Heigl, Timberlake and the Beckhams make the TV host's Top 10


Thursday night, for the 15th time in as many years, Barbara Walters revealed the picks for her annual list of 10 Most Fascinating People.

It was a roster that left celeb hounds chomping at the bit.

In an interview earlier this week, the 78-year-old TV journalism pioneer admitted that she is tired of celebrity interviews and was “not going after the tabloid stuff” when it came to handpicking her much-publicized list.

But, if Britney, Lindsay and Paris aren’t “fascinating,” who is?

“We wanted people who accomplished something in the last year,” said Walters. “People who made a difference.”

And that would be “First Man” hopeful Bill Clinton, infamous Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and disgraced (yet-back-in-the-saddle) radio host Don Imus, who each sat down with Walters for a little quality time.

Also in the mix: MySpace brain trusts Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe who gave a deer-in-the-headlights Walters a crash-course in online social networking.

Spoiler Alert: Top Pick

And, the envelope please: the notoriously press shy J.K. Rowling who, despite having received the night’s top honor, was feted solely by archive footage.

“No one suspected that out of the ordinary stuff of childhood, she would create a fantasy world that would captivate everybody” began Walters’ voiceover during a “life of” montage of the best-selling Harry Potter author.

The others on the list were slightly less highbrow because, despite having grown weary of tabloid fixtures, Walters remains a shrewd television producer and didn’t overlook them all.

L.A.’s newest “it” couple, Victoria and David Beckham bantered for a bit, as did award-winning Cinderella story-actresses Jennifer Hudson and Katherine Heigl.

Oh, and there was even front-page-fodder boy, in the form of Justin Timberlake.

“He’s bringing sexy back,” deadpanned Walters, “and I for one couldn’t be happier.”