Hip hip hooray: The Week's top 10 heroes of 2013
From a resurgent David Bowie to Hollywood's favourite female star, here's the year's heroes
David Bowie Written off in some quarters as a sickly retiree, Bowie stunned us by releasing a "beautiful" single (Where Are We Now?) and an album (The Next Day) acclaimed as the "best rock comeback album ever". The Bowie moment was underscored by a sold-out exhibition of his life and work at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
Pope Francis He cooks his own meals, rings ordinary people for a chat and is trying to reinvent the Catholic Church. Even atheists should be praying for Pope Francis, wrote Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian. Why? Because he's now "the world's clearest voice for change" and could "replace Obama as the pin-up on every liberal and leftist wall."
Andy Murray Britain's love affair with the Scotsman began to blossom when he beat Roger Federer in Olympic men's singles final. It erupted into a full-blown love match when he overcame Novak Djokovic to clinch the Wimbledon title. There was plenty of talk of a knighthood, which Murray himself admitted was rather premature , but he strolled his way to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Margaret Hodge Politicians are seldom loved, but Hodge has earned the admiration of many by becoming the nation's most effective watchdog; the scourge of public officials and corporate bigwigs alike. As the chair of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee, the Labour MP manages to do what her party's front bench ought to be doing - "holding the Government to account", says the Allthatsleft blog.
Margaret Hodge: from Islington socialist to inquisitor-in-chief
Alex Ferguson When Manchester United's venerable manager stepped down after 27 years at the club, there wasn't a dry eye at Old Trafford (even though his final match was away at West Brom). His autobiography had a few hard words for former players - he might not get Christmas card from David Beckham or Roy Keane this year - but it didn't overshadow the year's most emotional retirement.
Alex Ferguson - his Manchester United career in pictures
Russell Brand Plenty of people are allergic to the comedian and former drug addict. But he struck a chord with many when he penned a New Statesman article decrying the state of British politics. Revealing that he never votes, Brand called instead for a revolution - and repeated the call during a funny, erudite interview with Jeremy Paxman, who soon revealed that he too had never voted.
Brand's Messiah Complex is a 'tour de force' and farce
Harold Jellicoe Percival The funeral of war veteran Harold Jellicoe Percival looked destined to be a lonely affair. The 99-year-old had hardly any friends or relatives still living when he passed away in early November. But Percival, who served as ground crew for the 1943 Dambusters raids, was bid farewell by hundreds of people after a newspaper ran a story about him. "Scores of civilians didn't want Harold to leave this world without the respect and thanks he deserved," wrote the Daily Mirror.
Mark Carney Bankers are traditionally cast as villains, but Canada's "rock star" money man is different. After getting his feet behind the Governor's desk at the Bank of England, Carney began a shake-up of the fusty Threadneedle Street institution. It seems to be working: The UK economy is showing clear signs of recovery with growth of 2.5 per cent predicted for 2014.
Bank of England's Mark Carney in a proud Canuck tradition
Chris Hadfield The profile of this 53-year-old Canadian astronaut went into orbit when he recorded a version of Bowie's Space Oddity in the International Space Station. In fact, Hadfield had already built a large fan base thanks to his "often poetic tweets" and a series of riveting video tutorials about the ISS. He's now a hot property on the public speaking circuit.
Ground control to Major Chris: your song's 'out of this world'
Jennifer Lawrence She stumbled as she climbed the stairs to pick up her best actress Oscar, but otherwise the 22-year-old American actress enjoyed a surefooted 2013. The Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook kicked things off, but she's ending the year on a high after reprising her role as Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire, the second instalment of The Hunger Games franchise.