1982 began with the news that unemployment was continuing to go up and up. Meanwhile, lacking a (not-yet-invented!) sat nav, Mark Thatcher went AWOL during the Paris-Dakar rally. In the world of business both Laker Airways and De Lorean cars went bust – both of which had been fronted by high profile entrepreneurs and were at one time thought to be recession-proof. In London, the Queen formally opened The Barbican Centre in March – a vast concrete labyrinth reminiscent of the equally bland, concrete and angular South Bank Centre on the other side of town.
However, the biggest news story in 1982 was undoubtedly the Falklands War (or the war for the Malvinas, if you’re from the Argentinian side). Britain and Argentina went to war after the Argentine military had invaded and occupied the island. The war began on 2nd April 1982 and continued until 14th June when British troops reoccupied the island. The war dominated – and divided – the nation’s mindset. The Press was especially polarised. The highly jingoistic The Sun newspaper produced its infamous ‘Gotcha!’ headline while the Daily Mirror was one of the only domestic newspapers to largely oppose the war.
In the same month that the Falklands War ended, a football World Cup was held in Spain – dubbed Espana 82. England, managed by Ron Greenwood and featuring players including Glenn Hoddle, Ray Clemence and Ray Wilkins, went out in the second round despite not actually losing a single match. The final was won by Italy who comprehensively beat West Germany 3-1 in the final. Also in June, Prince William – who married earlier this year – was born.
In the world of music the New Romantics were starting to make their presence felt in the charts – with albums from ABC, Spandau Ballet, Human League and Gary Numan dominating. That really was not my cup of tea. Instead I bought the following three albums that year: Combat Rock by The Clash, Pornography by The Cure and Billy Idol’s eponymous solo LP. I also went to see The Cure on tour at Victoria Apollo and still vaguely recall the rather odd and arty films they used as a backdrop to the music during that gig.
The biggest album release of the year, however, was undoubtedly Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It rapidly became the world’s biggest selling LP of all time – and quite possibly still is. The following year (see next blog!) the unforgettable accompanying video was released.
In terms of quality, 1982 was yet another poor year for Hollywood – although not quite as bad as 1981 had been as a few vaguely watchable movies were released. The box office was dominated by ET – closely followed by An Officer And A Gentleman and Poltergeist. The more cerebral cinema-goer was treated to Ghandi and Sophie’s Choice.
The UK’s telly screens in 1982 saw the first ever episodes of the classic farce of World War Two themed sitcom Allo Allo and the Python-inspired satire of The Comic Strip Presents.
One other memorable event from 1982 was the release by Ford of the Ford Sierra to replace the ubiquitous Ford Cortina. At first deeply unpopular and derided as a ‘jelly mould car’, the Sierra soon became one of the most common sights on British roads (in the way that Fords always do).
Right then, here’s a pic of yours truly in 1982. (This was the year I dyed my naturally red hair dark brown to avoid being spotted in crowds!) See you all in 1983 on the next blog post.