Originally published at The Times
Who is shaping our national life in 2016? This list of the 500 most influential people in Britain today, compiled by Debrett’s, presents a fascinating kaleidescope of the individuals who have a real impact on every aspect of our lives.
Influence takes many forms, from the political power to make laws and command national budgets, to the creativity and charisma to get you tuning in to your favourite television shows — or YouTube channels. What all the people on this list, from sectors including finance, the arts, politics, sport, food and technology, have in common is that through a combination of talent, originality, hard work, persistence, courage and, occasionally, good luck they have earned the right to make a difference.