The List



Who are the disabled people who have the most significant impact on the way we live today?

Well over a year after Disability News Service began the process of finding the UK’s most influential disabled people, we are finally ready to publish those 100 names.

The idea, of course, was to rank disabled people in terms of their current influence. Or, to put it another way, to compare the effect they have on society, on how we think and feel, on how we live, and on how we are governed. On the products and services we buy, the films and television programmes we watch, the political parties we vote for, the books we read, the campaigns we support, and the protests we attend.

There has been a lot of fine-tuning since DNS published a draft version in April 2013, including plenty of feedback, some of it from disabled people who disliked the idea of ranking one activist or pioneer against another and found the concept divisive and unhelpful, while others spotted flaws in the methodology.

The draft list ballooned to more than 250 names, and the difficulty of comparing Paralympians with artists with activists with politicians became more and more obvious. Often, it seemed like asking whether a tiger was better than a watermelon.

Several readers of the draft list suggested splitting the names into categories – sport, arts, media, etc – to make it more likely that it would compare like with like. So that’s what I did, coming up with 10 categories that appeared to offer everyone a potential resting place.

It was also clear that DNS needed to enlist the help of other disabled people with expertise in those 10 categories, to assist with the final ranking process. About a dozen people agreed to help, and I am extremely grateful to them. Because all but three wanted their help to remain uncredited, I decided to keep all of them anonymous. Much better for DNS to act as a lightning rod for any criticism. The final decisions were mine, at least for this first year.

The 10 categories I chose were: academia/research; activism/campaigning/voluntary sector; arts; business; entertainment; equality/consultancy/access; media; politics; public service; and sport. For those who are influential in more than one area – as many are – they have been placed in the category in which they appear to have most impact.

The process is still far from perfect, and some of the panellists certainly believe the process could be improved further in future years. I agree.

For each category, in addition to the top 10, I have included an alphabetical list of those who nearly made it onto The List, those on the fringes who have too much talent to leave out completely. Even so, I am certain that I have left many influential disabled people out. I hope that these omissions will be corrected in future years.

With some of the categories, it was harder to determine who had true influence – people who are listened to, rather than just heard. Activism and campaigning – where so much is done behind the scenes, often from a bed or a couch, or behind George Osborne’s infamous drawn curtains – is one of those areas. Others are easier. With business, you can look at profits, employees, and turnover, while entertainers can be judged at least partly by their viewing and cinema figures, audience numbers, and Twitter followers.

I hope The List will spark discussion among disabled people about those who are on it, and those who are not.

I also hope that these names will eventually seep into the mainstream and act as a database of disabled talent, and provide role models for the next generation of disabled influencers.

We are living through a period when many disabled people feel under attack – from the media, from politicians and from wider society – so I hope The List will remind some of those doing the attacking of how much we contribute to society. It would be refreshing to see disabled people being written about as the influencers and contributors to society that they are, rather than as ‘spongers’, ‘scroungers’ and ‘benefit cheats’.

I hope The List (below, with the 10 categories in alphabetical order) will provide a resource for those seeking evidence of how many disabled people there are in Britain today with talent, reach and influence… and yes, even power.

John Pring, Editor, Disability News Service



1 Professor Stephen Hawking – theoretical physicist and author with an international reputation; books include A Brief History of Time; now director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge

2 Dr Tom Shakespeare – writer and academic with impressive international credentials; was part of World Health Organization team who produced the World Report on Disability; now a senior lecturer at Norwich Medical School. Not afraid to come out against the bulk of the disability movement on key issues such as legalising assisted suicide and the relevance of the social model

3 Professor Peter Beresford –  professor of social policy at Brunel University and director of the Centre for Citizen Participation; chair of the national, user-led Shaping Our Lives network; frequent contributor to national and specialist media

4 Professor Nick Watson – director of Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research at University of Glasgow; co-author of the influential Bad News for Disabled People report; editor of nine books, including co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies

5 Dr Sarah Campbell – principal co-author of Spartacus report, which led to We Are Spartacus online movement; wrote several reports for We Are Spartacus, and assisted with MP briefings; former high-flying mathematics researcher; campaigned successfully for access improvements for disabled academics

6 Professor Colin Barnes – renowned academic with an international reputation, still with influence within disability movement; founded both the Disability Press and the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds; visiting professor of disability studies at Halmstad University in Sweden

7 Dr David Bolt – founder of Disability Studies Centre at Liverpool Hope University; founding editor of Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies; director of the Centre for Culture and Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University

8 Professor Barbara Taylor – professor of humanities at Queen Mary University of London; intellectual and cultural historian; author of two books on early British feminism, and of new asylum memoir, The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in our Times

9 Dr David Slingsby – editor-in-chief, Journal of Biological Education; associate lecturer, Open University; member of British Council’s disability advisory panel; member of advisory panel of the Access to Elected Office Fund

10 Professor Mike Oliver – retired in 2003, but still influential; academic and author who first named the ‘social model of disability’; was UK’s first professor of disability studies

Fringes: Stef Benstead; Dr Paul Darke; Catherine Hale; Dr Heather Johnson Straughan; Professor Anna Lawson; Mike Shamash; Mo Stewart; Dr Jan Wallcraft; Dr Alison Wilde


Activism/campaigning/voluntary sector:

1 Tara Flood – director of The Alliance for Inclusive Education; retired Paralympian; human rights activist; former member of government’s Equality 2025 network

2 Mike Adams – chief executive of ecdp; chair of government’s Access to Work expert panel; has been a cheerleader for turning disabled people’s organisations into both revenue-raising service-providers and campaigners

3 Liz Sayce – chief executive of Disability Rights UK; author of government report on supported employment; former director of policy and communications at Disability Rights Commission

4 Debbie Jolly – co-founder and steering group member of Disabled People Against Cuts (she and other members of DPAC’s steering group made it clear they believe DPAC’s influence is due to the collective work of its supporters and contributors); public speaker and writer; board member of European Network on Independent Living

5 Jenny Morris – blogger, writer and campaigner with significant parliamentary contacts; now officially retired, but still an active campaigner, and much of her past academic work on discrimination, independent living, disabled children and human rights is still influential

6 Kaliya Franklin – campaigner, blogger, founder of The Broken of Britain campaign; part of the team that researched and wrote the Spartacus report, Responsible Reform; member of Labour’s taskforce on disability poverty; now co-development lead for People First England

7 Tracey Lazard – chief executive of Inclusion London, the capital’s leading disabled people’s organisation; prominent anti-cuts campaigner

8 Sue Marsh – hard-hitting Labour activist with influential blog Diary of a Benefit Scrounger; political strategist for The Broken of Britain campaign; prominent member  of Spartacus campaign; frequent appearances in mainstream media

9 Miss Dennis Queen – campaigns on disability, gender issues, and consenting adults and sexual rights; member of Disabled People Against Cuts and long-standing member of Disabled People’s Direct Action Network (DAN); writer, musician, blogger; national convenor of Not Dead Yet UK, and of Consenting Adult Action Network

10 Rhian Davies – chief executive of Disability Wales; chair of Coalition on Charging Cymru; member of Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Wales committee

Fringes: David Adams, Geoff Adams-Spink, Susan Archibald, Simone Aspis, Ruth Bashall, Sue Bott, Gary Bourlet, Linda Burnip, Laraine Callow, Melanie Close, Helen Dolphin, Lisa Egan, Jim Elder-Woodward, John Evans, Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, Andy Greene, Miro Griffiths, Gavin Harding, Mark Harrison, Kevin Healey, Julie Jaye Charles, Deborah King, Kelly Knox, Andrew Lee, Carrie-Ann Lightley, Eleanor Lisney, Euan MacDonald, John McArdle, Sean McGovern, Julie Newman, Pat Onions, Ruth Owen, James Partridge, Anne Pridmore, Peter Purton, Anne Rae, Andy Rickell, Dr Terry Riley, Mike Smith, Steven Sumpter, Zara Todd, Faryal Velmi, Mark Wheatley, Bob Williams-Findlay



1 Jenny Sealey – artistic director of Graeae theatre company; was co-artistic director of London 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony; rights campaigner, who has been prominent recently in campaigning against new government rules on Access to Work

2 Colin Hambrook – editor of Disability Arts Online; visual artist and poet

3 Tony Heaton – sculptor, lecturer and chief executive of the disability arts organisation Shape; board member of Inclusion London

4 Ruth Gould – artistic director of DaDaFest, the disability and Deaf arts agency that delivers the internationally-known biennial DaDaFest festival; performer, creative director, producer and writer

5 Liz Crow – artist-activist and director of Roaring Girl Productions, whose work currently focuses on dissecting the government’s welfare reforms

6 Jamie Beddard – theatre director, performer and writer; directed Breathe, the show which opened the London 2012 sailing events in Weymouth

7 Rachel Gadsden – expressionistic artist, whose work featured in the Unlimited London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad across both mainstream and disability arts sectors; currently working on a project with UK and Middle East communities and arts organisations, examining ‘perceptions as to disability, culture, diversity and openness about impairment’

8 Katherine Araniello – film-maker and performer whose work often subverts images of disability; board member of Live Art Development Agency

9 Paula Garfield – actor, writer, producer, director; co-founder and artistic director of Deafinitely Theatre

10 Nabil Shaban – film, theatre and television actor; writer; artist; director and producer; co-founder of Graeae theatre company

Fringes: Alex Bulmer, Caroline Cardus, Claire Cunningham, Esther Fox, Ju Gosling, Maggie Hampton, Caglar Kimyoncu, Simon McKeown, Julie McNamara, Maria Oshodi, Tanya Raabe, Garry Robson, Yinka Shonibare, Allan Sutherland, Chris Tally Evans, Ann Whitehurst



1 Mark Nelson – co-founder of Remark, the largest Deaf-run company in the UK, which specialises in TV production, BSL translation and training; signs many children’s TV programmes, including CBeebies’ Bob the Builder

2 Amo Raju – chief executive of Derby-based The Disability Syndicate, which has been in the vanguard of business-orientated disabled people’s organisations. Has built up the organisation from three to more than 60 staff. Typical quotes: ‘Business is our magic word,’ and: ‘I don’t mind being called a predator.’

3 Liz Jackson – entrepreneur, author; founder of award-winning Great Guns Marketing, the UK’s leading business-to-business telemarketing company; featured in Channel 4′s The Secret Millionaire

4 Shezad Nawab – entrepreneur and business consultant; founder of Global Synergy Group; co-founder and managing director of fabsolutions; background in commodities trading, international trading and motivational speaking

5 Neil Heslop – group director of RNIB Solutions; CV includes spells as head of strategy and general manager of retail operations at O2, and as former chief executive of Cincinnati Bell Wireless in US; co-founder and long-standing trustee of charity Blind in Business

6 Terry Nelson – managing director at TNAR Ltd; developed a specialist aqua running buoyancy suit which allows people to exercise intensively in deep water with no risk of injury; the TNAR suit has been used by football clubs including Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City, and the England team

7 John Pickup – founder and managing director of Amputees in Action, the UK’s largest agency for amputees, which provides extras, support actors for film and television and participants for casualty simulations for emergency and military services

8 Dr Stephen Duckworth – director of Disability Assessment Services for Capita, where he is responsible for the company’s contract to assessment claimants of the new personal independence payment; previously account director responsible for Serco’s relationship with the Cabinet Office, Number 10 and the Treasury

9 Chris Lewis – founder and chief executive of Lewis Insight; telecommunications industry analyst; public speaker at events in UK and around the world; works with RNIB and Vision 2020

10 Neil Barnfather – entrepreneur with numerous business start-ups under his belt; chief executive of web hosting firm eHosting

Fringes: Gary McFarlane, Dr Gregory Burke 



1 Stephen Fry – author; film and television actor; presenter of television shows such as QI; huge Twitter following; president of the mental health charity Mind

2 Ash Atalla –  founder and managing director of Roughcut Television, which specialises in comedy and entertainment, with recent output including Mad Mad World for ITV1, the Sky1 sitcom Trollied, and the BBC3 sitcome Cuckoo; former producer of The Office and head of comedy at Talkback Thames

3 Susan Boyle – achieved instant fame in 2009 after her audition performance on Britain’s Got Talent audition; has subsequently released five albums, with the first two reaching the top spot in both the US and UK, and all five reaching the top ten in the UK; her website says she has had more than 300 million YouTube hits

4 Adam Hills – comedian and TV presenter; host of Channel 4’s Paralympic-themed The Last Leg

5 Warwick Davis – actor and broadcaster, with his latest series Weekend Escapes with Warwick Davis airing on ITV in spring 2014; co-founder of Willow Management agency for short actors

6 Cerrie Burnell – CBeebies presenter and actor; author of the children’s book Snowflakes, and of her theatre show for young children, The Magical Playroom

7 Evelyn Glennie – world-renowned and multi-award winning solo percussionist; led the drumming during the ‘Pandemonium’ section of the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony; music consultant; jewellery designer

8 Terry Pratchett – author of the hugely successful Discworld fantasy series; campaigner for legalisation of assisted suicide, and on dementia issues

9 Robin Millar – one of Britain’s most successful record-producers; pioneer of digital music technology; trustee of Creative and Cultural Skills; a director of The National Skills Academy; honorary professor of commercial music at London College of Music

10 Alex Brooker – sports journalist now making an impression on Channel 4′s The Last Leg, having featured in Channel 4′s coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics; also becoming a television panel show regular, on shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats; co-hosted Channel 4′s The Jump in 2014 with Davina McCall

Fringes: Andrea Begley; Liz Carr; Jack Carroll; Laurence Clark; Lizzie Emeh; Mat Fraser; Lisa Hammond; Blaine Harrison; Susan Hedges; Cherylee Houston; Francesca Martinez; Kitty McGeever; Sophie Partridge; Penny Pepper; David Proud; Mik Scarlet; Clare Summerskill; Jessica Thom; Storme Toolis; Ruby Wax; Natasha Wood; Robert Wyatt



1 Phil Friend – well-connected disability consultant who has worked with some of the best-known UK companies, and on projects in Estonia, Romania, Poland, Germany, Canada and the US; chair of Disability Rights UK; prominent campaigner against legalisation of assisted suicide; vice-president of Level Playing Field; associate of the Business Disability Forum

2 David Ruebain – chief executive of Equality Challenge Unit; solicitor; former director of legal policy at Equality and Human Rights Commission; widely published on education, disability and equality law; member of editorial board of Disability and Society; fellow of the British-American Project; founding member of The Times newspaper law panel

3 Margaret Hickish – consultant who played huge part in ensuring accessibility of London 2012; now access and inclusion manager for National Rail, with responsibility for 17 of Britain’s largest rail stations

4 Kate Nash – leading authority on setting up disabled employee networks; diversity consultant; non-executive director at Remploy; political advisor to Royal Mail; Motability governor; Disability Rights UK ambassador; chair of Department for Work and Pensions’ residential training college review

5 Dr David Bonnett – award-winning consultant architect, lecturer and accessible design guru; his company, David Bonnett Associates, is involved with projects ranging from ‘large urban and historic landscapes to listed buildings, cultural projects, residential schemes and transport interchanges’

6 Jane Young – adviser, researcher and consultant; finished working with the Just Fair coalition on its significant human rights report, Dignity and Opportunity for All, in July 2014; background in disability equality and social care in local authorities and the voluntary sector; has advised policy-makers at local and national level.

7 Agnes Fletcher – equality consultant who reviewed Equality and Human Rights Commission’s disability committee; was a member of Labour’s taskforce on disability poverty (married to Adam Thomas, no 9)

8 Joyce Cook – chair of Level Playing Field, the user-led charity representing disabled sports fans; managing director of the Centre for Access to Football in Europe; board member of several football-related diversity groups; was a member of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s built environment access panel

9 Adam Thomas – a national leader in designing accessible kitchens and the only wheelchair-using kitchen designer in Britain; lectures and trains occupational therapists in accessible kitchen design (married to Agnes Fletcher, no 7 )

10 Kay Sheldon – board member of Care Quality Commission; campaigner for service-users to have strong voice in how health and social care is provided and monitored; consultant, researcher and writer; became high-profile whistleblower when she gave evidence about CQC failures to Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry

Fringes: Will Bee, Paul Bepey, Stephen BrookesSuzanne Bull, Clenton FarquharsonBarry Ginley, Simon Minty, Tracey Proudlock, Sarah Rennie, Richard Rieser, Andy Shipley, David Sindall, Simon StevensMaria Zedda



1 Alison Walsh – Channel 4’s disability executive; works with ‘commissioning team and Channel 4′s programme suppliers to ensure mainstream inclusion of disability across all programme areas, and to develop disabled talent on screen and behind the camera’; previously a freelance writer specialising in disability and travel

2 Alastair Campbell – author, diarist, journalist, broadcaster; sought-after speaker on communications in UK and abroad; former communications and strategy director for Labour government; fundraising chair for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Fund; supporter of mental health anti-stigma campaign Time to Change

3 Frank Gardner – BBC security correspondent; author of two best-selling books

4 Gary O’Donoghue – BBC Radio 4’s chief political correspondent; has been a BBC news journalist for more than 20 years

5 Nikki Fox – broadcaster and presenter; documentary-maker; in April 2014, BBC News appointed her to the new role of disability correspondent

6 Frances Ryan – social affairs journalist, commentator and feature writer; work includes columns on New Statesman website and in The Guardian’s Society section; has appeared as a commentator on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5live, BBC Wales, LBC and on BBC’s Sunday Politics; teaches political theory at The University of Nottingham

7 Peter White – BBC journalist; presenter of Radio 4 shows You and Yours and In Touch; regular contributor to national newspapers such as The Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Sunday Times and The Independent; in-demand after-dinner speaker and conference chair

8 Peter Apps – political risk correspondent for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Reuters news agency, covering ‘a range of stories on the interplay between politics, economics and markets’

9 Richard Butchins – award-winning documentary-maker; work includes films on work capability assessment and disability living allowance reform for Channel 4′s Dispatches; photographer and author of todayslondoner photo-blog; in 2014, Butchins won a development grant from the Unlimited 2013 disability arts programme for 213 Things About Me, to be based on a list of personal traits written by a young woman with Asperger’s syndrome; author of novel Pavement

10 Ade Adepitan – TV presenter, retired Paralympian (wheelchair basketball)

Fringes: Kate Ansell, Mark Brown, Paul Carter, Rob Crossan, Michael Darracott, Sean Dilley, Tom Dowling, Cheryl Gabriel, Vidar Hjardeng, D H Kelly, Christiane Link, Dave Lupton, Ian Macrae, Srin Madipalli, William Mager, Toby Mildon, Sophie Morgan, Louis Neethling, John Pring, Damon Rose, Martyn Sibley, Charlie Swinbourne, Charlotte Walker, Philippa Willitts



1 Dame Anne Begg – Labour MP and chair of Commons work and pensions select committee; was vice-chair of the speaker’s conference on political representation; chairs the all party groups on offshore oil and gas and on commercial radio; former teacher

2 Robert Halfon – prominent Conservative MP; has secured media attention through high-profile campaigns on issues such as lowering fuel duty; was first MP to employ a parliamentary apprentice; named Campaigning MP of the Year by the Spectator magazine in 2013

3 David Blunkett – former Labour home secretary, education secretary and work and pensions secretary, now a backbench MP although will be leaving parliament at the 2015 general election; his education review for Labour was published in 2014; visiting professor in Sheffield University’s department of politics; board member of National Citizen’s Service Trust

4 Anne McGuire – Labour MP and co-chair of the all-party parliamentary disability group; former minister and shadow minister for disabled people; former teacher and voluntary sector manager; another MP set to leave parliament in 2015

5 Baroness Brinton – Liberal Democrat peer with particular interest in education, skills and learning; board member of UK Committee of UNICEF and Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust

6 Stephen Lloyd – Liberal Democrat MP; member of Commons work and pensions select committee until January 2014, when he was appointed parliamentary private secretary to energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey; chair of all-party parliamentary group on deafness, co-chair of Citizens Advice group, and vice-chair of apprenticeships group; previously worked in business for more than 20 years

7 Paul Maynard – outspoken and independent-minded Conservative MP, first elected in 2010; set up all-party parliamentary group for young disabled people; interests include public transport

8 Emily Brothers – standing as Labour general election candidate in Sutton and Cheam in 2015, where she will take on the prominent Lib Dem former minister Paul Burstow; head of policy at Equality and Human Rights Commission

9 Marie Pye – lead member for equalities, London Councils; Labour councillor in London borough of Waltham Forest; consultant and equality duty expert; chair of East London Housing Partnership

10 Baroness [Celia] Thomas – Liberal Democrat peer; headed the Liberal and then Lib Dem whips office in the House of Lords for nearly 30 years, until she was made a life peer in 2006; chair of the Lords delegated powers and regulatory reform committee

Fringes: David Buxton, Kelly-Marie Blundell, Greg Judge, Shana Pezarro, Eleanor Southwood, Baroness [Rosalie] Wilkins


Public service:

1 Baroness [Jane] Campbell – campaigning crossbench peer; independent living pioneer; campaigner against legalisation of assisted suicide through Not Dead Yet UK; co-chair of all-party parliamentary disability group

2 Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson – increasingly influential peer; retired Paralympian; board member of Transport for London and non-executive director of UK Athletics

3 Lord [Chris] Holmes – appointed Conservative peer by David Cameron in July 2013; disability commissioner for Equality and Human Rights Commission; retired Paralympian; director of Paralympic Integration at London 2012; patron of British Paralympic Association

4 Lord [Colin] Low – crossbench peer and campaigner; headed inquiry on access to advice and support on social welfare law , which reported in 2014; president of European Blind Union; a vice-president of RNIB; former law and criminology lecturer

5 Alice Maynard – chair of disability charity Scope; management consultant; chair of Transport for London’s independent disability advisory group; chair of government’s Right to Control advisory group; associate of Business Disability Forum; board member of the Association of Chairs

6 Jackie Driver – head of correspondence at Equality and Human Rights Commission; chair of Breakthrough UK; board member of DEAF (Deaf Education Advocacy Fellowship); coaches and mentors local deaf and disabled people

7 Sir Bert Massie – governor of Motability; ambassador for Disability Rights UK; former chair of Disability Rights Commission; governor of Liverpool John Moores University; chaired Labour’s taskforce on disability poverty, which reported in 2014

8 Dr Rachel Perkins – member of ministerial advisory group for the government’s mental health strategy; co-chair of ministerial working group on equalities in mental health; external advisory member of inter-ministerial group on disability employment; trainer, consultant and author on mental health; was chair of Equality 2025, the government’s high-level disability advice body, until it was disbanded in 2013

9 Jane Cordell – former high-flying diplomat, now specialises in coaching, communication and equality through her consultancy Getting Equal; trustee of Disability Rights UK and Manchester Deaf Centre; chair of DaDaFest

10 Asif Iqbal – public appointments ambassador for Government Equalities Office and Cabinet Office; ambassador for Deaf Parenting UK; member of Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee; board member of Deafinitely Theatre; winner of Muslim News community development award 2013

Fringes: Diane Mulligan, Kirsten Hearn, Saghir Alam, Ann McFarlane



1 Sir Philip Craven – as president of International Paralympic Committee, currently the face of the international Paralympic movement; member of International Olympic Committee; board member of British Olympic Association; retired Paralympian (wheelchair basketball)

2 Tim Reddish – chair of British Paralympic Association; ‘motivational’ business speaker; retired Paralympic swimmer; was national performance director of disability swimming from 2003-2010; board member of London 2012 organising committee LOCOG

3 Richard Whitehead – Paralympic gold-medal winner at 200 metres, but also world record holder in marathon and half-marathon; was first leg amputee to break the three-hour mark for a marathon; in 2013, ran 40 marathons in 40 days, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, to raise money for charity

4 Jonnie Peacock – Paralympic sprinter and one of the faces of the London 2012 Paralympics, after winning gold in the T43/44 100 metres, the most high-profile event at the games, and also set to be the blue riband event at the 2016 Rio Paralympics; has more than 50,000 Twitter followers

5 David Weir – winner of four athletics gold medals at London 2012 Paralympics; helped launch a new Paralympic training academy in April 2013

6 Ellie Simmonds – swimmer; winner of four Paralympic gold medals, and holder of multiple world records; in January 2014, signed a deal with Random House to produce four children’s books; projects ambassador for the Active Kids For All initiative; patron of Dwarf Sports Association UK

7 Sophie Christiansen – gold-laden Paralympian, slowly building a reputation as a disability rights campaigner

8 Hannah Cockroft – one of the faces of the London 2012 Paralympics, and now, like Christiansen, slowly building a reputation as a disability rights campaigner

9 Kelly Gallagher – the first British alpine skier ever to win a gold medal at either a Paralympic or Olympic Games when she won the super-G event for visually-impaired skiers at the Sochi games in March 2014

10 Jade Etherington – winner of four medals at the Sochi 2014 winter Paralympics, the most by any British winter Paralympic athlete in a single games

Fringes: Mike Brace, David Butler, David Clarke, Craig Crowley, Jody Cundy, Gerry Hughes, Martin McElhatton