Benedetti is youngest new entry in Who’s Who book

Award-winning Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti is the youngest of 1,000 new entries in the latest guide to the world’s movers and shakers.

Scots violinist is youngest new entry in iconic book. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Scots violinist is youngest new entry in iconic book. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The 26-year-old classical musician joins more than 60 other Scots and Scotland-based personalities appearing in Who’s Who for the first time in the 2014 edition.

Inclusion in the book, which contains potted biographies of 33,000 famous and influential people from all walks of life, is by invitation only.

Published annually since 1849, Who’s Who was originally produced as a reference book of notable people such as MPs and clergy. Now, however, it casts its net across the whole spectrum of British society, including medicine, science, the arts and sport.

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    Also making his debut in the new edition is Dunfermline-born wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, 61, best known for his documentary work on Sir David Attenborough’s The Blue Planet, Life, Human Planet, Life on Earth and Frozen Planet. His ground-breaking footage of animals on the ice and underwater in the Arctic and Antarctic has earned him six Emmy awards and four Baftas.

    Margaret Burns, the Glasgow- born chair of NHS Health Scotland, also makes it into the listings this year, alongside local government and planning minister Derek Mackay, Belfast-born National Galleries director general Sir John Leighton and auditor general Caroline Gardner.

    They are joined by Labour MSP Jayne Baxter, Scottish Government chief planner John McNairney, clan chief James William Archibald Macnab of Macnab and archbishop of Edinburgh and St Andrews Leo Cushley.

    First-timers from outside Scotland include Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton, who has worked with chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Nico Ladenis and Marco Pierre White. The 42-year-old also spent time at the renowned Barcelona restaurant El Bulli and launched Gordon Ramsay’s award-winning Maze before opening his own fine-dining restaurant in London two years ago. He was voted chef of the year by in 2012.

    Joining him is choreographer and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, whose appearance in the guide comes four decades after she first made her name by creating TV dance troupe Hot Gossip in the 1970s.

    New entries from the sporting world include paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, who scooped four gold medals for cycling at the London Olympic Games last year, and former English rugby player Alastair James Hignell.

    Everyone in Who’s Who – with the possible exception of the fugitive peer Lord Lucan, who vanished in November 1974 but remains in the book – is invited to compile their own entry, so listings can be as long or as short as celebrities wish and can include or exclude whatever they choose.


    Nicola Joy Benedetti

    Violinist, born 20 July 1987, Irvine She studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and won BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2004. She founded the Benedetti Sessions and has taken part in Scotland’s Big Noise project since 2010. She was voted Young British Classical Performer in 2008 and Best Female Artist in the 2012 Classic Brit Awards. She lists her pastimes as cinema, travel, jazz and yoga. She was awarded an MBE this year.

    Douglas George Allan

    Freelance wildlife and documentary cameraman and director, born 17 July 1951, Dunfermline He studied biology at the University of Stirling, before starting out as a pearl diver. His camerawork won Baftas in 1993, 1997, 2002 and 2011, and Emmys in 1994, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010, 2012. He also won the British Antarctic Survey’s Fuchs Medal in 1982 and the Polar Medal in 1983. His interests include travelling slowly, reading, meeting and talking with unknown people.

    Margaret Burns

    Chair of NHS Health Scotland since 2007, born 30 December 1956, Glasgow. She studied law at Glasgow University and has been a trustee for the Institute of Occupational Medicine since 2011. She enjoys family, walking, reading, cooking and looking at art. She was awarded a CBE in 2003.

    Jayne Baxter

    Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife since December 2012, born 5 November 1955, in Mansfield She studied business at Napier University and was formerly the senior parliamentary assistant for Gordon Brown.

    Sir John Mark Nicholas Leighton

    Director-general of the National Galleries of Scotland since 2006, born 22 February 1959, Belfast He gained an MA in Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh and lists oil-painting and hill-walking as recreations. He is now based in Edinburgh.

    James William Archibald Macnab of Macnab

    24th chief of Clan Macnab, 22 March 1963, Edinburgh The clan chief has been director of country house sales at estate agent Savills since 1999 and is a member of the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland. His interests are golf, walking, cycling, shooting and rugby, and he is a member of the Royal & Ancient Golf club in St Andrews and East Lothian’s Craigielaw Golf Club.