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Top Five most influential people in Scotland so far in 2019

2019 has been a good year for us Scots. Here’s our list of the top five most influential people from this year – so far.

Mhairi Black speaks on lack of care for the integrity of Westminister

5) Politician – Mhairi Black  

No list of the most influential people in Scotland would be complete without a mention of Mhairi Black. Born in Paisley on 12 September 1994, she quickly made a name for herself in both Scottish and British politics, having been elected SNP Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire South in 2015 – before she had even graduated from university where she was studying a first-class honours degree in Politics and Public Policy   – after defeating Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander. Black is the youngest ever person to be elected as an MP, assuming the role at 20. 

Her charismatic speeches in the house of commons have led to her becoming an un-commonly popular politician, named as the 77th Most Influential Person on the Left, many are tipping her as the future first minister of Scotland should Sturgeon stand down. 

Rory Mccann as The Hound in Game of Thrones

4Actor – Rory Mccann  

Famous for his role as Sandor Clegane, nicknamed The Hound, in Game of Thrones, the Glasgow born actor has done a lot in his career – and not all of it to do with acting. The 50-year-old studied at the Scottish School of Forestry near Inverness before working as a bridge painter on the Forth Road Bridge, before moving into acting in 1998. A far-cry from his on-screen character the hound. 

The actor towers over everyone on screen and off, standing at an impressive 6ft 6 inches. He has appeared in everything from Scots Porridge Oats adverts and playing a disabled personal trainer in the 2002 television comedy drama The Book Group for which he won a BAFTA. 

As Game of Thrones winds to an end, with fans waiting with bated breath to see who will sit on the Iron Throne, what is next for this talented actor? 

Gary Faulds pictured in one of his hilarious trademark videos

3) Comedian – Gary Faulds  

Born and in Glasgow, the 30-year-old comedian from Springburn has made a huge splash in his short career, quickly going from making videos in his taxi to selling out some of the biggest venues in Scotland with his unique brand of comedy. 

The former soldier puts his success down to his wife for keeping him on the straight and narrow, and his father who he says he picked up his comedy from. Father to four children, he is an avid fan of Glasgow’s takeaway scene and can often be found scoffing a kebab. 

The future is bright for this star, with his videos attracting tens of thousands of likes on social media and his shows up and down the country regularly selling out. Faulds is a breath of fresh air on the already talented Glasgow comedy scene, and a muchneeded addition to Scottish all-stars such as Frankie Boyle and Kevin Bridges.  

Scottish music prodigy Lewis Capaldi

2) Singer/Songwriter – Lewis Capaldi  

Born 7 October 1996 in Bathgate, Scotland, the 22-year-old started his musical career at the age of 12, playing local pubs after learning to play the guitar at the age of 9. He rose to prominence after sharing videos of himself performing in his bedroom, later releasing his first track “Bruises”, which amassed close to 28 million plays on Spotify worldwide, making him the fastest ever unsigned artist to reach 25 million plays on the platform. 

Capaldi reached mainstream success with his single ‘Someone You Loved’, soaring to number one in the UK charts. Despite this fame he likes to remain humbleposting hilarious videos on his social media accounts for his fans, where he talks about his life. Interestingly, he is the twice removed cousin of actor Peter Capaldi. 

As he prepares to launch his debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, the question arises of how high can this relatively new Scottish star rise, and will the album live up to the hype surrounding ‘Someone you loved’? Only time will tell. 

Nicola Sturgeon speaking in an interview

1) First Minister – Nicola Sturgeon  

Nicknamed quite unflatteringly by her opponents ‘Nippy Nicky’, Sturgeons rise though Politics has been meteoric. Her influence over Scotland is second to none as she prepares to lead her tartan army back into battle to secure Scottish independence – in what I’m sure she hopes will have a more a Stirling Bridge feel to it rather than Culloden.  

Born on 19 July 1970 in Irvine, Ayrshire, she attended state school Greenwood Academy before being accepted to study law at Glasgow University, where she was active as a member of the universities Scottish Nationalist Association and served on the students’ representative council. Sturgeon graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) in 1992 and went on to become a solicitor before she was elected in 1999 as an MSP on a regional list after failing to win her campaign to represent Govan. 

In 2004 she ran as depute with Alex Salmond, before replacing him as First Minister to become the first woman to hold the post when he stood down after losing the independence referendum in 2014. She stands as not only the most influential person in Scotland but has been named by Forbes magazine as the 50th most powerful woman in the world and 2nd in the United Kingdom. 

With her decision to hold a second independence referendum in 2021 this influence is only set to rise. 

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About Jordan Shepherd

Honest uncompromising journalism has always been at the heart of Jordans’ writing from his early work with the Press and Journal to enrolment on the HND Journalism and his further writing for the Daily Record. He was inspired to follow a career in journalism by investigative journalism and the effect it had on the wider world. Post education he hopes to follow a career in investigative journalism with the eventual goal to one day take over the editorship of the Morning Star.

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