Nicola Sturgeon & JK Rowling among top 500 influential people

The Scottish First Minister was included in the top 500. Picture: Steven BrownThe Scottish First Minister was included in the top 500. Picture: Steven Brown
The Scottish First Minister was included in the top 500. Picture: Steven Brown
Scots including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, tennis star Andy Murray and fashion designer Christopher Kane are among a list of the UK's top 500 influential people compiled by etiquette guide Debrett's.

The annual list, which covers the whole spectrum of society in 23 sectors, including politics, business and sport, claims to be the “barometer” for outstanding achievement in modern Britain.

However, while both Sturgeon and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson featured on the list in the Politics category, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale did not.

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Scots featured heavily in the business and entrepreneur categories with Skyscanner founder Gareth Williams, Alison Nimmo, chief executive of the Crown Estate and BHP Billiton head Andrew Mackenzie all praised for their work.

Financiers including RBS chief executive Ross McEwan, Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management and Barclays executive chairman John McFarlane were named in the finance category. Meanwhile, the founders of BrewDog, Martin Dickie and James Watt, ranked alongside food legends such as Mary Berry, Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver for their fast-growing Edinburgh eco-brewery.

UK-wide, the comprehensive list also featured Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, an activist for female education, and Sir David Attenborough as the youngest and oldest members. Astronaut Tim Peake, who is currently on a six month stint in the International Space Station, was named on the list, as was London Mayor hopeful Zach Goldsmith, Star Wars sensation John Boyega and boxing champion Anthony Joshua.

Former St Andrews University principal Professor Louise Richardson, who stepped down from the Scottish university last May to take up a post as vice-chancellor at Oxford University, featured on the list, while St Andrews University graduate Ella Woodward, who writes a food blog under the name Deliciously Ella, was listed in the Food and Drink category.

Joanne Milner, chief executive at Debrett’s, said: “The Debrett’s 500 focuses on individuals who demonstrate outstanding qualities of influence, achievement and inspiration. It’s a fascinating and eclectic showcase of talent celebrating the best of British throughout a number of areas, from Film to Fashion, and from Politics to Sport.”

Author Ali Smith was listed in the Books category, while JK Rowling was listed for her accomplishments in Stage and Screen.