Let's Head Back To 1972

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Over the next four programmes, writer and journalist Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever – politically, culturally, musically – and they’re not necessarily the years you’d think they are.

With contributions from lesbian feminist and civil rights and equalities campaigner Linda Bellos and Alan Johnson- a former trades union leader, Labour MP, Health Secretary, Education Secretary and Home Secretary , who was a young postman in 1972.

Richard begins in 1972, a year of upheaval, whose consequences are still reverberating today. Britain was seen as the sick man of Europe, economically stagnant, convulsed by strikes and mounting violence in Northern Ireland.

Britain joined the Common Market and the NUM staged a seven week strike over pay, culminating in the Battle of Saltley Gate, which brought an obscure regional union official called Arthur Scargill to national prominence.

July of that year saw the first ever Gay Pride March in London. It was a small step towards gay equality, a campaign which would culminate in a future Conservative government legalising same-sex marriage five decades later.

And the music was great – Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Roxy Music, Elton John, David Bowie, T-Rex and Slade ‘Mama We’re All Crazy Now.’

Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever - welcome to 1972