Boo hiss: the Top 10 villains of 2013
From cycling cheat Lance Armstrong to reality TV star Katie Hopkins, these are the people we loved to hate
Katie Hopkins The former Apprentice contestant did her best to alienate and upset as many people as possible in 2013. She declared that ginger babies are harder to love, she wouldn't hire fat people and she wouldn't let her children play with kids called Chardonnay or Tyler. "If I am the most hated woman in Britain, we've all lost a bit of perspective," the 38-year-old told the Daily Mail. "I'm just telling the truth."
Ben Affleck Sure, Gigli was terrible, but no-one really hated Hollywood star Ben Affleck until he was cast as Batman in the sequel to the Superman movie, Man of Steel. The decision was greeted with horror by fans of the caped crusader who created a hashtag - BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck - that was soon trending on Twitter. Suggestions for better candidates to play Bruce Wayne's alter ego included Benito Mussolini, "your mom" and "my cat".
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Lance Armstrong Sport has bad boys, rogues and... Lance Armstrong. In terms of infamy, he's so far ahead of the bunch he might as well be in a different race. When he finally confessed to years of doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he added so many caveats to his "apology" it almost sank without trace. Armstrong repeated the mantra "I am flawed, deeply flawed", but he made "doping seem banal, like pumping up his tyres or making sure his bike had a water bottle in the cage", The Guardian said. There was a credibility issue too. It was hard to know what to believe "from a man who has lied so comprehensively, so determinedly, for so long".
The Daily Mail In a post-Leveson world, the reputations of journalists and journalism are badly tarnished. But the Daily Mail ignited the media furore of 2013 when it ran an article about Ed Miliband's father, Ralph, under the headline: "The man who hated Britain." The Labour leader hit back, politicians from both sides supported him and the tabloid found itself attacked on all sides. The situation got worse when the Sunday edition of the Mail sent a journalist to a private memorial for Ed's uncle a few days later. The result was an "unreserved" apology from the Mail on Sunday.
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Chris Brown American R&B singer Chris Brown is something of a repeat offender when it comes to appearances on 'most villainous' lists. His nadir was the 2009 assault of his then girlfriend, Rihanna. But four years later he's still making the news for all the wrong reasons. Brown has bookended his year with two incidents. In January, he was involved in a brawl outside an LA recording studio with fellow singer Frank Ocean. In late October he and his bodyguard were arrested and charged with felony assault relating to an incident outside a hotel in Washington. The singer has acknowledged "he has an anger problem", reported TMZ.
Rich Manhattan mothers at Disney World In May, it was revealed that wealthy US mothers had been hiring disabled people to accompany their families on visits to Disney World. Why? Because Uncle Walt allows anyone using a wheelchair or motorised disability scooter to go straight to the front of the queue at its rides and take six guests with them. "You can't go to Disney without a tour concierge," one woman wrote on a social media site. "This is how the one per cent does Disney." In September, Disney admitted that its policy had been "problematic" and promised a clamp down on fraudulent behaviour.
Npower chief executive Paul Massara Energy companies took over the mantle of Britain's most hated corporations this year following a series of above inflation price hikes. Npower, which announced it would raise the cost of electricity by 9.3 per cent and gas by 11.1 per cent, wasn't the first of the Big Six energy firms to lift prices. But its boss, Paul Massara, managed to make himself a tabloid whipping boy by suggesting that customers could cut their bills by... using less power! "I think it's safe to assume he [Massara] won't be warming toast over a candle this winter, fumed Steve Clark in the Daily Mirror.
Justin Bieber What goes up, must come down. And Canadian pop star Bieber came down with a thud this year. In March, he was two hours late for a gig at London's O2 arena, reportedly because he was playing computer games backstage. The 19-year-old responded to the bad publicity by taking a swing at a photographer and cursing. He embarrassed himself at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam by suggesting the Holocaust victim would have been a 'Belieber' and infuriated his neighbours in Calabasas, California, by racing his Ferrari around their quiet residential streets. But Beiber's real coup was a YouTube video showing him urinating in a bucket at a restaurant before spraying a picture of America's 42nd president with cleaning fluid and yelling: "F*** Bill Clinton!"
Robin Thicke Like Bieber, Thicke is a pop star. But unlike Bieber, the 36-year-old American singer can't blame his alleged 'misdemeanours' on adolescence. Thicke's claim to infamy came courtesy of a hit - Blurred Lines - that The Guardian dubbed "the most controversial song of the decade". The furore started in April when a feminist blogger branded Blurred Lines a "rape song". Two months later, Tricia Romano of the Daily Beast described the song as "rapey", a word that caught fire in other media outlets, says The Guardian. An adults-only version of the video accompanying the song in which Thicke and two male accomplices "goof around" with a group of topless female models, added fuel to the controversy. The result: about 20 student unions at British universities have banned the song. Thicke cemented his credentials as a "horrible misogynist" by twerking with 19-year-old Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Awards.
Godfrey Bloom In a party full of colourful characters, UKIP's Godfrey Bloom still managed to stand out. His gaffes came thick and fast. "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age," he said in July 2004. He admitted to visiting brothels in Hong Kong prior to entering politics, insisting that most prostitutes "do it because they want to". Things finally came to a head in September 2013 when he hit Channel 4 journalist Michael Crick with a party brochure and allegedly threatened another reporter. Bloom capped things off a few hours later by jokingly calling female members of his audience at UKIP's annual conference "sluts". Bloom resigned from UKIP on 24 September, but continues to sit as an independent MP in the European Parliament.