Who's Who in 2021?

December 1, 2020

Who's Who 2021 is the 173rd edition of one of the world's longest established and most comprehensive general reference books, brought right up to date for the year ahead with 323 new names for 2021.

It contains more than 33,000 autobiographical entries, carefully updated for maximum accuracy from information personally supplied by the biographee. After 172 years, Who's Who is still the most reliable directory of the noteworthy and influential people in every area of public life.

The online version, published by Oxford University Press, is available at www.ukwhoswho.com.

Who's Who 2021 features a wide variety of new entrants, and this extraordinary year has led to the addition of Captain Sir Thomas Moore, who raised £38.9m including Gift Aid for NHS Charities Together after walking 100 lengths of his garden. He was knighted by the Queen and gained two Guinness World Records.

This year has seen current Who's Who entrants Sir Patrick Vallance, Prof. Chris Whitty, Prof. Jonathan Van-Tam and Dr Jenny Harries become household names due to their many televised updates to the nation. 2020 has also influenced the recreations of entrants: BBC News journalist James Reynolds added ‘distancing and isolation’, while Oxford Professor of Global History Peter Frankopan added ‘social distancing, researching pandemics’. Louis Flannery, QC tells us he spends his free time dreaming of a post-Covid-19 time and avoiding the supermarket queue!


There are new and exciting names this year from the arts and media sectors, including Robert Webb (actor and author), Dan Jones (author, historian and broadcaster), Azeem Azhar (Founder of newsletter and podcast Exponential View), Sonita Alleyne, OBE (Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, who founded the content company Somethin’ Else in 1991) and Gordon Buchanan, MBE (television presenter, documentary-maker and wildlife cameraman).

The Recreations section of Who's Who entries often reveals a hidden side: Martin Blunden, Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is currently learning the art of magic and illusion. Meanwhile, Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive of the National Library of Wales, quite expectedly enjoys Welsh language and literature. Joyce Cairns, President of the Royal Scottish Academy enjoys visiting historical sites, war museums and art galleries, as reflected in her art work which includes War Tourist.


New entrants from the science and technology sector include Katherine Barclay, non-executive Director of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and Nasrin Hafezparast, Chief Clinical Data Officer of Outcome Based Healthcare. Trauma and Vascular Surgeon Prof. Karim Brohi is Director of the Centre of Trauma Sciences at Queen Mary University of London and non-executive Director of the London Ambulance Service. From the engineering sector is Dr Daniel Ruiz, CEO of Zenzic, developing self-driving vehicle technology.


Mockbul Ali, OBE, Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, enjoys ‘international cuisine, world cinema, travel’ while Nigel Dakin, CMG, Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands likes ‘road tripping across and around America’. Closer to home, Tracey Groves, CEO of Intelligent Ethics is also an English wine champion. Lady Dannatt, MBE, former Patron of the Army Widows’ Association and a Counsellor specialising in adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, is the Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk and enjoys ‘cooking for the hordes’.


Last year’s General Election has generated new names from far and wide: Robert Largan, MP for High Peak enjoys fell walking and spending time in the pubs of the High Peak, while the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Neale Hanvey composes electronic music in his spare time. Christopher Loder, MP for West Dorset is also an organist and campanologist, and Simon Baynes, MP for Clywd South plays the organ for church services. Meanwhile Ruth Edwards, MP for Rushcliffe, prefers alpaca wrangling and tea and cake consumption.


Music is a popular recreation for lawyers amongst the new names of Who's Who 2021. David Pievsky, QC plays the violin and enjoys orchestral conducting, and Sarah Venn (Her Honour Judge Venn) plays a drum kit and piano in samba, funk and jazz bands. Stephen Simblet, QC is a mandolinist in a Balkan folk band, while Noah Rubins, QC prefers playing loud music. James Pickering, QC tell us he is a very average guitarist, bassist and singer as well as a very average cameo film actor and TV presenter.