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From unexpected crush to most enjoyable tears shed, Lucy Mangan celebrates the best bits of 2015


As the year comes to a close, Stylist columnist Lucy Mangan honours the winners of the 2015 Mangan Awards for Various Things

It is my last column of the year, which means it is time to hand out the coveted 2015 Mangan Awards for Various Things. Put on some sequins, grab a cocktail and make like you’ve just stepped off Hollywood Boulevard. This thing is bigger than the Oscars and the Emmys combined.

Best news: Muji have started selling tiny houses. WANT.

Worst news: Husband and child insist they will come with me if I move.

No, Really the Best News: Elizabeth Taylor apparently ran an illegal drugs operation from her Bel Air home in the Eighties, procuring experimental drugs for people with HIV and AIDS when it was still “the gay disease” that politicians and everyone else were trying to ignore. Nowadays we have Gwyneth running Goop and trying to sell people $956 loo paper. They sure don’t make ’em like they used to.

Book of the Year: The Thrilling Adventures Of Lovelace And Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story Of the First Computer. It’s a graphic novel. It’s about Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage and the birth of computer science; people and a topic in which I have no interest. But it is so impossibly funny, clever, demented, charming and altogether wonderful that I was a convert within three pages. Buy it for everyone you know, regardless of what you think they like. Brilliant stuff.

Quote of the Year: My mother, when she saw me in red lipstick for the first time. “Oh, that’s nice. It makes you look like something you’re not.” Had we but world enough and time to unpack that, suspect I would never need to pay a therapist again. But on we go.

Most Unexpected Crush: Jacob Rees-Mogg on Have I Got New For You. Find it on YouTube. There is something wrong with me.

Tweet of the Year: From author Jenny Colgan (@jennycolgan) after George Osborne’s decision to keep the tampon tax but give the money to women’s refuges to try and make up the shortfall in funding caused by his other cuts: “I think I preferred tampons as a luxury item to abuse insurance.”

Hashtag of the Year: Must go to #YouAintNoMuslimBruv. Though I would hate for the equally quintessentially British second half of the Leytonstone bystander’s cry to be written out of the story: “You’re an embarrassment.”

Discovery of the Year: Joint winners. First, Gipsy Comfort Shaper tights. Oh my God. For those dresses/occasions when Spanx are overkill but doing nothing is not an option. And second, fleece-lined slippers from Celtic & Co. I’ve had warm feet at home this winter for the first time in my adult life. This makes everything infinitely more bearable. I am a woman transformed.

Most Enjoyable Tears Shed: On reading the final paragraph of the obituary of Olga Kerr, the 91 year-old circus artiste who died in October. “Admitted to hospital shortly before her death, one of the nurses reported one morning that Kerr had been fantasising through the night about flying through the air on trapezes. Her son was able to tell her it was all true.” Merry Christmas, everyone.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock illustrated by Hattie Stewart

As Homer Simpson so rightly put it as he hugged the TV lead to his chest – how can one little insulated wire bring so much happiness?! And never is this more true than at Christmas, when the programmes are perfectly scheduled to bring us wall-to-wall comfort, joy and occasional bursts of cathartic tears. This year, I will mostly be watching Call The Midwife (were there any stables in Fifties East London where a baby could be born at Christmas? Let’s find out!). The Sherlock Victorian special (Cumberbatch in tweed klaxon! Not a drill, people, not a drill) that lands on New Year’s Day and also War And Peace in January (war! Peace! Heavily brocaded uniforms! James Norton! Gillian Anderson! A renewed determination to read the book/never bother!). Downton Abbey Christmas madness, Gogglebox Kids, plus all the Morecambe, Wise, Wallace, Gromit, Shrek, crap films and quiz shows with their titles prefaced by the word “Celebrity” to keep us all happy in between. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Photography: Ellis Parrinder, Thinkstock, bbc.co.uk

Illustrations: Hattie Stewart

What were your favourite things about 2015? Tell us in the comments section below.

To read this week's issue of Stylist, download from app.stylist.co.uk



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