The Years That Changed Britain Forever

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Let's head back to 199220190818

In this series, Richard looks back at the years which changed Britain forever. Politically, culturally, musically - and they're not necessarily the years you'd think they are. Welcome to 1992.

Ask most people to name the pivotal year of the Nineties, and most would answer 1997. That was the year Tony Blair won a landslide general election victory, ushering in 13 years of unbroken Labour rule.

But Richard traces the seeds of that victory back five years, to 1992. There was a general election that year, too. Labour was predicted to win but the Tories won by a landslide.

In September of that year, Britain crashed out of the ERM and interest rates sky rocketed in what would become known as Black Wednesday.

There was turmoil in the Royal household as the marriages of three of the Queen’s four children ended and Windsor Castle caught fire.

Meanwhile the music scene was undergoing a period of transition. The May Bank Holiday saw the last hurrah of the rave scene before it was driven underground. Brit Pop which would replace the rave scene was just beginning to stir in the shape of bands like Suede and Pulp.

With contributions from Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley, former editor of the Sun Kelvin MacKenzie, former leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage and Alan Johnson, former Labour MP, Health Secretary, Education Secretary and Home Secretary.

Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever. Welcome to 1992.

Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever.

Let's head back to 201320190901

In this series, writer and journalist Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain for ever. Politically, culturally, musically - and they're not necessarily the years you'd think they are…..

In the final episode, Richard jumps forward to 2013, which played a pivotal role in where Britain is today.

That was the year David Cameron promised he would hold a referendum on Britain leaving the European Union.

It was the year that Labour overhauled the way the party was funded, reducing the influence of the trades unions, who traditionally picked up the bills. This was to lead to hundreds of thousands of new members paying £3 a head - and eventually electing Jeremy Corbyn as leader two years later.

Margaret Thatcher died that year and trolling, which had come to pollute social media spilled out on to the streets.

The Tory government under David Cameron legalised same sex marriage

In 2013 everything changed musically too, not so much in style but in the way we consumed music. It was the year streaming overtook sales of recorded music.

With contributions from Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley; former leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage; Alan Johnson, former Labour MP, Health Secretary, Education Secretary and Home Secretary; James Kirkup, the Director of the Social Market Foundation and the former lobby journalist and Executive Political Editor for The Telegraph; and Jane Moore from ITV's Loose Women and columnist for the Sun.

Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever. Welcome to 2013

Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever.

01Let's Head Back To 197220190804

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

Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever.

02Let's Head Back To 197820190811

Over this series, journalist and writer 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.

Ask most people about the pivotal year in Britain in the 1970s which altered the course of history and they'll probably answer 1979 - the year that Mrs Thatcher was elected.

Richard argues that they're a year out - 1978 was the year that changed everything.

If things had turned out differently, it would have been the end of Margaret Thatcher, before she entered Downing Street. There would have been no privatisations in the early 80s,, no miners' strike, and Labour may well have pulled us out of Europe.

It was a landmark year, too, in the fight for racial equality. Against this backdrop rose Rock Against Racism, marshalling the power of music to fight discrimination at rallies in London and Manchester.

In 1978, punk was on its last legs, and a new wave was emerging from the wreckage; proper musicians who'd cut their teeth on the pub-rock circuit. Dire Straits, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, The Clash, Gerry Rafferty, The Jam and Elvis Costello provided a different kind of soundtrack to 1978.

The musical event of the year was the festival at Blackbushe Aerodrome, headlined by Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton and including the wonderful Joan Armatrading who shares her memories of that day with Richard.

Plus contributions from Alan Johnson, a former trades union leader, Labour MP, Health Secretary, Education Secretary and Home Secretary.

Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever. Welcome to 1978.

03Let's Head Back To 199220190818

In this series, Richard looks back at the years which changed Britain forever. Politically, culturally, musically - and they're not necessarily the years you'd think they are. Welcome to 1992.

Ask most people to name the pivotal year of the Nineties, and most would answer 1997. That was the year Tony Blair won a landslide general election victory, ushering in 13 years of unbroken Labour rule.

But Richard traces the seeds of that victory back five years, to 1992. There was a general election that year, too. Labour was predicted to win but the Tories won by a landslide.

In September of that year, Britain crashed out of the ERM and interest rates sky rocketed in what would become known as Black Wednesday.

There was turmoil in the Royal household as the marriages of three of the Queen’s four children ended and Windsor Castle caught fire.

Meanwhile the music scene was undergoing a period of transition. The May Bank Holiday saw the last hurrah of the rave scene before it was driven underground. Brit Pop which would replace the rave scene was just beginning to stir in the shape of bands like Suede and Pulp.

With contributions from Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley, former editor of the Sun Kelvin MacKenzie, former leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage and Alan Johnson, former Labour MP, Health Secretary, Education Secretary and Home Secretary.

Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever. Welcome to 1992.

04 LASTLet's Head Back To 201320190901

In this series, writer and journalist Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain for ever. Politically, culturally, musically - and they're not necessarily the years you'd think they are…..

In the final episode, Richard jumps forward to 2013, which played a pivotal role in where Britain is today.

That was the year David Cameron promised he would hold a referendum on Britain leaving the European Union.

It was the year that Labour overhauled the way the party was funded, reducing the influence of the trades unions, who traditionally picked up the bills. This was to lead to hundreds of thousands of new members paying £3 a head - and eventually electing Jeremy Corbyn as leader two years later.

Margaret Thatcher died that year and trolling, which had come to pollute social media spilled out on to the streets.

The Tory government under David Cameron legalised same sex marriage

In 2013 everything changed musically too, not so much in style but in the way we consumed music. It was the year streaming overtook sales of recorded music.

With contributions from Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley; former leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage; Alan Johnson, former Labour MP, Health Secretary, Education Secretary and Home Secretary; James Kirkup, the Director of the Social Market Foundation and the former lobby journalist and Executive Political Editor for The Telegraph; and Jane Moore from ITV's Loose Women and columnist for the Sun.

Richard Littlejohn looks back at the years which changed Britain forever. Welcome to 2013