There's a delightful little paragraph in Chris Mullin's diary, which has set me thinking...

David Puttnam's final outing as chancellor of the university. A delightful man. One of that small band of life enhancers of my acquaintance (others include Liz Forgan and Charles Baker Cresswell). Merely to spend company is to come away refreshed.

So, who, to follow Chris Mullin's example, are people I know who I would describe as 'life enhancers'? I have quite a few friends I would describe in that way. Neil Brennan used to be a web journalist at LBC and has since moved onto the BBC. He's certainly someone who would always cheer up my day. It's almost as if after meeting him he'd given you an injection of positivity. 

Here are ten people in the public eye who, I think, meet the criteria. They're all very different, but whenever you come into contact with them you feel better about life.  I imagine that just like the rest of us they all have periods when they feel down about life, but they never show it. If only we could all be like them and appear so positive and optimistic!

I've often wondered if optimistic people with seemingly permanent sunny dispositions, sometimes experience dark moods where they enter really deep sloughs of despond. I suppose it's what Churchill used to refer to as the 'black dog'. Surely people can't be radiant all the time.

These are all people who have few if any enemies, have hearts of gold, are generous to others and who I'd be happily stuck on a desert island with.

Now think who you would describe in the same way...


TV presenter, Ben Shephard

Ben Shephard

Sky News presenter, Anna Botting

Anna Botting

Historian, Professor Peter Hennessy

Peter hennessy

Historian, Dame Mary Beard

Mary Beard

All round good egg, Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth Iain

Broadcaster, Lorraine Kelly

Lorraine Kelly

Sunday Times Journalist, Grant Tucker

Grant Tucker

Broadcaster, Lorna Dunkley

Lorna Dunkley

Novelist, Amanda Prowse

Amanda Prowse

Newsnight presenter, Emily Maitlis

Emily Maitlis