It's not just Farage: Here are 5 controversial past nominees and winners of Time's person of the year

Nigel Farage has been named on the shortlist for Time magazine's person of the year, along with other controversial figures such as Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian president Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump.

The thing is, the list isn't supposed to be a popularity contest. An article on Time's website explaining the person of the year selection process explains the choice will be "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year."

Nigel Farage
(Stefan Roussea/PA)

That means if populism is rising, you should expect to see populist figures in the shortlist, whether for good or bad.

Let's take a look at other figures deemed to have most affected the news or our lives since 1927, when the annual accolade began.

Winner 1938: Adolf Hitler


Austrian-born Adolf Hitler led the Nazi party to victory in Germany's 1932 elections. After consolidating his position as Fuhrer by passing the Enabling Act, he was able to pass laws without the consent of the German parliament.

Hitler waged war across Europe between 1939 and 1945 while implementing a policy of internment and mass murder of millions of Jewish people.

Winner 1971: Richard Nixon


The 37th president of the United States, Richard Nixon pulled troops out of Vietnam and improved relations with the Soviet Union and China. However, he later became the only president to resign from office, following a scandal which rocked America.

The Watergate scandal began after a break-in at the Democratic National Committee offices during the 1972 election. The break-in was traced back to the Committee To Re-elect The President. Nixon denied involvement, but was found to have tape recordings showing that he had tried to divert away from the investigation.

Winner 1979: Ayatollah Khomeini

(Johnny Green/PA)
Ayatollah Khomeini depicted on a poster (Johnny Green/PA)

Ayatollah Khomeini ruled Iran between 1979 and 1989 following an uprising against the Western-leaning Shah of Iran. He established a theocratic Islamic state, took Iran into an eight-year war with Iraq and issued a fatwa on novelist Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses.

Winner 2007: Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin
(Mikhail Klimentyev/AP)

A former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin was Russia's president between 2000 to 2008, then taking on the role of prime minister, only to return to the presidency in 2012 - a role he currently holds.

A controversial figure on the world stage, his relationship with the US has become increasingly strained (a situation exacerbated by Russia granting asylum to whistelblower Edward Snowden). Putin has also garnered criticism for his anti-gay laws, the invasion of the Crimea shortly after the 2014 Winter Olympics and current airstrikes on Syria.

Nominee 2013: Bashar Assad

Bashar Al-Assad (Vahid Salemi/AP)
(Vahid Salemi/AP)

After inheriting power from his father Hafez Assad in 2000, Syrian president Bashar Assad began his time in government by releasing political prisoners from his father's regime and talking freely of liberal reform.

However, this openness was opposed by the army and his Baath party and he soon began to revert to the old order. In 2011 the Arab Spring led to an anti-regime uprising, spiralling into a civil war that still rages today, as Assad refused to relinquish power.

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