Time magazine has declared Mark Zuckerberg as their Person of the Year for 2010, and it’s hard to argue against such a decision. I can’t think of anyone who has made more ‘friends’ this year. But for the inaugural, and for imminent changing locational reasons, final, Mexile Person of the Year, I thought I’d look elsewhere for the person who has brought me most joy over the year.
Tempted, I was, to pick President Obama. Just to irk all the doom mongers. But hey, he’s had enough awards for doing nothing already. Perhaps Gordon Brown? It was a pitiful year for the former Prime Minister, but he has given us all a good laugh really. No one can pull a fake smile like Gordon can pull a fake smile. Dour Scotsman? Not a bit!
But no, there is a stand out candidate. The slightly eccentric comic genius and wordsmith Stephen Fry. For all that he’s done before, but mostly for the watching, listening and reading pleasure he’s given me over the last twelve months. I have indeed only just finished listening to his audiobook autobiography, The Fry Chronicles.
It’s an honest and continually amusing, entertaining and informative account of his life, right up to the moment he was introduced to a brand new sort of line. another book is promised. His ever so upper class English tones whisked me through the twelve odd hours of the audiobook in what seemed like a flash. Never before has someone so ‘other wordly’ been able to also be so thoroughly human.
Stephen Fry is, like most English comedians of his age, rather overshadowed by Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean. And his partner in comic crime, Hugh Laurie, has undoubtedly made more of a name for himself in the US, with Dr House. But for my money, Fry has always been the most likeable, affable and instantly funny of them all. Whether as Lord Snot in the Young One’s University Challenge episode, or Melchett in the unforgettable Blackadder.
But this year Stephen Fry, together with his new television partner of late, Mark Cawardine, gave us Last Chance To See. Repeating the global adventure by Douglas Adams and Mark Cawardine of 20 years ago, Mark and Stephen searched high and low for six of the most endangered species on the planet.
There is a Mexico link to this, of course. One of those places was this country, in search of the Blue Whale. But I appreciated the episode with the release of a bucket of baby turtles a little more. But unquestionably the finest moment was with the randy Kakapo parrot in the video below.