The year starts as it always does: with an underage drunk girl boasting about how rich her father is in a take away. Horse meat is discovered to be a surprising ingredient in a great many meals, take away and otherwise. Lance Armstrong is interviewed by Oprah, and he couldn't have gone over worse if he'd kicked a ballboy. Barack Obama becomes a two term President, and Beyonce lip syncs at his inuaguration, a dramatic back track being a powerful metaphor for his Presidency.
Richard III is found in a car park. Harlem Shakes are found on every corner of the internet. Chris Huhne and his scorned ex-wife Vicky Pryce find themselves in a lengthy court battle that ends them in jail. Briefly. Oscar Pistorius finds the word's eyes on him. Everyone finds out officially what they always thought to be true about the Magdalene Laundries, Pope Benedict finds himself with more time on his hands. The world finds itself with an unfillable hole following the death of Richard Briers. Everyone finds Jennifer Lawrence adorable.
A moonwalking Shetland Pony and a Fleetwood Mac song proves to be a surprisingly good ad strategy. The phrase "Cardinal sin" gets a whole new spin. Rome has a new chief in town, and he seems a really nice bloke. While he probably wasn't very happy about it, Hugo Chavez dies, though at least the inveterate left winger could claim that he beat Margaret Thatcher to death. Cyrpus has a slight economic collapse that made Russian rich people react a bit like this guy. The Passion of St Tibulus Syndrome runs amok in Ireland, as people get up in arms about an Irish youth website that has an article on threesomes. Thousands of people look at an article in the space of a week that had only a few hundred views in the years it had been up. Dennis Rodman becomes a scarily efficient diplomat.
Boston is rocked by a bomb during its marathon. Luis Suarez bites a man. New Zealand passes a landmark gay marriage and sings to celebrate, and one of their parliamentarians wins the internet. He's quickly usurped though by Daft Punk's Get Lucky, the favoured song of the year of Alan Partridge and taxi men alike. Margaret Thatcher dies, leading to a surge in chain smoking among documentary makers trying to get hour long legacy portraits out as soon as possible. One restaurant marks the occasion in the most hilarious way possible.
An Eton entry exam is released to the public, and it's ridiculous. Michael Gove is corrected by a non-Etonian 10 year old. Nigel Farage's trip to Edinburgh goes so badly it wouldn't be unreasonable to replace Edward I in the lyrics to The Flower of Scotland. Reginald D Hunter shocks people with his set at an FA function, so much so that their faces almost seemed to be paralysed in enjoyment at the time. Alex Ferguson waves goodbye to Old Trafford, and the rest of the Premier League say hello to a sniff of the title. Woolwich is the scene of a shocking murder, and some incredible civic minded responses. The Irish Minister for Justice reveals a penchant for knowing stuff he shouldn't and, eh, writing erotic fiction. Two rally enthusiasts set a brand new template for buddy road trip films. A Canadian with a high piched singing voice gets a song in the charts, but the buzz around it sort of fizzles out. Oh...
Alex Jones goes to the zoo on British television. Edward Snowden becomes the silhouette of many's an anti-authoritarian t shirt for years to come. A woman from Kerry gets abuse for looking Vietnamese, The G8 is held in Fermanagh, prompting Soviet levels of cosmetic denial. Putin would prefer Russian men stay away from cosmetics and live in denial. Russell Brand causes artful havoc on American news, and it is but a slight taste of what is to come from him. Nigella Lawson splits from Charles Saatchi, and that story ain't going nowhere either. A plan to level a park in Istanbul fires up democratic protests in Turkey. A local politician in Yorkshire admits to having an extra-marital, extra-terrestial relationship. Kevin Rudd re-becomes Australian Labor leader, leading us to realise Julia Gillard wasn't as close knit with the party as we thought.
Brian O'Driscoll is dropped from the Lions tour, several thousand people are unimpressed, none of whom from the southern hemisphere. Egypt's is yet again convulsed in complex political dispute, that is best summed up by a 12 year old. Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, making him the first British person to win Wimbledon since that woman nobody could seem to remember. Irvine Welsh was very happy about it. Wendy Davis becomes a (lone) star (state). A Kildare basketball team get sponsorship from a porn site, while a Chinese train station worker blasts his private gentlemen's viewing on a multi-platform basis. A terrible, horse faced irritant seems to keep getting asked on This Morning. Eliot Spitzer, former Governor of New York, tried to revive his political career. The woman who furnished him with prostitutes decides to run against him. Anthony Weiner tries to save his political career too, but damnit, he just loves texting his dong to people too much. Royal Mail privatision is, ahem, floated, and new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby promises to out-compete Wonga, just as soon as the get them off their side. Kate Middleton has a baby, and apparently, Prince George is a black man. Legislation for the X Case is finally passed in Ireland, which is a landmark day for respecting a woman's, oh no, wait.
Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor, prompting thousands of jokes about Malcolm Tucker taking on the Daleks. Twitter is replete with inspiring women. Gibraltar and the Falklands kick off again, because things aren't enough like the eighties as it is. Gareth Bale becomes a massive deal in Spain, though perhaps never as much as Paul Scholes. Russian political homophobia gets truly pernicious. Tony Abbott wins the Australian election, but Stephanie Bannister scoops quote of the campaign with her assertion that Islam is a country. In other election news, Robert Mugabe is re-elected in in Zimbabwe, and in so doing extends the definition of "re-elected" to breaking point.
Nobody has a bloody clue what to do about Syria. People are much clearer on their opinions about Jeremy Paxman's beard, while that other TV Jeremy trolls some party leaders by hinting he might run for Parliament. He was pissed at the time. Jeff Wagner, Mayoral candidate in Minneapolis, presumably did the same thing, but followed through admirably. Simon McCoy holds a ream of paper after mistaking it for a tablet. Kanye West's year, who had earlier in the year named his kid after the direction in which it was conceived presumably, just keeps getting stranger.
The Daily Mail pneumatic drill of bastardry plumbs new depths as they write scurrilous articles about a dead man. As you can see, they were Piaf-esque in their contrition. Ireland keeps bicameral legislature with all the enthusiasm that people buy recycling bags. Iain Duncan Smith fundamentally gets the principle of benefits wrong. The US government shuts down due to fundamentalist nutters. One of the more unlikely side effects is that a fox runs amok on the untended White House lawns. Many people postulate as to the fox's reaction to all the attention. The winner of the Worst Internet Dater Of The Year contest is won hands down by a Texan man. There's uproar when a cat becomes one of the many fatalities in a show about Dublin gangland. Sinead O'Connor starts a chain of Open Letters that nobody can shut for ages.
The editor of the New Statesman got up every morning doing a happy dance in November, as Russell Brand's guest editorship brought untold press coverage, and his interview with Jeremy Paxman on the futility of voting and the nature of social engagement is all anyone can talk about for ages. That is, until Rob Ford starts talking about all the crack he smoked. A bloke goes for a night out of heavy drinking in Oldham and ends up leaving the country. Alex Salmond prepares for the referendum on Scottish independence by releasing a phone book. Generalissimo Andy Kaufman is still dead.
Tom Daley announces that a new series of Splash is being shown in January, oh, and he has a boyfriend now. Danish political drama par excellence Borgen ends, leaving politicos in mourning for fictional PM Birgitte Nyborg. The real life Danish PM ends up making news for much less stirring reasons. And it wasn't the only lamentably comic moment at Nelson Mandela's commemoration. Pope Francis is Man of the Year, and rather deserved, though he had late competition from Ron Burgundy and Beyonce. Sure, Pope Francis sneaks out of the Vatican to feed the homeless, but could he drop an album overnight?