andrea Arnold
She may not be Scottish, hell she doesn't even live here and yet in 2006 her contribution to the Scottish cultural landscape was almost immeasurable. Arnold is, of course, the writer/director of Red Road, the finest film to be made in and about Scotland (and partially funded here) for many a year. For those who care to remember, Arnold first came to prominence as an actor and television presenter alongside Sandi Toksvig in the children's television show No 73 in which she played Dawn Lodge. By 1988 this part-sitcom/part chatshow (a format later stolen by The Kumars at No 42) morphed into 7T3 and then into the influential but short-lived live music, cartoons and competition programme Motormouth.

By 1990 Arnold had started to turn her back on such juvenilia and briefly presented and wrote for teenage environmental awareness show A Beetle Called Derek (which interestingly featured Benjamin Zephaniah and gave exposure to the Yes/No People of Stomp fame).

Fallow years beckoned for Arnold as she spent most of the 1990s slowly transforming herself from children's TV has-been to adult outré filmmaker. Never one to rush things, by the mid 00s Arnold had produced three astoundingly good short films - Milk, Dog and Wasp, films of such poetic and social realist promise that they seem to bridge the gap between the early short film works of both Shane Meadows and Jean Vigo. The final film in this loose trilogy, Wasp, picked up 38 awards worldwide, including the Jury Prize for International Film Making at Sundance and most notably, an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2005.

And then Arnold made her feature film debut and arguable masterpiece Red Road. Speaking recently to The List, she described her feelings at the outset of the project.
'I felt really ready to make this film, I mean making every film is daunting, but I felt totally ready for the challenge. I've done a lot of things in my life; I've been around a bit, around the mill a bit. I mean it didn't feel like it was going well at the time, it was a fairly hellish shoot. You never know, I mean you kind of know you are getting some good material but you don't really know if the thing is going to work until you put it together. I can't remember which director said that when you edit and you put the images next to each other it's like flowers, putting flowers in water, they kind of wake up.'
While this marks the first year that Arnold has made it onto our Hot 100 roll call, it seems very unlikely that she won't be back. (PD)

1 Douglas Gordon (-)

Douglas Gordon
No question about it, this was the year of Douglas Gordon. After a frustrating decade of waiting for him to exhibit in Scotland, we were treated to two Douglas Gordon exhibitions in Edinburgh alone, as well as a full-length feature film in cinemas.

Yet, despite the fact that his face was difficult to avoid in the press for much of the year, it seems that many people still don't understand just how highly-respected the 40-year-old artist really is. One measure of his success is a strange, but interesting website called artfacts.net, which calculates the value of artists according to how many exhibitions they have, and how much their work has sold for. Gordon is currently number 23 - higher than Salvador Dali, and up among the giants of modern art like Jasper Johns, Alberto Giacometti and Wassily Kandinsky. Gordon is easily the highest-ranked UK artist on the list (the next is David Hockney at number 50, then Damien Hirst at number 66 and Tacita Dean at 74 - and that's it for the Brits) and, what's more, he has been up in the top 40 since 1999. This is no flash-in-the-pan rise to fame, but a sustained and serious career for an artist who - make no mistake - is going down in history as one of the greats of the early 21st century.

He heads our list, however, on the strength of what he has done in 2006 alone. Douglas Gordon's year began with a massive show, What you want me to say … I am already dead, at the Fondacion Juan Miro in Barcelona. The pace cranked up as he exhibited at the Tate Triennial in London, and took part in group exhibitions in Paris, Santa Monica, Wolfsburg and Edinburgh in the Fruitmarket's show, Dada's Boys.

All this was nothing compared to what was to come. For Gordon, 2006 had moved into top gear by the time his major mid-career retrospective, Timeline, opened in June at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was the crowning moment in his career to date, and although it was described in a front page review in the New York Times as 'uneven', it was also said by the same reviewer to be 'dreamily beautiful', 'ingeniously macabre' and 'visually gripping'.

Meanwhile, Gordon was putting the finishing touches on his film, Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait, made in partnership with fellow artist Philippe Parreno, and with Darius Khondji (Delicatessen, Se7en) as director of photography. Intended as a piece of popular cinema, the film focused 17 cameras on footballing legend Zinédine Zidane for the duration of one of his games for Real Madrid. This was football in angry close-up form. It premiered at Cannes, where Observer film critic Jason Solomons described it as 'the greatest film about football ever made, and one of the great films about sport'. Soon afterwards, the subject of the film was to rocket to notoriety during the final game of the World Cup 2006. It's true that the movie only played to modest audiences in the UK, but it was undoubtedly another step towards mainstream recognition for Douglas Gordon. A future in directing films with major international distribution, is now a distinct possibility.

By the time his Edinburgh exhibitions opened at the end of October at Inverleith House and the RSA Building in Edinburgh, there were some journalists who were no longer sure what more could be said about the artist. Yet, still Gordon continued to surprise, announcing a collaboration with Ian Rankin in which the Edinburgh-based author wrote a short story based around themes close to both men's hearts. And rarely has an exhibition received such widespread acclaim from reviewers. Never mind if the gallery-goers of Edinburgh have been slow on the uptake: Douglas Gordon is the real deal. Even after all this frenzied activity, he still had the mental space left to open an exhibition of new work at his commercial gallery in New York (it's open until the end of December).

This year, Douglas Gordon got the exhibitions and the recognition he has long deserved. For what he has achieved, we simply can't praise him highly enough. (NB)

Hot to trot

Ten who we loved, but who don't pass the tartan test…

Russell Brand, comedian
Regina Spektor, singer
Daniel Craig, actor
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, rock band
Peter Crouch, footballer
Michael Haneke, filmmaker
Hot Chip, rock band
The Mighty Boosh, comedy duo
TEAM, theatre company
Doug Stanhope, comedian

Five to look out for next year…

Hannah McGill, festival director
Lucy Skaer, artist
Susan Calman, comedian
Itxaso Moreno, actor
AL Kennedy, novelist

Ten big names who didn't quite make the cut…

Jonny Lee-Miller, actor
Brian McMaster, festival director
Doug Johnstone, novelist and musician
Kelly MacDonald, actor
Alexander McCall Smith, novelist
Louise Welsh, novelist
Simon Starling, artist
John Burnside, novelist
Danananaykroyd, rock band
We Are … Electric, club

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