‘I created an international school for Santas’

‘What makes a great Santa isn’t his “Ho Ho Ho” or the cost of his outfit,’ says Tim Connaghan

‘I was a dog-walking anarchist’

‘I’d warn clients when there was a chance I’d get arrested on a demo,’ says Joshua Stephens

‘I’m the last in a 200-year line of gardeners’

Martin Gee’s family has worked on the grounds at Weston Park in Staffordshire since 1803

‘My uni team got to play in the Europa League’

‘Ireland’s football teams were granted an extra place in this year’s league as a reward for having an excellent fair-play record,’ says Niall Corbet

Janette Collins: “With these dolls you don’t have to preach at the kids. They find out themselves”
©Max Ferguson

‘I use baby dolls as a teen pregnancy deterrent’

‘With these dolls you don’t have to preach at the kids. They find out themselves,’ says Janette Collins

‘I make myself disappear in my art’

‘I disappear so that more people realise the problems we face. I always have this feeling of salvation as I disappear,’ says Liu Bolin

‘I was a cold war people smuggler’

Volker Heinz helped East Germans escape to the west

‘I use music to change how food tastes’

Janice Wang’s experiments test the relationship between sounds and people’s perception of food

‘I skied down a near-vertical drop’

Freeskier Cody Townsend’s run down ‘The Crack’ changed his life

Jody Clark with one of his early sketches. He wanted the Queen to have a “more positive look”
©James Arthur Allen

‘I designed the Queen’s fifth coin portrait’

Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark created a ‘more positive look’ with a warm expression

‘I build modernist sandcastles’

Calvin Seibert first got the bug for building castles from sand piles on construction sites

‘I’m in a wheelchair and I’m a prison guard’

Markus Häusling is in training for next year’s Paralympics

‘I champion ugly animals’

Biologist and writer Simon Watt founded the Ugly Animal Preservation Society

‘I put up plaques for victims of Soviet repression’

Activist Sergei Parkhomenko says the objective is to bring people together

‘I’m a fake-wine detective’

Michael Egan says he looks for different visual clues as tasting is highly subjective

‘I’m training a supercomputer to be a fashionista’

Eddie Bell’s job is to teach a computer to recognise visual images and sort out colour descriptions

‘We had America’s first gay marriage — in 1971’

Jack Baker had to change his name and be adopted by his partner in order to be able to marry him

‘I set up Riyadh’s first female-owned clothes boutique’

Zakia al Moammar says it used to be much harder for a woman in Saudi Arabia, but not any more

‘I opened my first restaurant three months after a war ended’

Launching a restaurant in Ivory Coast’s biggest city Abidjan so soon after the conflict, ‘people looked at us like we were crazy’, says Christelle Vougo

‘Boxing saved me from a life of crime’

Giuseppe Leto grew up on the streets of Palermo in the 1970s when the mafia ruled the city

Enter job search