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Grim reaper and gadgets top UK Google searches

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Paul Walker, the film star who died last month, has come first in Google UK’s top-trending search terms for 2013.

The American actor, who was killed in a high-speed car crash on 30 November, was listed above the iPhone 5S and royal baby Prince George, according to the figures revealed by the search engine in its annual Google Zeitgeist search list.

In the days following his death, interest in former South African president Nelson Mandela caused a surge to send him to sixth on the chart of trending terms for the whole year.

While the overall list uncovers the obsessions that gripped Britons in 2013, more specific lists also provide some remarkable insights.

London mayor Boris Johnson headed the chart of top-trending politicians, ahead of both Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg.

Boyband One Direction app-eared above Justin Bieber, who normally takes the top spot, and Miley Cyrus in the list of most searched celebrities. But even One Direction could not contend with Kim Kardashian, who took first place.

“What is twerking?” was at the summit of the list for “What is…?” questions, while YOLO, the slang acronym meaning You Only Live Once, appeared third on the list.

In the world of sport, the Grand National topped the list of events, with Wimbledon in second place – despite this year’s historic win in the men’s final by home hero Andy Murray.

Diver Tom Daley made a late appearance in the list of top trending people following his YouTube announcement of a same-sex relationship.

Claudine Beaumont from Google UK said: “Our annual Zeitgeist survey provides a fascinating snapshot of our interests and obsessions for the year. Celebrities always get a lot of interest and the passing of well-known figures makes people want to learn more about them.

“Despite that, some of the more traditional aspects of British life, from the Grand National to the royal birth, have generated many Google searches and will be remembered as events that have characterised the year.”

Meanwhile, Minecraft, the building game that has become a phenomenon among children across the UK, has been named top-selling app of the year.

The “pocket edition” of the game which grips youngsters for hours on end as they create their own world – adapted from the computer version – is the most popular paid-for app on iPhones and iPads, according to a best-of-the-year round-up by iTunes. The most downloaded free app for both devices was the game Candy Crush Saga which features puzzles involving sweets.

The language-learning aid Duolingo was iPhone app of the year, while Disney Animated, which allows users to learn the secrets of creating cartoons and bringing illustrations to life, was named iPad app of the year.

TOP TEN

1. Paul Walker

2. iPhone 5S

3. Royal baby

4. Cory Monteith

5. Oscar Pistorius

6. Nelson Mandela

7. Grand National

8. Universal Jobmatch

9. Margaret Thatcher

10. Xbox One

 

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