Man of the year 2016
21st December 2016

We’ve thought long and hard about the shortlist for our key men for 2016. The long list, we can assure you, included a wide variety of men who have silently achieved remarkable things through their altruistic endeavours. But ultimately it came down to a vote based on achievement, potential and style. That our list largely comprises actors, musicians and sports stars is really just a reflection of 2016’s headlines.

Who would you choose to be your man of the year from our selection? Take the poll below.

Benedict Cumberbach

Everything he touches turns to gold. We predict another enormous year for young Mr Sherlock and long may it continue.

Cillian Murphy

Such a peaky little blinder and all round hit with the ladies. The ghostly-eyed Irishman continues to dazzle.

Sir David Attenborough

For the man that wrote the documentary soundtrack to most of our youths, this has been an extraordinary year. Sir David pleads with us to save our beautiful planet and we listen.

David Haye

He’s a rogue, for sure, but a pretty sharp one at that. Two wins under his belt this year and another lined up for 2017. Bloke.

Eddie Redmayne

A fine actor and one for the future. His wonderful performance in Fantastic Beasts mesmerised us here at Man Towers and we cannot wait to see what lies ahead.

Gary Barlow

Not so much the boy band hero these days as the hard working ambassador for a number of charitable causes. He may not have had so much profile in 2016 but rest assured his influence has been felt.

Ryan Gosling

Canadian Gosling is sure to find some more well deserved recognition for his turn in La La Land. Next year we’ll see him in the Blade Runner sequel Blade Runner 2049. A keen lover and protector of animals, Gosling has the world at his finger tips.

Gustaf Skarsgård

Perhaps overshadowed by his brother Alexander (The Legend of Tarzan, Battleship), Gustaf continues to bewitch us with his portrayal of Floki in the History Channel’s Vikings. For this one performance alone he makes our list. Bloke.

James Hetfield

Metallica’s hard-as-nails frontman and genuinely nice bloke continues to steer his band into fresh territory. Metallica just get so much right and it’s Hetfield’s presence at the mic that ensures this happens with maximum style.

Idris Elba

A prolific actor and voice actor (Finding Dory, Zootopia, The Jungle Book), Idris Elba embarked on his directorial debut in late 2016 with the film adaptation of Yardie, a 1992 novel by Victor Headley. Elba lives in La. Another fine export, we think you’ll agree.

Jurgen Klopp

Few managers enter the Premier League and just get it. Klopp is one such man. He has style, flair and opinion and isn’t afraid to share it with you. Press conferences and the Anfield faithful love this guy and so do we. 

Kit Harrington

So, he’s alive! Yep, we guessed that The Lord Commander might rise from the dead but didn’t really expect it. Game of Thrones continues to dazzle and in early 2017 will explode onto our screens again. Rest assured that Harrington’s Jon Snow will feature heavily.

Matthew McConaughey

Rugged Texan and keen church-goer McConaughey picks his roles carefully. A fine actor and every bit the modern man’s man. In 2016 he received the Creative Conscience award from unite4:humanity for his work with his just keep livin foundation.

Owen Farrell

A key player in England’s Rugby Union setup, Farrell (at 6′ 2″ and 15st) is a huge asset at Centre or in his preferred position at Fly Half. He contributed 66 points to England’s 3-0 win over Australia in 2016.

Prince Harry

Perhaps more in the news this year for his relationship with American actress Meghan Markle, Harry remains active with several notable causes. Throughout 2016 he travelled the world raising the profile of causes in, amongst others, Nepal, South Africa and the Caribbean. Also in 2016 Harry spoke out about the spread of HIV and used social media to strengthen his message.

Riyad Mahrez

A hugely gifted player who was influential in steering Leicester City to the Premier League title in 2016. Little surprise that he should later be crowned the Player’s Player of the Year.

Sam Claflin

Claflin’s been all over the place in the last few years. We enjoyed him in The Hunger Games and Love, Rosie. Even his quite rotten portrayal of a young Conservative in The Riot Club was mesmerising. But this year we saw him alongside Emilia Clarke in the wonderful Me Before You. A real tear jerker of a film, wonderfully acted all round. We expect big things in the coming years from Mr Claflin.

Tom Hiddleston

The next James Bond? Well, that’s another question for another time. But Yes, we think so. Hiddleston has a real charm about him that just affects you. From his wonderful turn as F Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris a few years back to his current portrayal of John Le Carre’s Jonathan Pine in The Night Manager, Hiddleston continues to grow and grow as an actor. Bloke.


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Deputy editor at Man Wants and real ale drinker. Only Malcolm can tell him what to do.