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What Happened In The UK In 1990?

1990 was an action-packed year in the UK, in which events took place that changed the face of the country. Breaking down the year into major political, sports and entertainment news; Here is what happened…

First, it was the year the literal breakthrough was made in the Channel Tunnel; construction workers drilling through the last slice of rock that separated the British and French halves of the project. Television footage showed the workers celebrating as they came face to face in the middle of the tunnel before marching to have their passports stamped in the opposite country (the first time someone had walked between the two countries since the ice Age !).

Politically, the ruling Conservative Party has had a less than ideal year. Protests against the poll tax they had previously put in place led to the worst riots seen in London for a century; with more than 100 people injured and nearly 350 arrested. Their longtime figurehead, Margaret Thatcher, took the fall for this, among other things, and resigned as Prime Minister, to be replaced by John Major.

In sporting terms, 1990 is best known for the Italia ’90 soccer world cup. Coming into the tournament surrounded by controversy and having already announced he would be leaving afterwards, Bobby Robson 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’ (especially Pavarotti) who became big world stars thanks to their singing performances throughout the tournament.

Other 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 catchphrase “Eat My Shorts”. Also coming from the United States, Baywatch by David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. As lifeguards in Los Angeles, they ran without a lot of clothes and saved lives. everyone was happy and the show was a great success.

The biggest movie of 1990 was “Home Alone” which made the little boy (Macaulay Culkin) a star who woke up to find his Christmas wish had come true and his family was missing. Also that year, “Pretty Woman”, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, involved a romance between a street worker and a wealthy, high-flying businessman.

Musically, “Hanging Tough” by boy band “New Kids on the Block” was the first of 17 singles to top the charts throughout the year; whose biggest sale was ‘The Righteous Brothers’ recording of ‘Unchained Melody’ (which featured in the movie ‘Ghost’). Madonna scored her 7th number one single with ‘Vogue’ and topped the album chart for 9 weeks (selling 3.6 million copies) with her biggest hit ‘The Immaculate Collection’. 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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