Fleeting stars of 2014: from a 'hot felon' to a dancing teacake
Ten people who dominated the media spotlight this year before fading away from the news
A weeping space scientist, a "hot felon" and a fortunate Malaysia Airlines traveller are among the fleeting stars of 2014...
As the January storms and floods left parts of the UK in chaos, one Ukip councillor claimed he knew why the Heavens had opened: the passing of the same-sex marriage bill. David Silvester wrote to his local newspaper, the Henley Standard, explaining that the scriptures make it "abundantly clear" that a Christian nation that acts contrary to the Gospel will be "beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war". The letter was picked up by the national newspapers and Ukip expelled Silvester the following month.
A nursery worker who had signed off sick was publicly disgraced by her employers after she was spotted taking part in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony dressed as a giant Tunnock's tea cake. Amy McIntosh had been off sick for several weeks when her bosses saw her on television during the celebrations in Glasgow. The 25-year-old had volunteered to be part of the Games but had apparently not asked for time off for the rehearsals. Nevertheless, the Tunnock's tea cake dancers proved to be one of the biggest hits of the £20m opening ceremony, which also featured a giant haggis, 41 Scottish terriers, Rod Stewart and a gay wedding.
Maarten De Jonge
It has been a tragic year for the families of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flights MH17 and MH370. One flight was believed to have been shot down in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, while the other disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. But one Dutch man skirted death twice after booking tickets on both flights and changing his mind at the last minute. Maarten De Jonge, a cyclist who rides with Malaysia's Terengganu Cycling Team, told Dutch public broadcaster RTV Oost: "It's inconceivable. I am very sorry for the passengers and their families, yet I am very pleased I'm unharmed."
Colombian cleaner Isabella Acevedo, an illegal immigrant, found herself at the centre of a political row earlier this year. Tory MP Mark Harper resigned as immigration minister after it emerged that he was paying her to clean his home using taxpayers' money. He insisted that he had asked to see her papers in 2007 and believed she had indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but had since lost the documents. The mistake came to light when he attempted to check her papers in February. Acevedo was arrested during her daughter's wedding and deported in August.
Apple fans waited in line for hours, if not days, to get their hands on the new iPhone 6 in September. One of the very first people to purchase the new device was Jack Cooksey from Perth, Australia. He ecstatically showed it off to his local news channel – but as he popped the top off the box, his brand new iPhone fell to the pavement below. The moment was captured live on television and immediately went viral around the world. The highlight was the shrieks from the crowd, said USA Today. "You'd think Cooksey had just dropped an infant who has holding a smaller infant who had a necklace made of Faberge eggs."
Dr Matt Taylor
After a ten-year journey through the Solar System, the Rosetta mission finally achieved its ambitious aim of landing on a comet 300 million miles away in November. Astrophysicist Dr Matt Taylor later gave a tearful update on the progress of the European Space Agency mission. But the emotion resulted not from the extraordinary scientific feat: instead, they were the result of a Twitter storm that centred on the gaudy shirt covered in images of semi-naked women he wore during the initial Rosetta press conference. His public apology prompted many to come to his defence, including Boris Johnson, who said Taylor had been "pilloried in his moment of triumph".
Teenager Stephen Sutton impressed the country earlier this year with his positive attitude and fundraising efforts despite suffering an incurable form of cancer. He created a bucket list of 46 things he wanted to achieve, including getting a tattoo, skydiving and raising £100,000 for charity. This latter target was quickly eclipsed and he raised more than £5m for the Teenage Cancer Trust, using a blog and social media to keep people up to date with his story. Days before Sutton died in May, he was told he would be included on the Queen's Birthday Honours list and later received an honorary doctorate of science from Coventry University.
Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas was one of the stars of the 2014 World Cup as he helped guide the unfancied Central American side to the quarter finals. His heroic performances between the sticks for Costa Rica made him the toast of Brazil, and came after a sensational campaign for Spanish club side Levante which earned him a place in the La Liga team of the season. In the aftermath of the tournament he was signed by Real Madrid, but things have not been going so well since, and he has made only four appearances this season.
Jeremy Meeks was arrested on 18 June on a gun charge in Stockton, California. But when police posted his chiselled mugshot on Facebook, it immediately went viral and he quickly won the nickname of "hot felon". Rumours spread that he had been offered a $30,000 modelling contract and offers to star in adult movies, but it turned out that the only thing he had been given was an indictment from a federal grand jury charging him with the possession of a .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol.
This London barman made headlines in January after attempting a citizen's arrest on Tony Blair for "crimes against peace, namely the decision to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq". The former prime minister tried to engage in a debate, while one of his sons went to get security and Garcia fled the restaurant to avoid any trouble. While critics of Blair voiced their support for the attempted arrest, others turned on Garcia, a part-time DJ who worked at east London's trendy Tramshed restaurant, said The Independent. "It seemed that Mr Blair's unpopularity with a certain portion of the population was rivalled only by an intrinsic dislike of those considered 'hipsters'."