The wait is over. Time Out’s writers and editors have named their 20 most influential figures of 2011. Ranging from the creative to the most innovative, these people made a significant difference to London in the past 12 months.
‘The third night of the London riots saw many of us glued to Twitter and the rolling TV news trying to make sense of the trashing of our neighbourhoods and riot police stomping past our doorways. It would take a Hackney pensioner to cut through the widespread feeling of ‘What the fuck is going on, London?’. When journalist Mark Moore tweeted his video of a ‘truly extraordinary speech by fearless West Indian woman in face of Hackney and London riots’, it immediately went viral. That woman was Hackney pensioner Pauline Pearce and she was videoed that night, walking stick in hand, shouting at looters: ‘Look at that shop there! She’s working hard to make her business work. You want to go burn up her shop? For what? Just to say you’re warring and you’re bad man? Get real!’ Amidst chaos and burning homes and livelihoods, Pauline Pearce reminded me why I’m proud to be a Londoner.’ Simone Baird, Features Editor
See the other People of the Year. Who have we missed? Comment below.