From a man dressed as an owl to another with a birdcage on his head, the Great British Eccentric Awards were as colourful as ever. But with some surprising winners, is it time to update our definition of eccentric?

Despite its typically salubrious setting in Mayfair’s famous Saville Club, last week’s Greatest British Eccentric of the Year 2012 was an awards ceremony like no other.

Guests included both a man dressed as an owl and someone with a birdcage over their head, as well as the usual aged aristocrats that we traditionally associate with the curiously British notion of eccentricity.

The award winners, however, suggested that our view of what constitutes individuality and eccentricity has begun to change.

The recipient of the ‘Most Eccentric Inventor 2012’ was Sarah Angliss, a credible musician whose band Moondog play ethereal, idiosyncratic pop music akin to Kate Bush.

Admittedly her eccentricity-levels are raised somewhat by the fact that her band features robots that Angliss herself has built, but she still appears to be a thoroughly modern (and more practical) winner, particularly given that previous recipients include a man that dresses as a baked bean (Captain Beany, from the planet Beanus), and Lyndon Yorke, whose claim to fame was building the world’s first amphibious electric wickerwork bathchair.

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