The Year You Were Born – 1987

Bach’s Air on a G String was calming the nerves in 1987 with a little bit of help from Hamlet cigars, as the Nescafe Gold Blend couple tried to resist one another over a cup of steaming coffee.

The Nescafe Gold Blend couple starred in another series of award-winning advertising this year. The ‘yuppie’ duo were neighbours who couldn’t resist popping next door to borrow one another’s Gold Blend coffee, a premium spinoff of Nescafe. The storyline featured across a series of 12 different ads all starring Anthony Stewart Head (who has since appeared in Buffy) and Sharon Maughan.

The will they, won’t they storyline reached a climax in 1987, with The Sun newspaper splashing a picture of the couple kissing on its front page, taken from the final ad. Over 30 million people tuned in to watch the kiss, making it one of the most widely watched events in British TV history.

As Hamlet’s actor Gregor Fisher, who also played Rab C Nesbitt, arranged tendrils of hair over his balding head in a photo booth, he was continually snapped off guard.

Eventually he lights a cigar to calm his fraught nerves, “Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet.” TV cigar advertising wasn’t banned until 1991, but the award-winning Hamlet Photo Booth was an early swan song.

Finally, in an attempt to capitalise on the huge popularity of the Rubik’s Cube, a new mathematical puzzle launched called Rubik’s Magic, but failed to create the same interest.

Books: Ian McEwan writes The Child in Time; Tom Wolfe writes The Bonfire of the Vanities

Events: Stock market crash; Kings Cross Station fire; Zeebrugge ferry disaster

Films: Withnail&I; Fatal Attraction; Dirty Dancing

Music: Rick Astley sings “Never Going to Give You Up”

Events

2nd January - Golliwogs are banned from Enid Blyton books by their publisher and replaced by politically correct gnomes following complaints that golliwogs were offensive to black people.

3rd March - National Health Service prescription charges rise from £2.20 to £2.40.

6th March - British ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes while leaving the harbour of Zeebrugge, Belgium, killing 193 on board.

16th May - Coventry City win the FA Cup for the first time in their history with a 3–2 win in the final over Tottenham Hotspur (who had already appeared in seven FA Cup finals before, but won each one).

11th June  - The 1987 General Election sees Margaret Thatcher secure her third term in office. However, her majority is reduced to 102 compared to the 144 seat majority gained at the election four years ago.

30th June - Peter Beardsley, the 26-year-old England striker, becomes the most expensive player transferred between British clubs when he completes a £1.9 million move from Newcastle United to Liverpool.

October - Construction work begins on the extension to the M40 motorway between Oxford and Birmingham.

1st October - Swedish home product retailer IKEA opens its first British store at Warrington in Cheshire.

11th October - £1 million pound Operation Deepscan in Loch Ness fails to locate the legendary Loch Ness Monster.

15th – 16th October - Great Storm: Hurricane force winds batter much of south-east England, killing 23 people and causing extensive damage to property.

23rd October - Retired English jockey Lester Piggott is jailed for 3 years after being convicted of tax evasion.

Late November - The first Acid House raves are reported in the United Kingdom, many of them being in derelict houses.

Births

11th April – Joss Stone, musician.

15th May – Andew Murray, Scottish tennis player.

Deaths

2nd February – Alistair MacLean, writer (heart attack) ( born 1922)

28th March – Patrick Troughton, Actor (born 1920)

6th June – Fulton Mackay, actor (born 1922)

Facts

Average House Price – £44,040

Price of a litre of petrol – £0.41

Yearly Inflation Rate – 4.2%

Most Popular Films – Full Metal Jacket, Predator, Dirty Dancing & Spaceballs

Most Popular Singles – Never Gonna Give You Up (Rick Astley), Nothing’s gonna stop us now (Starship), I wanna dance with somebody (Whitney Houston)

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