Rob Ford
Toronto mayor Rib ford could have filled an entire 'worst villains' list on his ownReuters

HEROES

Wendy Davies

In June this year, women's rights and pro-choice found a new icon thanks to a gruelling filibuster by senator Wendy Davies.

Her 11-hour marathon speech, in which she wasn't allowed to digress, have food or water, lean on her desk, go to the bathroom or sit down, was to block a bill which would have shut most of the abortion clinics in Texas.

Following her successful filibuster, she has since announced she is planning on running for Texas state senator in 2014.

Pope Francis

In year which has seen the Pontiff praised by everyone from the poor, the LGBT community and Time Magazine, Pope Francis has been considered the most popular Pope in living memory.

Spending his birthday with the homeless, blessing a severely disfigured man and revealing his past life as a club bouncer have all helped the 266th Pope rise in popularity.

The size of congregations in Britain has also risen by around 20% in what has been refrred to as the "Francis effect".

Andy Murray

Andy Murray
Murray also went on the win BBC Sports Personality of the year 2013Reuters

After finally ending British heartache at Wimbledon by becoming the first home-grown winner at the tournament since Virginia Wade in 1976 (and the first male winner for 77 years) Andy Murray finally cemented his place as a true sporting icon and shed the loveable loser tag so commonly associated with other nameless tennis stars...

Swino the Drunken Pig

Every year, the news needs an anti-hero to give inspiration to the people. If that anti-hero is a pig then all the better.

In 2013, Swino the Drunken Pig rose to become the pioneer of lad culture after drinking 18 cans of beer, picking a fight with a cow and then going an an alcohol-fuelled rampage in a campsite in Western Australia.

Unfortunately like all true hero, Swino was taken from us too young when he was killed after been hit by a truck.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai was been nominated for the Nobel Peace PrizeReuters

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education, deserves her place for not only making a full recovery from her injuries, but also her actions afterwards.

Acting with a grace and maturity of someone way beyond her teenage years, Yousafzai continued to battle for basic rights of women in her country, demanding education for all and refusing to stoop to the Taliban's level by using peace as her weapon to fight.

Despite missing out on a Nobel peace Prize, she has received praise and acknowledgements all across the world, including being named one of Time Magazine's most influential people in the world aged just 16.

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden
IB Times UK's hero of the year Edward Snowden

To some, he's a traitor to the US, a man who committed an act of treason to such regard he has endangered the free world and a coward for not facing the consequences.

To others, he is a hero of the free world, refusing to stand by knowing NSA have been spying on hundreds of millions of citizens and world leaders and is willing to throw away his life to protect their liberties.

After leaking massive amount of detail showing extensive phone and internet surveillance by the US intelligence company, Snowden has been seeking asylum in countries such as Russia and Hong Kong.

With the fallout of his actions still continuing months after they were first revealed by the Guardian, it may be well into 2014 before the true scope of Snowden's whistleblowing is realised.

VILLAINS

Lance Armstrong

A man whose hero status transcended the world of sport for years, Lance Armstrong began 2013 suffering one of the biggest falls from grace seen in recent times.

The former seven-time Tour de France winner was stripped of all his titles and deleted from the history books after he admitted doping for years.

He gained little sympathy during his interview with Oprah Winfrey, where he admitted he cheated but appeared intent on making people realise he wasn't the only one involved in the doping which has plagued the sport, rather than seem remorseful for his actions.

Kanye West

Despite releasing one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year with Yeezus, Kanye West always make sure you don't like him too much with his antics away from music.

In a year hectic even for him, he still managed to find time to compare himself to God (again), name his child North, rant at Jimmy Kimmel, rant at Justin Timberlake, rant at audience members at his show...(cont)

Truthfully he deserves to be in the list for the abomination that was his music video for Bound 2, featuring his new wife.

Walter White

walter white
Breaking Bad's Walter White, played by Bryan CranstonAMC

There was a time when all-round family man Walter White gained nothing but sympathy following his terminal cancer diagnosis. Then he turned into a lovable rogue when he decided to sell a bit of meth to get some money to leave his family before he died.

By 2013, his actions became so abhorrent that viewers of Breaking Bad weren't even sure if they cared whether he survived the end of the show or not.

Walter White evolved into his evil, drug lord alter ego Heisenberg towards the end of series five so much that the show's creators had to introduce some child-killing neo-Nazis just so he wouldn't prove to be the worst person in the show. A true classic character from one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

Rob Ford

The Toronto mayor is not new to controversy following his well-publicised views on HIV and women, but in 2013 his almost pantomime-villain buffoonery hit new heights.

Admitting to smoking crack cocaine, accusing a journalist of being a paedophile, threatening to rip an unknown person's "f*****g throat out" and murder him are just some of the highlights of Ford's year (not to mention sharing too much with reporters about what he eats at home).

The fact he is still in a job is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

Miley Cyrus

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Miley Cyrus and her over-exposed tongueReuters

Whether you like to admit or not, Miley Cyrus really did have a 2013 to remember.

However, after producing one of the most harrowing live performances of all time with Robert Thicke, introducing twerking to mainstream culture and destroying the good name that is Hannah Montanna forever, the whole world is hoping that 2014 will see a lot less of the Miley and her bovine tongue.

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden
IB Times Uk's villain of the year Edward Snowden

To some, he is a hero of the free world, refusing to stand by knowing NSA have spying on hundreds of millions citizens and world leaders and is willing to throw away his life to protect their liberties.

To others, he's a traitor to the US, a man who committed an act of treason to such regard he has endangered the free world and a coward for not facing the consequences.

After leaking massive details showing an extensive phone and internet surveillance by the US intelligence company, Snowden has been seeking asylum in countries such Russian and Hong Kong.

With the fallout of his actions still continuing months after they were first revealed by the Guardian, it may be well into 2014 before the true scope of Snowden's whistleblowing is realised.

The Biggest World News Stories of 2013 IBTimes UK