Who Is Giz UK's Person of the Year 2016?

By James O Malley on at

Earlier today Time magazine revealed its person of the year - an award given not to who it thinks is the best person, but who it thinks was the most impactful person of the last 12 months. And completely unsurprisingly, it was Donald Trump. Trump, you may horrifyingly recall having previously suppressed the pain, will become the 45th President of the United States on January 20th.

But this got us thinking: Who should be our person of the year. Here's some ideas:

Chris Evans

Britain's best known redhead may have had a mixed year. The radio and television presenter taught us all a valuable lesson: Know your limits. Taking the reins of Top Gear was never going to be an easy task, but despite the best of intentions and despite a much better show than many people will admit, he flew too close to the sun. Since, his wax wings have melted and his motoring career has burnt up in the Earth's atmosphere. But we salute you, Chris Evans, for doing your best and putting on a brave face despite everything.


On May 28th, a little part of us all died. Harambe, the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo was shot in killed through no fault of its own - just because some stupid kid got into his enclosure. He was the gorilla of the internet's heart- and his memory lives on in countless memes and tributes.

Palmer Luckey

The creator of the Oculus Rift headset is essentially a scientific experiment if you were to ask the question: What would happen if you gave a 24 year old $2 billion. The answer, it turns out, was that he'd secretly fund pro-Trump "shit-posting" and then completely disappear from public life once it was exposed.

George Orwell

Sure, he may have died of TB on a remote Scottish island in 1950, but it turns out that Orwell's ideas live on in the hearts of terrifying authoritarians everywhere. 2016 has been a big year when the pervasive monitoring of everything we do has coupled up with scary political trends. This year saw the UK legitimate bulk surveillance in the form of the Investigatory Powers Bill, meaning that we're less free than we were before.

Boaty McBoatFace

After Donald Trump won and Brexit, suddenly everyone was much more interested in the rise of right-wing populism. But we should have seen it coming. If 2016 has proven anything, it is that democracy sometimes doesn't produce the results that the elite technocrats actually want. And what better proof is there of this than in the form of the public vote to name a new polar research ship. Rather than choose to name it something sensible, we chose Boaty McBoatFace. But luckily in this case, the metaphorical Article 50 was not invoked, and instead the politicians chose to name the ship after David Attenborough instead.

Samsung's PR Team

The smart phone industry is one of intense competition so this year Samsung decided to fight fire with fire - and the launch of the Note 7 ensured that September started with a bang. So perhaps it is time to recognise the work of the PR team who managed to turn the situation around so that at least not everyone now associates the entire Samsung brand with explosions.

WINNER: The Little Iguana From Planet Earth

Let's face it, 2016 has been a brutal and horrible year. The grim reaper has mowed down scores of well known names and politics has taken a new, apocalyptic direction. So where is the hope? Perhaps the biggest glimmer that maybe, just maybe, we can get through this came from a little tiny Iguana, which captivated our hearts on Planet Earth 2 as it was able to wriggle free from some snakes and get away fully intact.

I mean, sure, in all likelihood that same iguana has been gobbled up since, and the snakes probably snaffled his little iguana colleagues moments after the cameras stopped rolling. But this little guy? He's helping us believe that we might just be able to get through this.

Congratulations, little Iguana.

Let us know who you think should have won in the comments.