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The year in review: heroes and villains of 2016

By Time Out London contributors

Let's face it: we'll be pretty happy to see the back of 2016. It's brought us Brexit, Trump's presidency, a Marmite shortage and an unspeakable makeover to our favourite airport confectionary (RIP chunky Toblerone). We could go on and on, but it wasn't all bad. To leave us on an even footing before we storm into 2017 and hope for better days ahead, here we remember some of the worst and best people of 2016.


The Royal Mint

The jazzy new polymer fiver was unveiled this year and promised to be unbreakable (it's not: see above), though what they didn't tell us is that they used an animal byproduct called tallow to make it. Veggies, vegans and meat-eaters alike were outraged and vegan restaurant VegBar in Tulse Hill even refused to accept them as payment.



A photo posted by Nik Southern (@graceandthorn) on

Those bloody east Londoners, with their bloody beards and appetite for brunch. Well, they only went and jacked up house prices, didn't they? This year Zoopla officially announced that 'young, creative professionals' had made prices in Dalston, Stoke Newington and Stockwell sky-rocket. Definitely not shocking news, but still, it's nice to have someone to blame for our hardship, isn't it?

 The people building the skyscraper that’s ruining the view of St Paul’s 

Paula Redmond

It's up there with standing on the right and remaining silent on the tube: Nobody. Messes. With. The. View. Protecting the sight lines of our beloved St Paul's is one of London's commandments and some audacious developer is threatening the view of the cathedral from Richmond with a dirty great skyscraper called Manhattan Loft Gardens in Stratford. SHAME ON YOU.

The councillors who shut down Fabric


A photo posted by fabric (@fabriclondonofficial) on

Clubbers had the last laugh, with Fabric saved and set to reopen in 2017, but Islington councillors need to spend some serious time on the naughty step for trying to shut down a London institution.


Sadiq Khan


A photo posted by Ed Stone (@ed_st0ne) on

It was bye-bye Boris in May when we saw Sadiq triumph as the new Mayor of London. And what a mayor he is. He's already done wonders for travel by launching a one-hour 'hopper' bus ticket, set up toxic air warnings at London's tube stations and bus stops, finally got the night tube up and running and has pledged £770 million to make London more cycle-friendly. But that's not all, he's also planning a much needed London Living Rent scheme to offer cheaper rent to lower London earners. He's also pretty LOLz. Remember when he told this rude joke about Jeremy Hunt?

Kumbuka the gorilla


A photo posted by Ribena UK (@ribenauk) on

Okay, so he caused a lockdown on London Zoo and probably cost us loads in taxpayers' money after escaping his enclosure, but you had to admire Kambuka's bid for freedom. Hell, in this time of uncertainty, we'd all have done the same. And as for downing six litres of squash, well, that only solidifies his status as a true hero.

The sassy people who vogued at the Orlando vigil

After an attack on an LGBT nightclub in Orlando left 49 people dead, London showed its solidarity with a vigil in Soho. There were candles, singing, and a massive vogue-off by a group of sassy dancers, who brought the whole crowd together.

The Chicken Connoisseur

With his keen knowledge of breadcrumbs, chip density and eye for bargain price points, your man Chicken Connoisseur made Londoners fall in love with the fried stuff all over again.

The man who jumped on the tube tracks to save a guy's life 

It's every commuter's worst nightmare. But when a man was taken ill and fell onto the tracks, this heroic bystander leapt into action and dived onto the tracks to help the man back on to the platform, potentially saving his life. We say give that man a Freedom Pass, stat.  

The organisers of the Black Lives Matter protests


A photo posted by Kristina (@icreatelife_) on

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Brixton and on Oxford Street to support the Black Lives Matter movement, after two African-American men were shot by police in the US.

The makers of these satirical tube ads

Apart from falling on the tracks, the one thing commuters could definitely do without are those stupid adverts trying to convince you that your 'perfect match' is somewhere in the same sweaty tube carriage as you. Step forward We Fix Your Adverts, who brilliantly remixed's cringe #loveyourimperfections campaign and gave passengers something to smile about


Lucy Duff/Facebook

Bear with us, because whilst TfL has obviously done loads of annoying crap (the less said about the delayed night tube launch, the better), the folks at TfL also helped save this cute cat. Lucy Duff was getting on the tube at Green Park when her cat, Lucky, jumped out of its carrier and scampered onto the tracks. Things looked bleak, until TfL rescued her from the tracks at 3am the next morning. Awwww.


Even 'The Great British Bake Off' didn't manage to escape the curse of 2016. The announcement of the show's move to Channel 4 tore the nation (and the tent) apart as Mary Berry and Mel and Sue decided to hang up their aprons out of loyalty to the BBC. Luckily, we had Selasi to help us ease the pain with his cheeky grin and super chill vibes. And to top it all off, he even promised to open his own bakery in west London. 2017 is looking up already.

By Hayley Spencer and Josh Mcloughlin

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