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Both Thomas and Nigel Owens, the Welsh referee who was previously rugby union's only high-profile gay figure, contemplated suicide before coming out.

But for the wider public Portas has, in coming out, enlightened many about how lesbians look and behave (just like anyone else, that is).

Like any good PR, she would rather create publicity for clients than for herself, but her inclusive nature and stratospheric success make her a fantastic role model.

3 (2nd last year) Stephen Fry; Broadcaster and writer The wit, polymath and all-round clever person has become a champion of the smart – he recently berated the BBC for not crediting its audience with having any brains; QI proves you don't have to be dumb to be popular, and he's soon to host a documentary on languages.

4 (12) Evan Davis; Broadcaster A gentle yet effective interviewer, Davis proves that you don't have to be over 60 to present Today.

6 (21) Alan Carr; Comedian The chatty man continues to cut through the fake-smile world of celebrity with his toothy grin and sharp sarcasm.

His "Eva Peron" moment at Gay Pride, when his appearance at a window resulted in the crowd below chanting his name, proved his appeal.15 (27) Michael Grandage; Theatre director Artistic director of the 250-seat Donmar Warehouse.The theatre has an influence far outstripping its size, as evidenced by the Broadway success of two of its productions, the Jude Law Hamlet and the Mark Rothko drama Red, the latter bagging him the Best Director Tony.He said in his interview that he was unaware of any other gay player "still in the game".From living a lie, he has taken on the role of campaigner, working with Childline to reach out to young people facing the dilemma with which he struggled from the age of 17.Pink List judges – including former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, broadcaster Clare Balding, Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill, and John Amaechi, the psychologist and author – fought long and hard to decide on the 101 most influential gay and lesbian people in Britain today. Above all, to kick-start a debate around the breakfast and lunch-table.

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