THE SINCLAIR SPECTRUM
- the first mainstream home computer in the UK to capture the public's imagination. Launched in 1982 Clive Sinclair's affordable range sold in excess of 5 million units worldwide and led to a boom in companies producing compatible software, in turn launching the UK IT industry. Sinclair earned himself a knighthood for services to British industry. Amstrad purchased the Spectrum range and "Sinclair" brand in 1986. The new machines retailed for under £150.00
- was a dual-venue concert in July 1985 organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated 2 billion viewers, across 60 countries, watched the live broadcast.
- was best known as the lead vocalist and a songwriter of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona during his live performances, which were often delivered to stadium audiences around the world. One of Mercury's most notable performances with Queen took place at Live Aid in 1985, during which the entire stadium audience of 72,000 people clapped, sang and swayed in unison. Queen's performance at the event has since been voted by a group of music executives as the greatest live performance in the history of rock music.
THE FALKLANDS WAR
- started in April 1982, with the Argentine invasion and occupation of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Britain launched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Argentine Air Force and retake the islands. A wave of patriotic sentiment swept through the country. Argentina's surrender in June bolstered the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. It helped Thatcher's government to victory in the 1983 general election, which prior to the war was seen as by no means certain.
For years the media had speculated as to who Prince Charles would choose as his Queen. As speculation intensified in 1980 many journalists and photographers turned their attention to 19-year old Lady Diana Spencer. Often photographed hiding her eyes behind her blonde fringe and blushing, the public took her to their hearts and when Charles and Diana married at St. Paul's Cathedral, the wedding was watched by a global TV audience of over 750 million people.
The winds which swept across southern Britain in October 1987 left the worst-hit areas totally devastated. Many parts of the country were cut off from power and 18 people lost their lives in winds which reached 100 mph. Famously, the night before, BBC weather forecaster Michael Fish had told viewers "earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way... well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't!". The term "Michael Fish effect" was coined where weather forecasters are inclined to predict "a worst-case scenario" - just in case.
After a six-week trial run on the regional ITV station Yorkshire Television, the Independent Broadcasting Authority considered breakfast television so important that it created an entire franchise for it, the only national ITV franchise except for news provider ITN. This franchise was awarded to TV-am, a breakfast-television station. However, delays to TV-am's launch meant that the BBC was able to launch its own programme, Breakfast Time, two weeks earlier in January 1983.
In May 1983 licences were granted to Cellnet and Vodafone to provide national cellular radio networks in the UK. The first mobile phones were large and cumbersome and not very cheap - the lease of a cellular phone was £164 per quarter and there was an installation charge of £100, making them affordable to a select few - mainly 'yuppies', a term that appeared in the 1980s to describe middle classes in their 20s or 30s with a disposable income, often working in the financial industry.
- is a character in the sitcom Only Fools and Horses played by David Jason. Del works as a market trader but has visions of grandeur, with a never-ending supply of get-rich-quick schemes and an inner belief that "this time next year" he'll be a millionaire. He became a stereotypical yuppie of the late 1980s, pretending to be a lot more financially successful than he really was, which fitted in well with his desire to climb the social ladder.
- are a British rock band formed in the early 1980s. Classified as New Romantic, Culture Club are associated with the Second British Invasion of new wave groups that became popular in the United States due to the cable music channel MTV. With lead singer Boy George's eccentric and androgynous look and long hair, the band's debut on Top of the Pops caused headlines such as "Wally of the week" and "Mr. (or is it Mrs.?) Weird." The tabloids and magazines plastered him all over their covers propelling George to international stardom.