And here they are: a list of things almost certainly not going to happen in 2015. Feel free to pop down the betting shop as soon as it opens to chuck your savings at the opposite of everything below. Don’t forget to return this time next year to gloat with your millions.
- There is more than one UK general election.
- After one of the general elections, speaker John Bercow is deposed.
- The royal child-beast is of the girl persuasion, and called Elizabeth.
- Hillary Clinton confirms she will run for US President.
- Kim Jong Un is deposed as leader of North Korea.
- The record for the highest temperature in the UK is broken.
- Sepp Blatter is not re-elected as president of FIFA.
- Chelsea win the English Premier League.
- Australia retain the Ashes.
- Germany win the women’s football World Cup in Canada.
- Oxford wins the University Boat Race, again.
- Cyprus comes top of the medal table in the keenly anticipated Games of the Small States of Europe in Reykjavik.
Science and technology
- Apple releases a MacBook Air with a retina display.
- The Dawn spacecraft discovers ice volcanoes on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres.
- The probe Philae on the surface of comet 67P emerges from hibernation sufficiently to send useful scientific data.
- Microsoft buys Fitbit.
- Dick Costolo leaves his position as CEO of Twitter.
- YouTube users upload over 500 hours of video per minute on average.
- Best Actor Oscar: Michael Keaton, Birdman.
- Best Actress Oscar: Julianne Moore, Still Alice.
- Best Picture Oscar: Birdman.
- Best Director Oscar: Richard Linklater, Boyhood.
- Best Visual Effects Oscar: Interstellar.
- The BBC says BBC 4 will follow BBC 3 and move online.
- Dodgy FIFA boss before the other dodgy FIFA boss, João Havelange (98)
- Avenger before the other Avengers, actor Patrick Macnee (92)
- Dracula, Scaramanga, Saruman, Dooku, actor Christopher Lee (92)
- I’ve met him you know, comics elder Stan Lee (92)
- President Bush before the other President Bush, George HW Bush (90)
- Spock before the other Spock, actor Leonard Nimoy (82)
- Run out, umpire Dickie Bird (81)
- War criminal, ex-veep Dick Cheney (73)
- Floating like an ex-butterfly, stinging like an ex-bee, boxer Muhammad Ali (72)
Happy New Year!
Here they are: the 2014 predictions literally everyone hasn’t been waiting for. Please return regularly to check my progress and coincidentally bump the readership stats on my blog to make me feel better.
- In the referendum on independence, Scotland votes No.
- Brazil grants asylum to Edward Snowden.
- The Lib Dems replace Nick Clegg as leader.
- UKIP wins more MEPs in the European Parliamentary Elections than the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems.
- An iconic building or monument is damaged in a freak/climate change weather event.
- Paul Dacre leaves his position as chief bigot/editor at the Daily Mail.
- More than 50% of Daily Express front page main headlines are about the weather.
- Brazil win the World Cup. England don’t qualify from the group stage.
- Liverpool win the FA Premier League.
- Team GB win exactly one medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
- Andy Murray loses in the semi-final of the men’s singles at Wimbledon.
- Wales win the rugby union Six Nations tournament.
- Johnny Brownlee wins the ITU World Triathlon Series.
Science and technology
- Steve Ballmer is replaced as CEO of Microsoft by Satya Nadella.
- The crew of the International Space Station is evacuated because of orbital debris.
- Apple announces a “revolutionary” (in their words) new TV device.
- The Nobel prize for physics is won by someone in the field of quantum computing/communication.
- Google buys Oculus VR.
- Webcam video of a celebrity, obtained covertly by an intelligence agency, leaks on the internet.
- Best picture at the Oscars: 12 Years a Slave.
- Best actor at the Oscars: Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave.
- Best actress at the Oscars: Emma Thompson for Saving Mr Banks.
- Bruce Forsyth stops presenting Strictly Come Dancing.
- The BBC reboots a classic 1970s sitcom (eg Dad’s Army).
- In one of those “celebrities doing stuff” shows (Splash, Strictly, Dancing on Wolves, etc) a celebrity does stuff that results in a nasty injury on live TV.
- His Racist Highness Prince Philip, 92
- Nobel Peace Prize winner and war criminal Henry Kissinger, 90
- Thatcher defenestrator Lord (Geoffrey) Howe, 87
- Swivel-eyed Ulster firebrand preacher Ian Paisley, 87
- Oh no, it’s Yoko Ono, 80
- Fifties teen idol and Half a Sixpence crooner Tommy Steele, 77
- Much better than the last one Pope Francis, 77
- Founder of CNN and all-round not-Murdoch Ted Turner, 75
- Nobody did it better than Carly Simon, 68
- Free software evangelist and beardy gnu-lover Richard Stallman, 60
- Wayward ex-gurner and Gazza Paul Gascoigne, 46
- Apprentice self-firing rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins, 38
Based on the pattern of previous years I’m expecting to get about 40% right. Join me this time next year to find out whether I’ve got that prediction wrong too.
Here we are again. New Year’s Eve, fireworks, and celebrations filmed several weeks ago presented as if live TV. And most importantly, the results of my fabulous 2013 predictions – as marked by Chris Walsh, as usual. Commentary etc in square brackets.
- ✗ The Assad regime in Syria will fall. [Bashar al-Assad still President of Syria]
- ✓ There will be no changes in US federal gun-control laws. [Obama has called for tighter gun control, but no actual laws yet]
- ✓ The Duchess of Cambridge will give birth to a human boy. [21-Jul: Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to the future king]
- ✗ At least one Tory MP will defect to UKIP. [Plenty of councillors defected, and one UKIP MEP defected to the Conservatives, but this specific prediction proved false]
- ✗ The equal marriage bill for England and Wales will pass in the Commons but not the Lords. [15-Jul: Equal marriage bill for England and Wales has passed its Third Reading in the House of Lords]
- ✓ Dangerous idiot Michael Gove will be involved in a scandal over the exam board selection process for the new EBacc exams. [07-Feb: Education Secretary to announce dramatic climbdown over plans to scrap GCSEs]
- ✓ Manchester United will win the FA Premier League. [22-Apr: Manchester United won their 13th Premier League title by defeating Aston Villa 3-0 at Old Trafford]
- ✗ Chelsea FC will change manager at least twice. [Only one change of manager in 2013: Benitez -> Mourinho]
- ✓ At least one British person will win a Wimbledon title. [08-Jul: Andy Murray wins Wimbledon 2013 men’s singles final with straight sets victory over Novak Djokovic]
- ✓ Mo Farah will win at least one gold medal at the World Athletics Championships. [10-Aug: Won the 10,000m. Also 16-Aug: Won 5,000m]
- ✗ Rory McIlroy will win at least two majors in golf. [Wikipedia: “McIlroy began 2013 with high aspirations, but mostly did not fare well in early tournaments… 25th place at the 2013 Masters Tournament… won the 2013 Emirates Australian Open]
- ✗ At least one footballer playing in the UK will come out as gay or bisexual. [Robbie Rogers, but he plays in the USA]
Science and technology
- ✓ Microsoft will buy Nokia. [03-Sep: Microsoft to buy Nokia’s mobile phone unit]
- ✗ Scientists will announce the synthesis of one or more atoms of element 119 or higher. [Ununseptium remains the most recently synthesised transuranic element, in 2010. Sapphire and Steel have been assigned]
- ✓ NASA will declare that Voyager 1 has left the solar system and entered interstellar space. [12-Sep: Voyager 1 departs to interstellar space]
- ✗ Scientists will announce the discovery of an ‘Earth twin’ – an Earth-sized exoplanet within the habitable zone of its star. [Kepler 78b is the same size as Earth, and has same proportions of iron and rock, but is so close to the sun that its year lasts 8.5 hours, rendering it a little too toasty to be habitable]
- ✓ The year will be one of the ten warmest years in the global record, and warmer than 2012, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. [13-Nov: “The year 2013 is currently on course to be among the top ten warmest years since modern records began. January-September 2013 was warmer than the same period in both 2011 and 2012.” We’re catching up with Kepler 78b!]
- ✓ Archaeologists will confirm that the bones dug up in a Leicester car park are those of Richard III. [04-Feb: DNA confirms bones are king’s]
- ✗ Lincoln will receive the Oscar for Best Picture. [Feb-24: Argo]
- ✓ Daniel Day-Lewis will receive the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Lincoln.
- ✓ Jennifer Lawrence will receive the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook.
- ✓ The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will involve appearances (in newly filmed scenes) from at least one former Doctor. [23-Nov: Tennant and Baker T, plus future Doctor!]
- ✗ The BBC will cancel The Sky at Night (probably while pretending not to). [Still running – Maggie Aderin-Pocock announced in December 2013 as a new presenter]
- ✓ The UK entry will finish in the third quarter of the rankings (ie, top half of the bottom half) in the Eurovision Song Contest. [1pt. 18-May: 19th out of 26 puts us 73% of the way down the leader board]
[We decided to award half a point per death to make the scores more compatible with predictions from previous years, since I included double the usual number of names in this section. We also abandoned the idea to score based on ages.]
- ✗ Denis Healey (95)
- ✓ Nelson Mandela (94) [Died 5-Dec aged 95]
- ✗ Mickey Rooney (92)
- ✗ Nancy Reagan (91)
- ✗ Richard Attenborough (89)
- ✗ Robert Mugabe (88)
- ✗ George H. W. Bush (88)
- ✓ Richard Briers (78) [Died 17-Feb aged 79]
- ✗ Barry Humphries (78)
- ✗ Shirley MacLaine (78)
- ✗ Bill Murray (62)
- ✗ Piers Morgan (47)
[Total score: 15/30]
A staggering score of 50%! This makes 2013 officially my most successful year ever for predictions. And if the trend of alternating better-worse but generally rising is anything to go by, my predictions for 2014 are on course for 40%. Though I can reveal that’s not one of my official 2014 predictions, otherwise we’re adrift in a glittering sea of meta.
Anyway, return soon for the 2014 predictions in all their 40%-likely glory.
2012! Who could forget the glorious summer? The coronation of Queen (formerly Sir Alan) Amidala? Britain’s abject failure in the 1500m tug-of-raw at the organic Spacelympics? The universal acclaim for the politics of austerity?
As the dregs of the year drip from the meths bottle of tomorrow into the tramp’s mouth of history and dribble through the foetid beard of ornithology onto the mangy dog’s head of clinical studies at Guy’s Hospital, it is time to stare resolutely past the tramp’s outstretched palm of invisibility to what 2013 will bring forth, or perhaps fifth. Here’s what I think:
- The Assad regime in Syria will fall.
- There will be no changes in US federal gun-control laws.
- The Duchess of Cambridge will give birth to a human boy.
- At least one Tory MP will defect to UKIP.
- The equal marriage bill for England and Wales will pass in the Commons but not the Lords.
- Dangerous idiot Michael Gove will be involved in a scandal over the exam board selection process for the new EBacc exams.
- Manchester United will win the FA Premier League.
- Chelsea FC will change manager at least twice.
- At least one British person will win a Wimbledon title.
- Mo Farah will win at least one gold medal at the World Athletics Championships.
- Rory McIlroy will win at least two majors in golf.
- At least one footballer playing in the UK will come out as gay or bisexual.
Science and technology
- Microsoft will buy Nokia.
- Scientists will announce the synthesis of one or more atoms of element 119 or higher.
- NASA will declare that Voyager 1 has left the solar system and entered interstellar space.
- Scientists will announce the discovery of an ‘Earth twin’ – an Earth-sized exoplanet within the habitable zone of its star.
- The year will be one of the ten warmest years in the global record, and warmer than 2012, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.
- Archaeologists will confirm that the bones dug up in a Leicester car park are those of Richard III.
- Lincoln will receive the Oscar for Best Picture.
- Daniel Day-Lewis will receive the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Lincoln.
- Jennifer Lawrence will receive the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook.
- The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will involve appearances (in newly filmed scenes) from at least one former Doctor.
- The BBC will cancel The Sky at Night (probably while pretending not to).
- The UK entry will finish in the third quarter of the rankings (ie, top half of the bottom half) in the Eurovision Song Contest.
In previous years I’ve named six people. This year I thought I’d round it up to nine, but then discovered three of my names overlapped with Andrew’s (caution: Facebook). Consequently I added three more, to make twelve.
Also, I’m adopting Andrew’s scoring system: each valid death (occurring at any time in the year) scores that person’s age at death subtracted from 100. For example, an 85-year-old’s death would score 15 points, and a 101-year-old’s would score -1 point (thus making it a daft choice). For reference, I’ve included the age of each of my selected celebrities, as at January 1st 2013.
- Denis Healey (95)
- Nelson Mandela (94)
- Mickey Rooney (92)
- Nancy Reagan (91)
- Richard Attenborough (89)
- Robert Mugabe (88)
- George H. W. Bush (88)
- Richard Briers (78)
- Barry Humphries (78)
- Shirley MacLaine (78)
- Bill Murray (62)
- Piers Morgan (47)
Please join me next New Year’s Eve for the official adjudication and other assorted lols.