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Last Updated: Friday, 30 December 2005, 15:07 GMT
Faces of the year - the women

Some of the women who have made the headlines in 2005, as featured by the BBC News profiles unit. (For Men of the Year, see internet links.)

It was a tough year for Kylie Minogue, diagnosed with breast cancer in May. She cancelled her Showgirl tour to allow her to have treatment in Melbourne and Paris. The number of Australian women seeking breast screenings increased by 40% and the 36-year-old star herself said: "I aim to be a cancer survivor." Fresh tour dates are planned for next year, but Kylie acknowledges she has "a long road ahead".

Since making more fans on TV show I'm A Celebrity, Jordan has shown no sign of backing out of the limelight. In the past year, the glamour model, real name Katie Price, has had a baby with her fellow jungle-ite Peter Andre, arrived in a pumpkin coach to her wedding, and even attempted to represent the UK at Eurovision. It seems we should believe her when she says, "Never underestimate the Pricey."

The face of 23-year-old actress Sienna Miller dominated Britain's tabloid press in the summer when her engagement to actor Jude Law was broken off following his affair with his children's nanny. At the time, Miller was performing as Celia in As You Like It, for which she was named best actress in a poll. When Law admitted publicly to his transgression, the audience at London's Wyndham Theatre gave her a standing ovation.

2005 has seen Keira Knightley come of age. The Teddington-born thesp's performance as Elizabeth Bennet in the film version of Pride and Prejudice has already earned her a Golden Globe nomination for best actress. She is expected to earn the same for the Oscars in 2006. One US critic summed up a general consensus by describing her performance as "exuding warmth and confidence". Her only difficulty, it seems, is what to wear at the awards ceremonies.

This year, Carol Thatcher emerged from the shadow of her mother, albeit in the arena of reality television. She dispelled notions that she might be bossy and hectoring by being jolly, optimistic and daring. She braved spiders, snakes, poisonous toads, bushrats and baby crocodiles. She even ate kangaroo's testicles. Her one black mark was urinating within view of 10 million viewers.

Ten years ago it might have seemed unthinkable, but this summer, Camilla Parker-Bowles became the Duchess of Cornwall on her marriage to the Prince of Wales. The Queen would not attend the civil ceremony in Windsor but was there for the religious blessing at which the couple renounced all their "wickedness and misdoings".

It has been a year of highs and lows for willowy supermodel, Kate Moss. Newspaper photographs of her allegedly snorting cocaine, taken after a recording session featuring her on-off Babyshambles boyfriend Pete Doherty, led to the cancellation of lucrative modelling contracts. Her suitability as a mother was also questioned. But after a spell in rehab, and an apology, her waif-like features were soon splashed all over the glossies again.

In October, Michelle Wie, who can uncoil a golf swing in the manner of a Bendy toy enabling her to outdrive most men, turned pro at the age of 16. The youngster from Hawaii, of Korean parents, has become a golfing phenomenon without actually having won a Ladies Pro-Golf Association title. She has already taken part in male competitions and her ambition is to play in the Master's. Don't bet against it.

The death of a man after he was attacked outside a Belfast bar escalated into the biggest crisis for years for Irish Republicanism when the five sisters of the victim, Robert McCartney, embarked on a campaign to bring his killers to justice. Blaming IRA members for the murder and subsequent interference with evidence and witnesses, Catherine, Gemma, Paula, Donna and Claire McCartney addressed their plea to the European Parliament in Brussels.

As the youngest solo artist to debut at Number One in the UK and then as wife of media millionaire Chris Evans, it seemed Billie Piper attracted more sneers than cheers. Her marriage ended in divorce, but Billie's acting career has silenced the critics. Her irresistible appeal won her the title of Britain's most popular TV actress at the National Television Awards for her role as Doctor Who's sidekick, Rose, in the comeback series.

Rival tabloid bosses could not disguise their glee when the flame-haired editor of the Sun, Rebekah Wade, was arrested after allegedly assaulting her actor husband, Ross Kemp. Ms Wade, 37, was said to have given 41-year-old Kemp, who plays EastEnders hard-man Grant Mitchell, a thick lip in an early-hours row. She was detained for eight hours at Wandsworth police station in London before being released without charge.

It was a row that had listeners to BBC Radio Four's Midweek programme nearly spilling their coffee as the American comedienne, Joan Rivers, got steamed up over a fellow guest's remarks. It started when writer and broadcaster Darcus Howe suggested Rivers had a problem with the term "black". It concluded with her calling him a "son of a bitch". An unashamed champion of the benefits of Botox, Joan Rivers was on her First Annual Farewell Tour of the UK.

After a hiatus of 12 years, singer Kate Bush hit the record shops again. Her new album, Aerial, went straight into the UK album charts at number three, and was acclaimed by critics as her finest work yet. In a typically-eclectic outing, Bush sings about her son Bertie on one track, performs with Rolf Harris on two others and also incorporates folk, reggae and rock themes into the album.

Abigail Witchalls, who was seriously injured after being stabbed in April while pregnant with her second child, gave birth to son Dominic in November. Mrs Witchalls, who was left paralysed after being knifed apparently by drug addict Richard Cazaly, said: "I've found great strength and comfort carrying this child and it is such a blessing and a joy to finally see him face to face." Cazaly committed suicide shortly after the stabbing.

Germany's first female Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was finally sworn-in in November, two months after narrowly winning a general election. After long and detailed negotiations, Ms Merkel took her Christian Democrat party into a "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats. Merkel ended the year on another high, being credited with acting as an honest broker at her first EU summit in December, where she helped break the deadlock over the European budget.

In January, Condoleezza Rice became the first African American woman to serve as US Secretary of State. Since then, Dr Rice has maintained a high-profile presence, travelling the world in the service of American interests. In April she criticised Russia for not being democratic enough, visited areas affected by Hurricane Katrina in September and, late in the year, attempted to calm European criticisms of alleged torture in secret US prisons.

Faces of the year - the men
23 Dec 05 |  Magazine


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