Ransom Note’s Best Of 2021

7 Minute Read
Art & Culture

It’s the return of our nonsense list of nonsense – fresh for 2021.

Illicit moments in the copy room, dodgy dance moves from men in suits and toxic Jackie gossiping in the corner. Nope, we’re not describing your office Christmas party. These were some of 2021’s best moments.

20*0 (the year that shall not be named) didn’t exactly set the bar high, but this year gave it a good go at following suit. After a few necessarily dismal months, we saw the reopening of clubs in July. Even this was bitter sweet: the threat of plain-clothes coppers; decoy pills and excruciating footage of flagrant ministers. It’s been up to TrainTok, supermarket wars and abnormally-sized modes of transport to keep us moving towards the light at the end of the tunnel.


In this spirit, we’ve compiled a list of 2021’s best moments, after last year failed to warrant one: some silly, others more earnest.

Shout out to everyone who somehow managed to make sense of 2021, to the artists who produced the content that kept us going even when the g*overnment made it near-impossible; and to those who weren’t so fortunate. And, as always, thank you to those who took a minute to give a damn about what we do here at Ransom Note.

So in no particular order, here are 2021’s best (and we use that word lightly) moments.

Francis Bourgeois

2020’s Train Guy was Bob Mortimer, and so 2021’s accolade was well and truly passed to locomotive enthusiast Francis Bourgeois. From some of the most endorphins inducing internet videos about Tones and Dick Mabutt, to starring in an advert with Thierry Henry and turning on the Shoreditch Christmas lights. Some called him fake, some called him KSI for Crack Magazine readers, but some, like I, just genuinely couldn’t get enough spotting content.


Another Burial photo

We must have been extra good this year, enough to warrant an early Christmas present in the shape of a divine portrait. Deck the halls with chemz and dolphinz.


RP Boo on tour

In October, RP Boo took his Twitter followers to Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, The Gherkin, Sheffield Town Hall and Nandos via some of this year’s most epic selfies. We even got a video tour of his Krakow hotel room. Ridiculously wholesome. 



New series of Stath Lets Flats

Oh my crump man! An dreadfully new series. The M&E Lettings posse returned with all the fun of the fair in the third season of the best sitcom ever made (not Ransom Note’s official stance but Annie is happy to be challenged by anyone who disagrees). Live, Love, Lets. <3


Gurning Gove

Secretary of Bait, Micheal Gove in an Aberdeen nightclub… well, we don’t really know what it is he’s doing. Seriously though, does anyone have an ID for the first tune?



Yung Singh’s Boiler Room (August)

‘How the fuck do I intro this guy?’ begins the host of Yung Singh’s Boiler Room. It’s a fair question. The influence the Midlands-born DJ and producer has had on 2021’s underground music circuit is immeasurable. When he represented Daytimers at Boiler Room London this year it became obvious to the many what the UK’s South Asian diaspora heads had recognised for years. If you don’t know what we mean…



Jackie Weaver

In February, the nation’s attention was grasped by a video of the now infamous Handforth Council meeting. The historic moment when Jackie Weaver’s authority came into question.



Scratcha gets a slot on Soup to Nuts

Finally Scratcha became one of the NTS weirdos he tweets about. A 2021 reincarnation of The Grimey Breakfast Show. With deep dives and unshazamables Fridays 11AM-1PM have never been less productive for the WFH Friday Gang.



Colin vs Cuthbert

2021’s most scandalous court case. Earlier this year M&S decided to lodge a high court claim against Aldi for breaching intellectual property rights with their Cuthbert Caterpillar cake. Poor old Colin… But it seems they forgot to lodge complaints against Charlie, Cecil, Morris, Wiggles, Curly and Clyde too. In response Aldi took to Twitter in Cuthbert’s defense and laid into M&S to rapturous applause #FreeCuthbert



Tiny football car

You don’t know how special you are, tiny football car. Thank you for your unwavering dedication to the beautiful game; your gentle presence – majestic but unassuming; your commitment to social justice. We never asked for you, we will never fully understand you, but we cannot imagine life without you. 


Bones or no bones 

Everyday Jonathan Graz’s 13-year-old pug, Noodle, determines whether it’s a ‘bones’ or ‘no bones’ day by either harnessing his structural integrity or submitting to gravity’s force. 2021 was a resoundingly NO BONES year.

@jongrazthere is no room for doubt in today’s reading 🔮🦴🔮 ##noodletok ##bonesday ##nobones♬ original sound – Jonathan


Toby from Love Island manifesting his own shoe size

Love Island’s Toby shocked his fellow islanders and the viewers at home when he claimed you could ‘manifest’ your shoe size. Deadpan and straight faced, he shared his idea that foot measurement comes down to psychological state: “I got to a size 10, and said ‘I wanna be a size eight, I wanna be a size nine’ and my feet shrunk.”



Black Artist Database

The Black Bandcamp project went from spreadsheet to website last year. And in 2021 had a full rebrand, addition of a creative database, a series of online and in-person events. Niks, Kay & the team have created an incredible platform for Black artists.


Emma Raducanu bringing it home

Our Golden Gal, Raducanu, made history as Britain’s first female Grand Slam champion since 1977. Grazes and all, the 18-year-old took home the trophy for the US Open Final this September.


Anz ft George Riley – It Could Be

An Instant classic as Anz debuts on Ninja Tune with her EP All Hours. eschewing the more dancefloor oriented directions of her previous releases for an EP full of joyful cuts, this one the highlight and with a snazzy little video to boot.



Britney is free

Everyone’s favourite popstar-cum-internet-dancer showed she’s a Slave 4 no-one as her 13-year-long conservatorship finally came to an end in November. Fear not, her freedom does not come at the cost of the monochrome aphorism graphics or whiplash dance routines. Keeping our eyes peeled for the pictures of her and Cher eating ice creams in South France <3



Mrs Grealish 69

Aside from the English team’s incredible skill and performance throughout the Euros, there was another reason some viewers out there couldn’t keep their eyes off the England fixtures. Wonderboy Jack Grealish captured the hearts of many with his floppy locks and sculpted calves, so much so that he had to move house when some female admirers tracked down his home address.


Munya Chawawa

With some mad-fast editing skills, Munya Chawawa produced some 2021 Twitter classics… He also seems to have found success outside of Twitter, hosting the MOBOs and a string of sponsorships. Well deserved!



Matt Hancock

‘Current affairs’ feels like an apt sub-header. Many of us were left suitably angered and confused when details were revealed that our former Health Secretary Matt Hancock had been having it off with his married aide. A smack in the face for those of us who couldn’t even lock down one love interest, let alone two…


The One Glove Show – NTS

The dulcet tones from the third most famous Macca to come out of Liverpool, this NTS host has grown into his own, taking over the coveted Saturday morning slot to ease you out of your hangover and into the weekend. One Glove.


Scotland fans descends on London

Tanked up on 20 cans of strongbow. Flashing your tackle doing a worm on the tube. Hoofing bumps on top of bins. Naked dips in the Serpentine River in Hyde Park. Flares up people’s bums. Scotland’s Euros visit won’t be forgotten in a hurry…


Facebook Outage

Is the world ending? Are we still alive? We all questioned our existence and our severe addictions to social media when Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all went down for seven hours… Yes, SEVEN entire hours. Looking back, it’s a wonder we’re all still here to tell the tale.


Eyal Booker reacting to Sky drama, Chernobyl

Commanding, emotive, concise. With a review like this, it’s a wonder season 4 Love Island contestant, Eyal Booker, doesn’t already have a Guardian column. #mindblown


Big boat in canal

There’s only one thing that can come between an Egyptian canal and US$9.6 billion worth of trade. As we found out in March, that thing happens to be 400 metres long and weigh 200,000 tonnes.


Jumping for joy

After being locked in first place for a few hours, Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar agreed to share the Gold medal for men’s high jump in the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo. More content like this please.



Sinjin Hawke and DJ Lag collab

A link-up made in heaven. LONG LIVE SLAG.