The 13 faces of 2013

From Bryan Cranston and Olivia Colman to David Tennant and Jessica Raine, we name 13 stars who've shone in 2013

For certain famous faces 2013 has been a big year. From big screen roles to small screen successes, here are the 13 stars who think shone during the last year…


Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston was once known as the hapless dad off of Malcolm in the Middle. Not anymore, thanks to Breaking Bad, the series which saw Cranston play a cancer patient turned meth-chef. The huge success of the American series, which culminated this summer as the show came to it’s dramatic close, has catapulted the 57-year-old actor to superstar status.

Olivia Colman

2013 saw beloved comedy actress Olivia Colman, known for her roles in Peep Show and Rev, become something of an acting phenomenon. Her gut-wrenching performance in colossal TV hit Broadchurch had us gabbing by the watercooler for weeks. Not forgetting roles in Run, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and upcoming The Thirteenth Tale. This gal had one good year.

Mat Baynton

There are probably thousands of clued-up kids who know Mat Baynton’s face (as well as lots of interesting facts about our ancestors) but 2013 was the year Horrible Histories star Mat Baynton broke out of children’s TV and started entertaining people on primetime grown-ups telly too. The 33-year-old appeared alongside funny man James Corden in BBC2’s The Wrong Mans earlier this year as well as in Sky1’s family-friendly comedy Yonderland. And Baynton doesn’t just act well. He’s the co- writer and creator of both new shows too. What a guy.

Jenna Coleman

Before 2013 you might have recognised Jenna Coleman from parts in Emmerdale or Waterloo Road, but you’ll definitely know who she is now. The 27-year-old actress made her debut as the Doctor’s new assistant Clara at the end of 2012 but she’s done more than travelled through space and time this year.

She’s also starred in Room at the Top and Dancing on the Edge. And as well as appearing in Christmas Day’s Doctor Who special, she’s playing Lydia Wickham in BBC1’s PD James adapatation Death Comes to Pemberley, which kicks off on Boxing Day. Phew.

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel has moved from relative obscurity and found his spot in the limelight this year. From a moving turn as Louis Lester in BBC2’s 30s jazz series Dancing on the Edge to playing Solomon Northup, the lead in Steve McQueen’s pre-Civil War story, the 36-year-old’s star is on the rise. He’s just been nominated for two Golden Globes and if the rumours are to be believed, Oscar success is beckoning. Everyone will know (and be able to pronounce) his name by the beginning of 2014, you mark our words.

Jack Whitehall

What hasn’t Jack Whitehall been in this year? As well as playing JP in uni drama Fresh Meat, he’s starred in the second series of Bad Education, the BBC3 comedy he created and wrote with his school friend Freddy Syborn. And that’s not all. Oh no.

Him and his dad have also got a chatshow called Backchat. Plus he’s made regular appearances on A League of Their Own and appeared on Have I Got News For You, QI and The Graham Norton Show. And to top it all, he was named King of Comedy at the British Comedy Awards for the second year in a row. Atta boy.

Jessica Raine

We all know Jessica Raine as Jenny Lee, the sensible midwife in BBC1’s hit period drama Call the Midwife, but, as well as a hugely successful second series of the heart-warming drama, 2013 saw Raine leave the cobbled streets of Poplar behind and venture into pastures new. The British-born actress starred in a creepy episode of Doctor Who as well as playing Verity Lambert in Mark Gatiss’s An Adventure in Space and Time. We predict big things for her.

David Tennant

Former Doctor David Tennant pleased Whovians this year when he reprised his role as the stylishly dressed time lord in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode, starring alongside Matt Smith, John Hurt, Billie Piper and Jenna Coleman. But he’s done more than wave a sonic screwdriver around this year. Tennant’s been busy starring in hugely successful series Broadchurch, alongside another face of 2013 Olivia Colman, and tackling political drama in The Politician’s Husband and The Escape Artist.

Katherine Kelly

Ex-Corrie actress Katherine Kelly has been prolific in this year’s TV dramas, playing the glamorous Lady Mae in ITV’s Mr Selfridge, as well as taking leading roles in dark drama The Guilty and Glasgow-set newspaper series The Field of Blood. 2013 has seen the 34-year-old well and truly break out of her soap-star mould.

Idris Elba

As well as starring in big screen blockbusters Thor and Pacific Rim, this year has seen Idris Elba reprise his role as the troubled cop at the heart of Luther’s third – and incredibly creepy – series. Plus, the 41-year-old London-born actor has broken into the world of cinema with his first leading role. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which sees Elba transform himself into the late South African president, has already earned him one nomination for best actor at the Golden Globes. And there will definitely be more to follow…

Benedict Cumberbatch

It’s no secret that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is a bit of a big deal. He does a tiny weeny Chewbacca impression and suddenly he’s melted the internet. But this year the hit detective show that spawned his dedicated fan base hasn’t even been on the telly and he’s still been all over the place, especially in cinema-land. Cumberbatch has been in one flop, two blockbusters and two Oscar-contenders, playing the baddie in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, an angry dragon in The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug, Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate, William Ford in 12 Years a Slave and Charles Aiken in August: Osage County. It’s a good job we like him so much, really…

Jennifer Lawrence

At just 23 J-Law is working her way up to Hollywood royalty with impressive speed. The actress kicked off 2013 with a best actress win at the Oscars for her role in Silver Linings Playbook – plus that trip which made everyone love her a little bit more. She’s gone on to star in David O Russell’s new film American Hustle, which will likely see her nominated for an Academy Award again. And she’s the star of this year’s multi record breaking Hunger Games movie. She really is a girl on fire! (Cue groan…)

Matt Smith

2013 was the year Matt Smith announced he was hanging up his Timelord’s bow tie for good. The 31-year-old, who has played the keeper of the Tardis keys since 2010, revealed that he was moving on to galaxies new in the last Doctor Who episode of 2013.


As well as starring in a series of the beloved sci-fi series, and marking a momentous anniversary for the show in November, he’s been readying himself for moving on from his time-travelling adventures. Smith has already filmed Ryan Gosling’s How to Catch a Monster too, and is currently starring in the American Psycho in the West End.