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What Happened In The UK In 1990?
1990 was an eventful year in the UK, with events that changed the face of the country. Breaking down the year into the biggest political, sports and entertainment news stories; here’s what happened…
First, it was the year that a literal breakthrough was made in the Channel Tunnel; construction workers drill through the last piece of rock that separated the British and French halves of the project. Television images showed the workers celebrating as they came face to face in the middle of the tunnel before walking on to have their passports stamped in the opposite country (the first time anyone had passed between the two countries since the Ice Age!).
Politically, the ruling Conservative Party endured a far from ideal year. Demonstrations against the poll tax they had previously imposed led to the worst riots seen in London in a century; more than 100 people were injured and nearly 350 arrested. Among other reasons, their longtime figure Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister to be replaced by John Major.
In terms of sports, 1990 is best remembered for the Italia ’90 FIFA World Cup. Bobby Robson, who went into the tournament surrounded by controversy and had already announced his retirement after it, led England to the semi-finals of the competition, where they lost on penalties to eventual World Cup winners West Germany. However, perhaps the biggest winners were the ‘Three Tenors’ (specifically Pavarotti), who became major world stars thanks to their singing performances during the tournament.
The next stars to arrive in 1990, this time from America, came in the form of the yellow-skinned “Simpsons”. By the end of the year, everyone knew Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa, and Maggie and the “Eat My Shorts” catchphrase. David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson’s ‘Baywatch’ also arrived from the States. As lifeguards in Los Angeles, they ran around in scantily clad clothes and saved several lives; everyone was happy and the show was a great success.
The biggest movie of 1990 was Home Alone, which starred a little boy (Macaulay Culkin) who wakes up to find that his Christmas wish has come true and that his family has disappeared. That year also saw the release of ‘Pretty Woman’ starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, which involved a love affair between a working street girl and a wealthy high-level businessman.
Musically, boy group New Kids on the Block’s “Hanging Tough” was the first of 17 chart-topping singles over the course of the year; the best selling of these was “The Righteous Brothers” recording called “Unchained Melody” (which was featured in the movie ‘Ghost’). Madonna reached number seven with the number one single ‘Vogue’ and held the top spot for 9 weeks (selling 3.6 million copies) with her biggest hit ‘The Immaculate Collection’. The Christmas number one went to Cliff Richard and his single ‘Saviour’s Day’, making him the only person to have a number one in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
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