WE gave you a taster last week of what we think is cool. Now, as we count down from 60 to 21, the cool list is about to get even cooler.

The same rules apply. These are people who either live in Scotland, or are Scots having an impact in other parts of the world.

Their coolness may reside in the way that they look, the things that they make, or the impact they have had in shaping Scotland and the world. They can be gallus folk with attitude, people who have pushed for change, or artists who have create work that has blown our minds.

You may disagree with some of them. You may feel we’ve missed key figures – if so, please do get in touch. But bear in mind, there are still 20 more to go.

Who will be the coolest person in Scotland? You’ll find out next week.

60 Jannica Honey

Photographer, 44

Why? Her photographs make us love ours bodies

She has photographed everything from Edinburgh strippers to Orange marches, but her latest, most personal work has been a series of women, shot naked at twilight on the new moon – and they have created a whole body positivity moment. At talks connected to her exhibitions, women are opening up about their bodies and how they feel about them. The Edinburgh-based Swedish photographer is also battling hard against censorship of the female body on social media. Her next project, she speculates, is likely to be on fathers and sons, again naked on the new moon. “I think,” she says, “people are just people and people just need to be seen and feel some love sometimes.”

59 Keith McIvor

DJ, 50

Why? He’s a DJ legend

As JD Twitch, one half of DJ duo Optimo, Keith McIvor set up the legendary 1990s club night, Pure, and was founder of Optimo Espacio whose weekly residency ran in Glasgow’s the Sub club till 2000. The weekly gigs came to an end, but Optimo kept DJing and touring and became a global phenomenon. In recent years, they’ve brought their eclectic and experimental coolness right back to Glasgow, opening the Bananamoon bar on Great Western Road and playing big parties like their 20th birthday bash. He and his Optimo partner, Jonnie Wilkes, are frequently on tour and regularly releasing new music. “Up next,” he says, “is an archive release from Port Glasgow’s finest Robert Rental.” In November, McIvor releases a compliation of German post-punk music called Kreaturen Der Nacht. He also once lobbed an egg at Margaret Thatcher. “It missed,” he says.

58 Tammy Koslowski

Nail entrepreneur, 29

Why? Nail art is huge – and she’s the Glasgow guru

Stay sassy. That’s the slogan on the neon lights and merchandise of Glasgow’s NAF! and if one person knows how to do that it’s the salon’s boss Tammy Koslowski. Not only is she the business-mind behind the salon, which won Nail Salon Of The Year last year, but she has painted nails for major fashion campaigns – most notably Stella McCartney’s Winter 2017. Her salon is reputedly up for trying whatever wild and wacky nail art designs you fancy – and even boasts an in-house pooch, Betty. “She’s been my sidekick for eight years,” says Koslowski. It was when she was bored, eight years ago, while working on her dissertation for her clothing design and technology course, that she first started painting her nails. “I got a little nail art pen and started doodling leopard print on my nails and it just totally snowballed from there.”

57 Christopher Millington

Model, 28

Why? He is the beard

Back in 2015 a tweet by iconic bearded-model Christopher Millington saying that the beard was “over” caused a wave of panicked news articles. It was as if the oracle had spoken. RIP beard. Of course, it turned out that this was a slight exaggeration. The beard was not over, but massively pared down from the great, flowing fleece it once was to something a little sharper. Indeed, you can still see it now on Instagram posts by the model, who no lives in New York. Sometimes called the Bearded Scotsman, Millington was scouted in the streets of London by Urban Outfitters and has been a feature of fashion campaigns ever since. He now has 485,000 followers on Instagram. We still await the date when Millington goes for the full clean shave. Then we’ll definitely know the beard is dead.

56 Logan Hannah

Motor sports champion, 17

Why? She’s the girl racer who is going to beat the boys

At 16 years old, East Kilbridge teenager Logan Hannah made history by becoming the first woman to compete at the F4UAE races – and she made it clear this was just the start of things. Her ambition is to make it to F1 or American IndyCar and be a role model for girls. “I hope,” she said in a BBC interview earlier this year, “to get to a certain level that I’m not only viewed as a female driver but as a driver itself… We are just as good as the boys, if not better.” Her interest in driving was sparked when, as a youngster, she hung out with her motor-racing father, Graeme Hannah, in his pit garage. “As much as she has enjoyed coming to the events,” her dad has said, “she always said, ‘Dad, I’d rather be driving.’

55 Christopher Kane

Fashion designer, 36

Why? He gave us back the joy of sex – on a catwalk

Kane is the biggest Scottish name in fashion and style, worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Michelle Obama and Cate Blanchett. He’s also daring, and last year, while most creatives, in the wake of #MeToo, were being cautious around anything too sexy, he brought out a collection inspired by the 1970s Joy Of Sex manuals and fizzing with eroticism and suburban kinkiness. “I have never shied away from sex in the collections and this one is no different,” said Kane. “Since the beginning, I have found it fundamental to our idea of women. Women with their own power who create their own worlds.” This week sees his new collection hit the catwalk at London Fashion Week. Bring on the joy.

54 Dougie Wallace


Why? He shows us the super-rich in their grotesque glory

Dougie Wallace, aka Weegie, is a Glasgow-born-and-raised street photographer who, like some contemporary William Hogarth, has recorded the excess of the London rich in a book he titled Harrodsburg. It is, he has said, his “exposé of the emergence of an ultra-affluent elite”. What’s startling about Wallace, who lived in Blackpool and did a stint in the army, before pitching up in London’s Shoreditch area, is that he has no fear of getting in the faces of his subjects. “When people go bonkers at me,” he said, “the last thing I do is delete it. You just walk on.’” But Wallace hasn’t always focused his lens on extreme wealth – he also photographed Blackpool’s hedonism in his book Stags, Hens & Bunnies, and, a long-term resident of London’s Shoreditch area, recorded its gentrification.

53 Sorcha Groundsell

Actor, 20

Why? She’s a shapeshifter who loves to croft

This summer, it was hard to escape the hype around the new Netflix teen supernatural drama, the Innocents – a show which The Atlantic described as “the most Netflixy dramatic series ever made”.There, in every trailer, advert or article, was the face of its 20-year-old Scottish star, Sorcha Groundsell. Hitherto little-known, the Gaelic-speaking, Lewis-raised actress is now huge, and signed up for six seasons as shapeshifter June McDaniel. But what makes her coolest of all is that, in the run up to the series launch, she wasn’t working the international party scene – rather she was hanging out for three weeks on her parents’ Hebridean croft, making hay. “I think it’s really nice to be able to do something that is so removed from acting,” she said. “It’s good to be somewhere I can just mooch about in my wellies."

52 Andrew Fleming-Brown

Arts venue founder, 40

Why? He shows us what you can do with a big warehouse

Andrew Fleming-Brown is also known as Mutley, the brains behind one of Scotland’s leading arts and music venues, SWG3. The father-of-two, married to model Lauren Tempany, started his career as a promoter and curator, but when, in 2005, a derelict site in a former Tobacco Bond warehouse became available, he jumped at the chance of taking it on. Thus SWG3 was born. But what exactly is it? It’s a clubbing destination, a café, a massive outdoor space called the Yard, a TV studio facility and much, much more. SWG3 regularly host the hippest art events, pop-ups and live gigs. “We’re unique,” said Fleming-Brown last year. “That whole warehouse culture has been booming in London for ten years but we don’t really have anything else like that in Glasgow.”

51 Pam Hogg


Why? All the cool cats have worn her cat suits

Name a female pop or rock icon – Rihanna, Kylie Minogue, Debbie Harry, Lady Gaga – and they’ve probably worn Pam Hogg’s clothes. “Every woman who’s ever tried on one of my catsuits has said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t wear that!’” she has said. “I always tell them to just try it on. When they do, they instantly feel empowered.” For Hogg is all about that female power. Her 2014 collection, Courage, was a tribute to the Russian activist collective Pussy Riot.

The post-punk designer started designing back in the early 1980s. Not content with just being a designer, however, Hogg has also done her time on stage as a singer and musician, and even supported Debbie Harry on the Blondie comeback tour. Her latest project has been to design the costumes for the Citizen’s Theatre’s production of Cyrano De Bergerac – and, of course, they rock.

50 Malath Abbas

Games designer, 37

Why? It’s games. Enough said!

Games culture in Scotland is changing. It’s not all about the big studios making Grand Theft Auto and Minecraft. There’s also an alternative scene of people hanging out, playing together and making more personal and experimental games. People like Malath Abbas, founder of the Dundee-based Biome collective in Dundee. Originally from Iraq, Abbas grew up in Liverpool and came to Dundee because of its thriving games industry. He believes games can be about so much more than what you can do with a screen.

“I’m interested,” he says, “in the idea of taking games away from the screen and seeing the city a landscape as being playful.” Biome collaborated on the spectacular sound and light installation at the V&A opening party last week. Currently, they are working on a virtual reality game called Garden, in which the player plants neon plants that make music. “We’re trying to create a VR experience that’s mindful, relaxing and is actually appealing to a broad spectrum of people,” says Abbas.

49 Louise Rusk

Restaurateur, 37

Why? She’s queen of the Tomahawk steak

We all know veganism is cooler than cool. But, actually, so is meat – particularly when it’s grass-fed, hung-on the bone beef, dry-aged for 35 days. And nowhere does that quite like The Butchershop Bar And Grill, set up by Louise and her husband James Rusk, son of hair gurus Irvine and Rita. The former fitness professional, who toured the world as an Irish dancer at just 18 years old, is behind some of Glasgow’s coolest eateries, whether they be The Spanish Butcher or Hutcheson’s Grill, and they are as much about the style and design as the locally sourced food. Her own favourite meal? “Has to be a Sunday Roast. Grew up with our family coming together every Sunday and we continue the tradition to this day.”

48 Scott Reid

Actor, 25

Why? He is one of the best actors of his generation.

Scott Reid burst onto our television screens in BBC Scotland comedy series Still Game playing Methadone Mick, a recovering drug addict with a heart of gold and set of gnashers to rival the toothy grin of former footballer Frank McAvennie (sorry, Frank!). The character, who debuted in 2016, became an instant favourite among viewers. When did Reid, 25, first get an inkling his star was on the rise? Well, there was seeing his face tattooed on a stranger’s leg. And people sharing pictures of themselves dressed up as him at Hallowe’en. Oh, and a Glasgow bar named a cocktail in his honour. Further testament came when fans snapped up 10,000 sets of replica rubber teeth during the Still Game Live 2 shows at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow last year.

Reid, who hails from Paisley, has since gone on to roles in BBC police drama Line of Duty. He will return to our screens in the final series of Still Game this autumn and recently shot Amazon Prime sci-fi fantasy Carnival Row, which is due out in early 2019.

47 Val McDermid

Author, 63

Why? She remains the undisputed queen of crime

Sell as many books as Val McDermid has – 40 million or so – and you ought to be more establishment than cool. But somehow the Queen of Crime has never quite lost her alternative vibe, and with another novel featuring cold case detective Karen Pirie out last month she’s still firing on all literary cylinders. Meanwhile her plots continue to be highly relevant. Last year’s Insidious Intent, for instance threw a light on coercive control in a year in which the new Scottish domestic abuse law was being passed. “I don’t do it with any sense of banging the drum,” she explained in a recent interview. “But I do it because things come along that interest me and I think will interest my readers.”

46 Talat Yaqoob

Feminist, 32

Why? She’s the powerhouse bringing equality to the workplace

If you want to know just how cool Talat Yaqoob is the best place to start is the forceful, funny and strident TEDx talk she did on “reclaiming feminism” back in 2014. “Imagine,” she said, “if we and every one of us challenged sexism – it would cease to exist.” Yaqoob has been fighting that battle ever since, and doing so in ways that are changing the climate in Scotland. She was a founder of Women 50:50, an organisation campaigning for equal representation and is now director of Equate Scotland, an organisation promoting women in STEM.

But Yaqoob didn’t come from a particularly political family. “Inequality isn’t something that we would have talked about in any academic way, it’s just something we lived – constantly.” Her parents were immigrants from Pakistan who came to Scotland in the 1950s. “I’m first generation here” she says, “and being a woman, being a woman of colour, being a Muslim woman - all of those things, all of those experiences, come with the experience of inequality. Once you’ve had your eyes opened to that, it’s not something that you can ignore.”

45 Oli Norman

Entrepreneur, 42

Why? His Merchant City HQ has a Prosecco bar

One of the hippest things about Oli Norman is not that his itison, luxury deals website has been phenomenally successful, or that he’s married to presenter Cat Cubie – these things are quite cool ¬ but that his company, last year was named one of the 100 best UK companies to work for. In other words, he’s the man behind Scotland’s coolest office, complete with complementary Prosecco bar, fairy-lit oak tree and yoga studio. “The itison office,” he says, “is an experiment in breaking down the barriers between work and life.”

But Norman also deserves a place on this list because of his support for the homeless. Itison’s fundraising feeds Social Bite’s entire programme over the whole year. We also like his work philosophy. “I only choose,” he says, “to do things that I’ll find fun; if things aren’t fun, we stop doing them. Simple.”

44 Moyo Akandé


Why? She’s making films that tell black stories

When Moyo Akandé, and her sister Morayo, brought out their first film collaboration, 1745 it became one of the most-talked about short films in Scotland in years.

Inspired by real adverts published in 18th century newspapers for runaway slaves, it told the story of two sisters on the run from their Highland master.

But Moyo Akandé is about more than 1745. The daughter of Nigerian immigrants is making an impact in her industry on many levels. Earlier this year, she starred as a kick-ass thief in the disaster-movie, The Hurricane Heist, and this autumn she’s set to appear in The Cry, a television baby-abduction drama starring Jenna Coleman.

What we’re most looking forward to, though, is the Akandé sister’s planned feature version of 1745. “We saw,” she said to us earlier this year, “that there weren’t many challenging roles for women of colour in this industry. We put our heads together and thought if there aren’t those roles out there, we might as well create them for ourselves.”

43 Kayus Bankole


Why? He’s hip, hot and now

It wasn’t surprising when Young Fathers won the award for Scottish Album Of The Year (SAY). Anyone who had heard Cocoa Sugar, by the hip-hop trio, probably saw it coming.

Besides, everything they do makes its mark. Back in 2014 they won the Mercury prize with their album Dead. Six of their songs were in last year’s T2: Trainspotting and defined the movie’s sound. This is also the second time they’ve won SAY.

So, they’re indisputably cool – and really it’s hard to say which of the three of them is coolest. Here, we’ve picked Kayus Bankole, but it could have been any member of this band that delivers a sound that is like no other. As James Milton wrote in the NME, “‘Cocoa Sugar’ isn’t a filtered version of what came before. Instead, it cements their status as riled-up oddballs determined to reinvent the wheel.”

42 Vic Henderson

Chef, 41

Why? The chef gave vegans the restaurants they deserve

Veganism is cool. But that’s not the only reason why Vic Henderson, the resident chef at The 78 Bar & Kitchen, is cool. Henderson, who identifies as non-binary, and goes under the pronoun “they”, had always cooked for the whole of their family from an early age.

“When I moved out,” says the chef, “I started cooking a lot when I was away with my bands or when touring bands stayed at my house. It would always be vegan and would always be like a big pot of something delicious.”

Right now, Henderson’s plan is to open a fine-dining restaurant in Glasgow. “I still think there’s a gap in the market for places to go that are next level for vegans and non-vegans alike. It would bring Glasgow up to the same standard as vegan destinations like London, Los Angeles and New York.”

Henderson, who also worked up Mono in Glasgow and the Harmonium in Leith, sports some impressive tattoos, one of which is an armoured skeleton. “I just got that from my friend Paul Clavé. He’s one of my favourite tattooists as he has the best chat when you get tattoos. You end up taking about veganism, toxic masculinity, gender issues, cool nieces or daughters, fat politics, period poverty, music, food and loads of other important stuff. Plus his drawings are badass!”

41 Ervin Trykowski

Global whisky ambassador, 31

Why? He gives whisky that

Millennial vibe

Manila, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Bali … the global whisky ambassador for Singleton whisky

seems like he’s been everywhere in the last year, and not just to pour a few drams either.

In Manila he was in a bar juggling spinning vinyl and providing a range of Scottish whisky cocktails. Trykowski who hails from Aberdeen and has a Polish grandfather, is giving whisky a vibe that is young and hip. As Esquire put it, “he’s the Millennial man fronting the 180-year-old whisky maker”.

The former bartender and mixologist, however, is always glad to get back home from his travels to his two French bulldogs, Bontè and Clyde. He also has a quirky obsession with badgers. “Oh, yeah,” he says. “I’ve got a big badger tattoo on the back of my arm. Don’t ask why, I can’t remember. I’m a big fan of the Mustelid family. The badgers, pine martens, stoats, weasels. I think they’re cool guys.”

40 Clara McGregor

Model and photographer, 22

Why? She’s a rebel who out-cools her famous dad

22 years on from Trainspotting Ewan McGregor is now so huge it’s hard to see him as cool. But his daughter, Clara, now that’s a different matter.

The photographer and model is proving to be such a rebel she warrants a place on this list. Last autumn, she caught media attention when, following the break-up of her parents she tweeted that her dad’s new girlfriend was “trash”. In spring, her photos featured in Playboy, along with the headline, “Clara McGregor Isn’t Just Ewan’s Daughter. She’s Your New Crush.”

What’s her grand plan? To be an actor, of course. “Honestly,” as she said to Playboy, “I would love to play someone like Patti Smith… There are so many badass women who would be so cool to play. Lee Miller, who was one of the first female war photographers, is another.”

39 Tom Walkinshaw

Space entrepreneur, 28

Why? He’s the man behind the world’s smallest, lightest satellites

Seven years ago Tom Walkinshaw was graduating in business studies at Glasgow Caledonia University, and thinking he might like to get a job in the space industry. Only there wasn’t that much of an industry in Scotland back then, so he decided to help start it. He created Alba Orbital and dedicated himself to developing the cheapest, lightest satellite.

These tiny devices are called picosats, just around a kilogram in weight, and are revolutionary. “Alba really started to make it viable option for people,” says Walkinshaw. “The industry doesn’t believe in picosats. This is an attitude that we’re overturning in a global way.”

38 Eubha Akilade

Actor, 20

Why? She’s a time-travelling hit with teenagers across the globe

Unless you’re a tween, you probably haven’t heard yet of Find Me In Paris, but, filling you in here, it’s massive. It’s the latest big Nickleodeon tween show, a time-travel drama about an international dance school, and it features a cast from all over the world, one of whom is 20-year-old Eubha Akilade from Glasgow.

On only her third acting job after she was spotted in an open call audition for CBBC show Eve, she is hitting the big time. Akilade recalls that following her audition, she found out within weeks that she would be off to Paris, and living for six months in an aparthotel with a cast of actors. Sounds like a party waiting to happen? “Actually, no,” she says. “There’s surprisingly little of that. We don’t have time and have to keep ourselves in top form.”

37 Gareth Williams

Entrepreneur, 49

Why? He had an idea in a pub – which made billions

Ask any tech-oriented entrepreneur who their hero is and many will say Elon Musk. Ask that same question to an entrepreneur in Scotland and chances are, they’ll say Gareth Williams, co-founder of Skyscanner.

He’s the man who made a digital boom in Scotland seem possible – and it all started with a drink in a pub between friends, and an idea generated because Williams was struggling to find cheap flights to the Swiss Alps.

Two years ago Skyscanner was sold to a Chinese company for £1.4 billion in 2016. But the the early days of Skyscanner weren’t nearly so easy. “It was two years,” Williams has said, “before we got our first revenue – we earned £46 in one month. Yes, I miss those days but it’s easy to forget the struggle of the startup days. There’s a lot I don’t miss.”

36 Dr Liberty Vittert

Statistician, 29

Why? She uses maths to predict the future

Statistics, boring? Not when they’re in in the hands of Dr Liberty Vittert, though even she says that at dinner parties she’s prone to saying that she’s a “data scientist studying fake news” rather than statistician. Anyone who has watched her TEDx talk, How To Win The Lottery And Get Away With Murder will know, however, that there are many good reasons to love stats.

Vittert grew up in the US, and currently has a post at the University of Glasgow. Among her projects is one working with the cleft lip and palate charity Smile Train to map the human face to help children with facial deformities. She is also working on a “fun TV show” called Lies And Alcohol.

Remarkably, it turns out that, at school, Vittert wasn’t good at mathematics. When she was 14 years old a maths teacher called her parents into school to say that, as she puts it, “I was too dumb to be there and was just simply not smart enough to understand basic math.” “I have the most wonderful mother in the world who decided to get me a tutor and spent hours helping me. I just needed to learn maths in a different way. Sometimes, I wonder who the dumb one was in that whole scenario.”

35 Kyle Ross

Barber, 28

Why? Because those beards are winning

When last year, Kyle Ross, MD of The Huntsman barbers in Aberdeen, went to Nurnberg for the final of the International Barber’s competition, he won the trophy for best UK barber.

As ambassador for Hanz de Fuko, he’s also traveling the world and attending fashion weeks in London and Paris. But, actually, he doesn’t class himself as a barber. He’s more, he says, of a hairstylist”. So, those Aberdonians heading to The Huntsman get the kind of attention that comes with that. He teaches them to maintain their style, or gives them one that suits their lifestyle rather than what’s on trend.

34 Donald MacLeod

Club owner and charity chair

Why? The maverick music man is all about the charity these days

One thing you can be sure of is that given the bands that have played at his venues – Oasis, Queens Of The Stone Age, Pearl Jam – music promoter and club supremo Donald MacLeod must have some cracking tales.

Not long after he started The Cathouse, in 1990, he has said, he gave up being in a band and became a music promoter because he realised what the people wanted was short-haired indie kids, not long-haired rockers like him. He still has that hair and stylish dress sense – and the persistence almost makes it cool. but these days, as chair of Nordoff Robbins, the music therapy charity, he’s more about the power of music. He once said, “I encourage all bands to put a bit back so why not to Nordoff Robbins, who use music to do good?”

33 Judy Murray

Tennis coach, 59

Why? She showed us she was more than just Andy’s mum

Murray is not just cool because she’s mother to two outstanding tennis stars. She’s cool because somewhere in her fifties, after years of having been nagged at by the media, she seemed to blossom.

It started with that fabulous appearance on Strictly Come Dancing and then it just snowballed, till last year, there she was getting a spider tattoo and publishing her autobiography, Keeping The Score. That spider tattoo says it all. The arthropod was a reference to the one Robert the Bruce saw struggling in a cave and her belief in “perseverance and the rewards that come with endless effort”.

Somehow she got through it all – and is no longer just Andy and Jamie’s mum, but a national treasure in her own right.

32 Mark Mackie

Director of Regular Music

Why? We’re loving those Summer Nights at the Bandstand in Kelvingrove Park

The bands may be cool but it’s Mark Mackie of Regular Music who brings them to us. Whether at Edinburgh Castle, Kelvingrove or Loch Lomond, he’s been delivering to us some of the industry’s biggest names.

In fact, he’s been doing that since way back when he was a student at Glasgow University, where, strangely enough, he studied marine science and zoology. For Mackie wanted to follow in the footsteps of his idol Jacques Cousteau, until he became entertainments convenor of the Queen Margaret Union and got into bringing the best of bands into town. Marine science’s loss, Scottish culture’s gain.

31 Lynne Ramsay

Film-maker, 28

Why? She’s a tough genius working in a hard industry

You’ve got to hand it to Lynne Ramsay. Last year, at the Cannes Film Festival, she got a standing ovation, as well as prizes for best screenplay and best actor, for a film that wasn’t even finished.

The film, You Were Never Really Here, starring Joaquin Phoenix, arrived on the screen straight out of the sound-mix and the audience loved it. It was a comeback to quell all the doubters who thought that when she walked out of directing Jane Got A Gun, her career was over.

But, the really cool thing about Ramsay is she sticks to her guns, and true to her working-class Glasgow background is always direct.

“You know,” she said in an interview this year, “I grew up in a place where people appreciate it when you’re very direct. I think that helps cut through a lot of bullshit with filming. Straight talking and going on your instincts was important when I grew up.”

30 Kapka Kassabova

Author, 45

Why? She took us to the edge of Europe

Kapka Kassabova’s Border: A Journey To The Edge Of Europe was a book that was hard to pigeon-hole. Was it a memoir? A travelogue? A meditation on history and a lost part of Europe?

One thing that the literary world could agree on last year was that the book – which won the Saltire and other awards – was a marvel. Kassabova lives in a cottage in rural Inverness-shire, but she grew up in Communist Bulgaria, and Border tells the story of her return visit to the border between Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece and the people she met there. She describes her books as “genre-bending hybrids of narrative non-fiction.” Currently, she is writing another book and travelling to Macedonia and Albania to visit the world’s oldest lakes. It will, she says, be a “journey into an ancestral landscape through my mother’s family”.

29 Danny MacAskill

Mountain biker, 32

Why? We never get bored of his bike tricks

“I finally made it to Graubünden,” says Danny MacAskill in his most recent film as he poses on his bike on the top of the Swiss mountain, before catapulting off on one of his high-adrenalin rides. In the film, sponsored by Red Bull, it’s still the same old Danny, only the mountains are higher, the budgets are bigger, and, well, it’s hard for him ever to top the feeling that he gave us when he did his first street trials video back in 2009, or the romance he delivered when he cycled The Ridge.

But nevertheless, the boy from Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, still knows how to move us – and he’s always bringing us something new. He did so earlier this, in spite of a recent broken knee cap, when he performed in the Celtic Connections music and bike spectacular Bothy Culture And Beyond.

“I suppose when you first jump on your bike it’s your first dose of freedom,” he said in a recent film about his Kilimanjaro bike trip. “You can constantly think of something new to challenge yourself and it’s kind of like a game that you’ll never get bored of.”

28 Anna Meredith

Composer, 40

Why? She took the Edinburgh International Festival by storm

Bright, breezy and pleasantly down to earth isn’t how you’d imagine a composer of left field music to be – this, after all, is the woman who wrote a concerto for beatboxer and orchestra, and another piece to be performed using “body percussion” by a flash mob at the M6 services.

But the description fits Anna Meredith perfectly. A 10-year veteran of commissions for the BBC Proms and a winner of the Scottish Album Of The Year for Varmints, her debut record, the Scot’s playful but intellectually rigorous compositions had already won her a legion of admirers before this year’s Edinburgh Festival.

After it, she was the name on everyone’s lips thanks to having had not one but three separate works performed in the capital, including an orchestrated (but very loud) performance of Varmints as part of the uber-cool Light On The Shore series at the Leith Theatre.

27 Robbie Griffith

Freerunner, 17

Why? He delivers his parkour thrills Renton-style

“Choose life. Choose a sport. Choose an interest.” These were the words which kicked off a viral video, a parkour remake of the classic Trainspotting scene, in which Coatbridge-lad, Griffith flipped and hurtled across Edinburgh, until it concluded with the alternative line, “Choose parkour.”

The film, Griffith recalls, was triggered when his brother suggested that he should make a video to the Trainspotting track and his dad then suggested they should go one further and remake the scene. Griffith and a film-maker friend made it, uploaded it in March last year, and overnight became a sensation. Since then Griffith has travelled the world with parkour, competing, visiting friends, doing a six month tour of America with his sponsor, the Motus Projects, and yes making more videos.

26 Mhairi Black

SNP MP, 24

Why? She won’t be told, on anything

One of the coolest things about Mhairi Black is the way that three years at Westminster doesn’t seem to have changed her very much at all. Yes, she’s got a little older – she went in at just 20 years old – but she hasn’t got any quieter or less determined. When, as she has said, Alex Salmond suggested to her that she should have a bit of a makeover and some new clothes, she ignored the advice. When online haters took her to pieces she shrugged them off, and then fought back – with a powerful speech earlier this year describing some of the misogynistic and homophobic comments she received.

Mhairi Black is who she is – gay, smart, passionate, angry, socialist – and she’s not changing any of that for anyone. She even still maintains her disregard for the institution which she is part of and, just last month, reiterated her feelings. “It does not serve us,” she said, “and in actual fact I would go so far as to say it’s not even a parliament; it’s a club that masquerades itself.”

25 Katie Archibald

Cyclist, 24

Why? She’s got style and medals

Katie Archibald is nothing if not colourful. Her hair has been just about every hue under the sun. Her left arm is tattooed by drawings from The Thinker of Tender Thoughts by the poet Shel Silverstein. On her right are the Olympic rings. Her love of motorbikes saw her crash at 70mph on a Cheshire lane in the run up to the Rio Olympics.

But in between all this colour and extracurricular drama, there are the races and that really cool thing she does which is to win medals – three at this year’s Commonwealth Games and she has her eyes on three, too, at the next Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

24 Bigg Taj

Beatboxer, 35

Why? His mouth is a drum machine

As a kid Bigg Taj started doing beatbox long before he knew what those sounds he was making were. Then, he says, “when I heard guys like Killa Kela, Rahzel and Scratch, I realised what it is and decided to pursue it. It’s been my passion for well over a decade, creating music with my mouth and pushing the boundaries of my vocals.”

Now Scotland’s premier beatboxer, Bigg Taj, a Sikh of Indian heritage, has performed with his idols, supporting Method Man and Redman. But Bigg Taj isn’t just about the performance – he also runs a Youtube channel with beatbox tutorials and has been doing youth work for years. The workshops, he says, are about the creative writing and beatboxing, but they’re also about giving young people a space to talk. Among these, he says, is one in Polmont prison with rap emcee Spee Six Nine.

23 Claire Cunningham

Dancer, 41

Why? She alters the way we look at bodies, able or disabled

Dancer and choreographer Claire Cunningham’s extraordinary shows have always challenged how people feel about disability. When she dances on crutches, they become marvellous, magical and sometimes humorous extensions of herself. Her shows ask big questions. Guide Gods, for instance, looked at religious attitudes towards the disabled. Give Me a Reason to Live was based on the depiction of disability in the work of the painter Hieronymus Bosch. It was, she said, a live memorial to the disabled victims of the Nazi euthanasia program, as well as recent welfare reform.

Cunningham has used crutches since the age of fourteen, but didn’t view herself as disabled until she went to university. Only later, when she came in contact with the choreographer Jess Curtis, did she realise that she might be able to dance, and that she had her own special set of tools, those crutches.

Her most recent work, The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight is a collaboration with Curtis.

22 Richard Madden

Actor, 32

Why? Two words. The Bodyguard.

Richard Madden, without a doubt, is having his own special cool moment right now. It’s happening for him. The Bodyguard, in which he stars as Sergeant David Budd, is, according to the BBC, their “drama of the decade”.

At the bookies, the odds on him being the next Bond just got slashed to 10/1. He’s having to worry about being objectified and being seen as a hunk.

You can’t open a newspaper without coming across some article about who he is dating – actor Ellie Bamber – or what his latest movements have been. But, one of the coolest things about the Renfrewshire born actor, whose biggest role, previous to this was Robb Stark in Game Of Thrones, is that he clearly acknowledges he hasn’t always been cool. In one interview he confessed that if he weren’t acting he’d be a “shy, fat kid living in Scotland with no girlfriend.”

21 Shirley Manson

Singer, 52

Why? She’s not going to be owned by anyone

“I actually feel that this is the most glorious part of my career,” Manson said earlier this year. And it is, on many levels – not just because her band, Garbage, have stuck together for over twenty years, but because she’s being more outspoken, almost, now more than ever and she is showing younger artists the way to go. She has spoken out on #MeToo.

Earlier this year she wrote a moving op-ed in the New York Times about her experience of self harm. “I didn’t know I was a cutter until the first time I chose to cut,” she wrote. “I didn’t even know it was a ‘thing.’.”.

Last month she had a go at the mainstream music industry, calling it “exploitative”. Along with Chvrches frontwoman, Lauren Mayberry, she is set to deliver the keynote speech at the annual South by Southwest conference next year – and you can bet it will be fizzing with feminism.

But above all, it’s glorious because of the raw power she still has a performer. Garbage performed at the Barrowlands earlier this month, and Peter Ross, reviewing the gig for The Times observed, “She was amped, vamped, pumped; veins made a river delta on her temples.”