Watch out for our rising stars

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SOME of them are already well known in their fields, while others are just on the verge of making a name for themselves. Here are our predictions regarding the Edinburgh and Lothians people who will be making an impact in 2008.

CULTURE

Hermione Cockburn

The TV presenterfrom Tollcross is about to become a household name after being chosen to be the presenter of new series Fossil Detectives. The Edinburgh University graduate has been seen co-presenting Coast recently.

Polly Frame

The 31-year-old city actress and former George Watson's College pupil stars as Pinky Pinkerton in the Playhouse Disney Channel's, Bunnytown. Polly is set to become a familiar face worldwide in 2008 as the show goes global.

Bill Scott

The newly-elected president of the Royal Scottish Academy is set to blaze a trail in the art world when he shows his sculptures in Romania this summer. The Roslin-based sculptor will stage a major show at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Bucharest.

Paul Chiappe

He has been the darling of the art world since he graduated from Edinburgh College of Art's MFA programme in June . His pencil drawings are currently on show in ECA's Ten Decades exhibition at the City Arts Centre and at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Catherine Rayner

Children's author-illustrator Catherine gets her inspiration from her pets: her horse Shannon, guinea pig Marvin, dog Ellie, cat Emma and two goldfish, Bruce and Sheila. She has published an award-winning book for pre-school children, Augustus and his Smile. More are on the way.

POLITICS

Shirley-Anne Somerville, SNP list MSP for Lothians

This former press officer for the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland only got in because Stefan Tymkewycz stood down just months after the May elections. But she is tipped for great things in 2008, being widely seen as able and loyal. She has already been made a parliamentary aide, working on environment and transport issues.

BOOKS

Tony Black

Journalist Tony Black's debut novel has already achieved acclaim ahead of its publication by Random House in June. The Loanhead 35-year-old's Paying For It follows washed-up investigator Gus Dury as he uncovers a seedy vice ring linked to eastern European people smugglers. Irish crime writer Ken Bruen says: "The narrative blasts off the page like a triple malt."

Alexander McCall Smith

Already one of the world's biggest names in literature, McCall Smith's profile is set to rocket this year as the first of his hugely-popular novels hits the screen. Anthony Minghella has made The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency into a film, from a script he co-wrote with Richard Curtis. The film will air on the BBC at Easter time.

BUSINESS

David Smith, Land Securities

The regional director of Land Securities in Scotland, from Currie, is in charge of finding the companies for the Lothians' biggest new retail development. Set to open in October, The Elements shopping centre in Livingston will contain 275 shops, making it Scotland's second-biggest shopping centre, behind only East Kilbride. David's next challenge will be to mastermind the doubling in size of Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow.

Rob Ellis, House of Sugar

The cake-maker and songwriter, who produced a cake containing a 1 million diamond for Shirley Bassey's birthday and played piano at Madonna's wedding, has just launched House of Sugar's on-line shop, which is set to sell him even more cakes in 2008.

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin bagged his first Michelin star in 2007 as well as being named Scottish Chef of the Year. More great things are expected of the 30-year-old, who opened his restaurant The Kitchin in Commercial Street in June 2006.

SPORT

Graeme Dyce

The Edinburgh teenager's tennis career is expected to take off in 2008. After winning the Australian Open junior doubles title last January he is now set to join the senior ranks.

Nick De Luca

The 23-year-old rugby player is tipped to become a Scottish internationalist in this year's Six Nations. The A cap player came through the ranks at Edinburgh Accies and Heriot's before entering the professional scene.

Kirsty Balfour

This is expected to be a stellar year for Britain's highest-ranked swimmer. The Edinburgh breast-stroker clinched a 200m silver medal at the world championships in Melbourne in 2007.

Paul Appleby

Hot featherweight prospect Paul Appleby has been tipped for boxing stardom in 2008. The South Queensferry boxer is soon to clash with Belfast's Martin Lindsay. Sweden last year. The student at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, Florida, enjoyed a great summer and just missed out on qualifying for the match-play stages of the Polo Junior Classic, one of the most prestigious under-18 junior golf tournaments in the US.

MUSIC

X-Vectors

This four-piece band is expected to reap the benefit of having supported Mercury Music Prize winners Klaxons on their European tour last year. The band, fronted by Rory Connaghan, released 12-inch Now is the Winter of our Discotheque to much acclaim.

Storm Lee, real name Lee Gardner

This could be the year that Edinburgh-born singer-songwriter, Storm Lee – already successful in the US – achieves similar fame in his home country. Storm is one of the principal singers on the hit NBC game show The Singing Bee. The 34-year-old, who was nominated for a Latin Grammy, hopes to release his album Soulfillapopkilla in the UK this year.

Saint Jude's Infirmary

The band are currently putting the finishing touches to their eagerly-awaited, though as-yet-untitled, sophomore album. The Leith-based band's first album was widely acclaimed and backed by artist Jack Vettriano..

Jakil

Edinburgh-based band Jakil won Forth One's recent One to Watch competition thanks to their original material and live show to reckon with. Their new single, Who Are Ya?, is due for release on Monday.