Well, folks, it’s been a crazy year.  It’s had stratospheric highs and Mariana Trench lows.  This year has brought us Brexit, Trump, a worsening war on the poor and genocide in Syria.  We have also lost many great people and artists along the way, including my lovely aunt, Susan.  Many of the greats who inspired me have gone – David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Leonard Cohen, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder and many, many more.  They all touched my life and helped inspire me in my writing and acting and life in general.  For all these reasons (and more) it has been a devastatingly sad year.  And yet, 2016 has also been my most successful year to date in acting – speaking parts in three big budget feature films, a revival of my role in the CBBC series, Wolfblood and many other fantastic indie projects.  On top of a busy filming schedule, I also released my sixth novel, No Chance In Hell.  So, a mixed bag of a year to be sure with tears of sadness and of joy.

So, what’s in store for us in 2017?  I genuinely worry about our future.  Racial, religious and class intolerance is once again on the rise, fuelled by a media that is unchecked, completely out of control and lacking any moral compass.  This has led to increased division, distrust and anger.  Instead of doing everything in our power to help refuges fleeing genocide in Syria we have demanded to know their ages first.  It’s utterly appalling.  With Brexit and Trump, I only see these tensions and divisions rising.

I worry also for my family – ill health, problems and stresses abound, but I won’t go into any details.

On a positive note, I have several film projects coming up in the New Year, so my acting career continues to flourish, and for that I am eternally grateful.

I will end with this: I worry for my family, friends, the UK and the human race at large, but I will also hope for the best – for more tolerance and love in this world.  I will do my best to help wherever I can and I urge everyone – EVERYONE – to do the same.  If we all just do our best and help out in some small way we can make this world a better place.  And, my God, I’ve just realised that I’m paraphrasing the feel-good climax of Scrooged!  Bill Murray’s genius aside, we can all do our bit, whether it’s giving a few quid to charity, offering an elderly neighbour a seat at your table on Christmas Day, buying a homeless person a hot meal or taking a seat next to that person on the train who is being verbally abused.  A billion small gestures can change the world.

I wish you all a Christmas and New Year filled with hope, love and joy.