Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Who is the person of the decade?

Icon of people

As we enter the last few weeks of the 2000s, the Magazine is enlisting readers to tell the story of the last 10 years, based on five themes. On the second day of the series, the team from biographical book Who's Who suggests some "people of the decade".

The summing up of a decade is not an easy task. Countless people who represent us, who interest us and who influence our lives have shaped the Noughties.

Portrait of the Decade logo
We want readers to help us to create a portrait of the decade
Each day this week we focus on a different theme - words , people , news stories , objects and culture
Readers can make their suggestions using the form below
Try to be original
It is not a vote - an expert will pick 20 in each category
The final 100 things about the Noughties will be revealed on Monday, 14 December
An artist will illustrate them on a colour poster for readers

While the period has been overshadowed by war and terrorism, we have seen an explosion of connecting, communicating and consuming, thanks to those who brought us Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon and eBay.

We admired the achievements of our sporting heroes and we have been entertained by Dr Who and James Bond.

The nation developed an obsession for celebrities, reality shows and talent contests, while 24-hour news brought us the McCanns in the search for their missing daughter, Madeleine McCann.

The world changed forever after 11 September 2001 when terrorist attacks prompted George W Bush, former US president, to launch his "War on Terror" and the hunt he launched for Osama bin Laden still goes on. Inclusion on this list does not confer honour on that person, merely recognise their impact, and in that sense Saddam Hussein could also be mentioned.


The contributions are now closed

We will publish a list of 20 of your people of the decade on Monday

Labour Party's longest-serving prime minister, Tony Blair, dominated the British political scene. He played an important role in the Northern Ireland peace process but is now perhaps most remembered for taking Britain into the Iraq War.

Although the way people consumed media changed in many ways, Rupert Murdoch remained as one of the industry's giants. One of the innovative leaders of the digital music revolution was Steven Jobs, CEO of Apple, while Shawn Fanning paved the way for illegal file-sharing when he created Napster.

Simon Cowell became a household name after appearing on Pop Idol, and creating X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, which have spin-offs across the globe. The music charts are dominated by acts that are launched, or appear, on his shows.

Who's Who logo
Who's Who is among the world's most recognised and respected reference books. It has been published annually by A & C Black since 1897 and was the first biographical book of its kind. It contains over 33,000 short biographies of living noteworthy and influential individuals, from all walks of life, worldwide. The 2010 edition is published this week

The love affair with reality television was perhaps best embodied by Jade Goody, who was initially ridiculed, and then feted, on Channel 4's Big Brother. While she remained in the public eye right up until her death, the fickle nature of fame in the Noughties meant that winners like Cameron Stout and Anthony Hutton disappeared rather more quickly.

Footballer David Beckham became the face of soccer in the US, while little-known German football coach Otto Rehhagel stunned the world of football by taking Greece to the European title in 2004.

The creator of Harry Potter, JK Rowling, has broken records for the fastest-selling book in history and encouraged millions of children to read. But one of the literary phenomena of the decade was undoubtedly "misery literature", one of the early exponents of which was American writer Dave Peltzer.

In case you missed the first part of the series, you can read about it by using the link below

Countdown's Susie Dent will pick 20 of your suggestions, to be revealed on Monday

Some words you suggested included the verb 'google', 'lol', 'chav', 'hoodie' and 'sustainable'

Since chef Jamie Oliver first came on to our television screens as The Naked Chef, he has helped disadvantaged young adults through his Fifteen Foundation, he has campaigned for healthier school dinners and encouraged the nation to think about what we eat and the way we produce our food.

The recession has been a bit of a "faceless" story but Sir Fred Goodwin, former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, was vilified for his part in it. He presided over the bank's rise to global prominence and its rapid fall.

Now it's your turn. Pick one of these names or come up with one of your own.

We have now stopped accepting your suggestions, but thanks to all who have contributed. The series continues all week and the Portrait of the Decade will be published on Monday

Print Sponsor


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific