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What you've been reading (and searching for) in 2013

It's been a year dominated by Rangers, Celtic (as always, some would say), Scottish politics, and the Catholic church.

But as our annual list of readers' browsing habits shows, there are some surprise inclusions in the top 25 of Best Read articles in 2013.

Right at the top, only 48 hours after it was published, is health correspondent Helen Puttick's exclusive interview with a father who says the long hours culture of junior doctors is responsible for his daughter's death in a car crash.

It's clearly struck a nerve across the world, with around 150,000 hits in that very short period, many from readers (other junior doctors?) sharing the moving tale on social media.

Next is our version of the arrest of Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, months before he was acquitted on all charges at Manchester Crown Court. It would be lovely to claim this as a top showbiz scoop, but the reality is that our use of "Corrie's Kevin Webster" in the headline attracted huge interest through web search engines (put it another way: lots of online readers identify more with the TV role than the real person).

Third is another example of the power of digital users to find what they want, rather than simply what publishers give them on a particular day - in this case, a three-year old Herald Magazine interview about the real story behind an Edinburgh theatre production. The involvement of "identical twins" in the play is probably a key element in attracting the 2013 audience.

And just behind: proof positive that, even in an age of haute cuisine and fusion blends, readers want simple cookery advice from a Scottish site, in the shape of a recipe for traditional lentil soup from chef and HeraldScotland food blogger Jacqueline O'Donnell.

Here's the full list (followed by some predictable, and some downright odd searches...):

Best Read on HeraldScotland in 2013

1 Grieving father: junior doctor hours require urgent review

2 Corrie's Kevin Webster charged with 19 child sex offences

3 Tragic tale of twins and their secret world (a 2010 article about a stage production of the play Speechless)

4 Simply Special: good old lentil soup

5 Cardinal ordered into exile by Vatican

6 Spiers on Sport: Rangers, new club or old, and the BBC

7 The 50 greatest graphic novels of all time

8 BBC says sorry over Spence's Rangers comments

9 Celtic and Rangers have both broken an unspoken old firm code

10 Spiers on Sport: mind your language with Rangers FC

11 Top restaurateur declared bankrupt

12 Ulster unionists head to Scotland for indyref protest after meeting Rangers fans

13 Murray: I will declare my hand on independence

14 £5m wiped off Rangers shares

15 Ibrox battle intensifies: two million more shares change hands

16 Graham Spiers: 'I was back among the bears and I confess, I was impressed...'

17 Galloway attacked for SNP Catholic slur

18 Cardinal was in physical relationship with accuser

19 Time called on notorious pub Dalglish made famous

20 Fears for Glasgow Council leader's future over sex act

21 Actress commits suicide on tube

22 Spiers on Sport: what to do with the Green Brigade?

23 Rangers have to keep an eye on their spending or face financial woe again

24 Calls for probe into creationist physics teacher

25 Congregation unite in protest at suspension of parish priest

10 most searched phrases

1 Kevin Webster

2 Rangers

3 Celtic

4 Scotland

5 Lentil soup

6 Pamela Stephenson

7 Nat Fraser

8 Andy Murray


10 Tommy Duckworth

10 weirdest searches

1 New zombie movies to be released in 2013

2 How to make cheese sauce

3 Scottish gangsters

4 Where does Nigel Slater live

5 What Kate wore

6 Mary Queen of Scots

7 Mother's Day

8 Where is Katie Morag filmed

9 Pogonophobic (a fear of beards)

10 Why do some people feel the cold more

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