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Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 17:44 GMT
Who is your cultural favourite?
Each weekend, BBC News Online profiles a figure who has had an impact on the week's news. All this week we want to know who has left the greatest impression on you.

The Newsmaker profile, which has been running each week on BBC News Online for three years, sets to take an original and thoughtful look at a character who has left a mark on the previous week.

Newsmaker Poll of 2002
  • 16 Dec: Choose between the 4 winners
  • At year's end, we want to know who you think has had the most impact. The subjects of the profiles have been divided into four categories - Culture, Politics and society, Sport and Showbiz - and for the rest of this week you are invited to cast your votes.

    First off are those characters from the world of culture, in alphabetical order. You can read more about any of them by following links to the original profile. Vote at the bottom of the page.

    Julie Burchill, loudmouth opinionated newspaper columnist, whose writings consistently shock and appal both liberal and conservative Britain, became the subject of a play herself when Jackie Clune took her one-woman show Julie Burchill is Away to London's West End.

    Paul Dirac, who died in 1984, is the unsung father of electronics who first predicted the existence of anti-matter. His work indirectly led to the development of computers, mobile phones, and much of the rest of modern life, and was celebrated at the Royal Society's summer exhibition.

    It may be nearly half a century since his death, but Ian Fleming proved his ongoing pulling power once again this year. Not only was the new Bond film Die Another Day a box office hit, but the stage musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang won Fleming an audience in yet another generation.

    Norman Foster, now Lord Foster, is one of those creatives fortunate enough to be sure that his work will survive him. The new Reichstag, the court at the British Museum, and London's Millennium Bridge, which in February had its infamous wobble sorted out once and for all.

    Fashion designer Wayne Hemingway, founder of the Red or Dead label, launched a scathing attack on the amount of money his fellows in the fashion industry make. The Morecambe boy may have reached the glamorous heights, but hasn't forgotten his working class roots.

    Artist Damien Hirst may not be cutting up dead animals any more, but he has not lost his ability to shock. In a video essay for BBC News Online, he said the attackers on the World Trade Center had created a "visually stunning work of art". He later apologised for causing offence, making clear that he abhorred terrorism.

    You may well not have heard of Jonathan Ive. But you are sure to have seen his work. You may even be using it now. He is the man behind the stunning designs of Apple computers, including both versions of iMac. Still in his 30s, he's a Briton who is now one of the world's most sought after designers.

    Director Mike Leigh is one of the most astute chroniclers of the littleness of ordinary life, as seen in his films Secrets and Lies, Life is Sweet, Topsy Turvy and All or Nothing. It's all quite a way from Abigail's Party.

    Poet and academic Tom Paulin, famed for his dour opinions on BBC Two's Newsnight Review, was at the centre of controversy when he was reported as saying that Israeli settlers in the West Bank were "Nazis, racist". The US academic establishment seemed to decide he was now persona non grata.

    André Previn, known to generations (thanks to Morecombe and Wise) as Mr Preview, may be in his 70s now, but his enthusiasm for work and life is undimmed. To prove the point, his fifth marriage was to a woman 34 years his junior. She also happens to be one of the world's greatest violinists.

    Film-maker Leni Riefenstahl, who was 100 in August, released her first film for half a century. The woman whose films captured some of the moments of Nazi theatre, including the Nuremburg Rally, never escaped the controversy surrounding her.

    Charles Saatchi, who told us Labour Isn't Working, asked men how they would behave if they got pregnant, and showed us the new generation of Brit Art continued his artistic revolution, planning a new gallery in London.

    David Starkey, veteran of Radio 4's Moral Maze, became the UK's highest paid TV historian with a £2m deal to continue telling audiences of their country's murky past.

    Novelist Sarah Waters was a gift to the newspapers, giving even the tabloids cause to get excited about a costume period drama. The fact that the programme was Tipping the Velvet, about Victorian lesbians, ensured Waters' transformation from acclaimed novelist to money-spinning bestseller.

    This vote is now closed

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