Before welcoming 2013, revisit news events and pictures of the past 12 months, including the Olympics, the American Presidential election and those brief Spice Girls reunions. Let us know your thoughts on the news events of the past 12 months on Twitter or in the comments section below.
Costa Concordia sinks
Showboating ship captain Francesco Schettino sailed commercial cruise liner Costa Concordia too close to rocks on the Italian island of Giglio in January, sinking the vessel. Thirty two passengers were killed.
David Cameron's woes
Uh-oh. A forlorn David Cameron at January’s EU summit in Brussels when it became apparent that “legal difficulties” affected his popular veto on EU treaty change. The “phantom veto” provoked a savaging from both Labour and his own party and - perhaps worst of all - represented a rare victory for coalition deputy Nick Clegg.
It’s been a busy year for Adele – six Grammys, a baby and a £2.5 million house by the Brighton sea. Not bad for a 24-year-old.
Pussy Riot imprisoned
Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot were arrested in February when they performed a song criticising the country’s Orthodox church and the Putin regime. Convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred", the trio was jailed for two years and their cause was taken up by everyone from human rights groups to Madonna.
Angelina and Brad to marry
Hollywood mega couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had vowed not to marry until it was legal for same-sex couples to tie the knot in every US state. Realising this well-meaning pledge may well result in one of their many kids tying the knot before they did, the pair got engaged in April.
World's smallest dog
Standing just 6.5 centimetres high and weighing 170 grams (minus her bling), Puerto Rican chihuahua Milly was put forward to Guinness Records as the smallest dog in the world in April.
Beyonce's grand entrance
Beyonce left everyone wondering how she managed without dress helpers at the Met Gala in May when she swept through in a spectacular purple feather Givenchy Haute Couture evening gown.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee
The Queen was delighted to be on the receiving end of a rare public display of affection from her eldest son Charles at a glittering concert in honour of her Diamond Jubilee in June.
Kristen Stewart's Apology
Robert Pattinson’s adoring fans were put on red alert in July when the heartthrob’s longtime girlfriend and Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart was pictured indulging in a “momentary indiscretion” with her married Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders (pictured). A visibly upset Will Ferrell branded K-Stew a "Trampire", she made a grovelling public apology (to Pattinson, not Ferrell), Sanders was sent packing from the sequel and R-Patz – to the horror of some of his more hardcore fans – was in a forgiving mood.
Bradley Wiggins' wins
Cyclist Bradley Wiggins won gold in the Olympic Road time trial in August, became the first Brit to win the Tour de France in over 100 years, was awarded BBC Sports Personality of the Year and made ginger sideburns cool.
The London Olympics
The first Olympic Games held in London since 1948, the 2012 Games were well worth the wait. Beijing 2008 was a hard act to follow, but Danny Boyle’s fantastic opening sequence set the scene for a spectacular summer.
Not only did he romp home to victory at the 2012 Olympics, Mo Farah’s impressive array of stunned facial expressions represented the feelings of a captivated nation in August.
The royal couple
The Olympic spirit brought out the cuddly side in the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William in August. The couple announced Kate's pregnancy in early December.
Members of the Mars Science Laboratory watched their professional dreams come true in August when the Mars Rover Curiosity successfully landed on the planet to assess whether it has an environment able to support small life forms called microbes.
Clint Eastwood's chair
Clint Eastwood thought talking to a chair as if it were Barack Obama at a Republican gathering in August would help Mitt Romney win the Presidential election. Needless to say Eastwood’s bit was not pre-approved by the Romney campaign team. And it didn’t help.
Are we fired up? The majority of voting America was and President Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term.
“That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Neil Armstrong, the first human being to walk on the moon, died in August, aged 82.
Kate topless pictures
In 1992 a topless Duchess of York was secretly photographed lounging by a pool in the South of France with her Texan lover. Fast forward 20 years and the Duchess of Cambridge was also snapped sunbathing bare-chested at a private poolside in the South of France in September and the images plastered over the covers of a French magazine. A few days later on a royal visit to the Solomon Islands Kate had to suppress a smile when many of her female hosts were – you guessed it – topless.
Prince Harry naked
Kate wasn’t the only royal to be secretly photographed nearly naked this year. Harry lost a game of strip poker at a party night at the Las Vegas Wynn and thanks to a secret cameraphone, his bare backside was beamed around the world. Here a cheeky youngster told the Prince he was glad he had his clothes on at a London charity event in September.
Pippa's party book
Pippa Middleton’s highly anticipated and heavily publicised party planning book Celebrate floored critics in October with advice gems such as: “For parties, wrap a small gift. Sit everyone in a circle and ask them to pass the parcel.” By December, poor sales saw the book consigned to the bargain bucket and an entrepreneurial Pippa selling reduced-price signed copies in her local boozer.
Felix Baumgartner's jump
Daredevil Austrian military parachutist Felix Baumgartner stunned the world in October when he leapt through the sound barrier in a freefall from 128,000 feet. He even found time to Tweet while he was up there, writing: “Live from space! World you are beautiful.”
Northeast America’s worst storm in 100 years hit in October, leaving 50 dead and a $50 billion economic disaster in its wake.
Who could forget that steely composure? That nonchalant smile? That Peter Pan collar? Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks was herself front page news for much of the year at the Leveson Inquiry and was charged in November over alleged payments to police and public officials.
Lance Armstrong's disgrace
Cycling hero Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life in October when an official report stated that the 41-year-old had cheated with performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
Spice Girls: the musical
The Spice Girls looked pleased to be in the news once again at the December premiere of their West End musical Viva Forever! – well at least four of them did. A nonplussed Victoria Beckham has never stopped being headline news since the famous five went their separate ways.