Happy New Year to you all from everyone at The Leader Newspaper

I’m afraid we don’t quite enjoy the status of Facebook so your screen wont’ explode into a burst of colour as animated fireworks burst across your display but our thoughts and our wishes for 2017 are no less sincere.

As we all enter another New Year, and with another beginning it’s time to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017. With the new dawn, it’s also time to forget the past as we all start life afresh with new hopes, new aspirations and, hopefully, a great deal of new cheer so feliz año nuevo to you all from the team here at the Leader Newspaper.

Unfortunately we will move out of 2016 with everyone is asking the same question: Why have so many celebrities died, something that has really been hammered home in recent weeks.

If you believe in the divine mystical relationships between numbers and real world events, 2+0+1+6 adds up to the No. 9 which often means “letting go” “endings” or “completions.” In the Bible the number 9 symbolizes divine completeness or the meaning of finality.

Just a theory, but with the year figures totalling nine, there’s no doubt that a huge hole has been left in the entertainment realm from the passing of so many stars.

In sport, Britain’s elite have been rewarded in a New Year honours list in which Rio Olympic medallists Andy Murray and Mo Farah are made knights and Katherine Grainger and Jessica Ennis-Hill become dames while our royal year saw the Queen celebrate another milestone, when on 21 April, she turned 90-years-old.

The Duke of Edinburgh, meanwhile, celebrated his 95th birthday but in true deferential fashion expressed his wish that his birthday did not detract from the Queen’s weekend of celebrations.

2016 saw David Cameron fall on his sword following the UK decision to leave the EU back in June , his replacement being former Foreign Secretary Theresa May, while across the pond there was a wakeup call for many of the world’s politicians with the selection of Donald Trump to lead the western world.

Spain eventually got it’s government after 10 months of political impasse with Conservative Mariano Rajoy returning as PM after securing majority of parliament as the Socialist party abstained from the vote.

Finally, mercifully, 2016 draws to a close. On New Year’s Eve, a festive crowd gathers on the banks of the Thames, and millions more tune in on TV, to watch Big Ben mark the dawn of the new year.

This is one of the great traditions that connect the United Kingdom as a nation, and it serves to remind us that, although we disagree on many things, and wherever we live in the world, we are all part of the same big family.

Happy New Year, fellow Brits. It’s going to be exciting.