Sarah Vine

Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday

“Britain feels like an absolute shambles, a basket case. Almost nothing works any more, and hasn’t for a while now.” On the day this howl of frustration appeared, Sarah Vine received an email every 10 seconds, and her column was shared 3,500 times on MailOnline alone. Her criticism of London mayor Sadiq Khan and public sector workers are determinedly on her readers’ wavelength.

Her columns are thought-provoking and often brutally personal. “I loathe … my body. It is a source of shame and embarrassment to me,” she admitted in one. She extrapolated the personal to the general in her discussion of Britons’ vexed relationship with their bodies, and the impact on mental health, confidence and success. For her, controversially, help came in the form of the weight-loss drug Wegovy: “Many will see it as a cop-out: I see it as a life-saver.”

Perhaps the bravest column, written after the Hamas attack on Israel, exhorted Britain to wake up to the threat of extremism. “Don’t ever think it can’t happen to you,” she warned. Vine’s columns, which “often trigger political and social debate,” are “a masterclass in writing tabloid columns,” concluded the judges.