31 May 2005

1982 - Falklands, Gotta Lotta Bottle, ZX Spectrum, ET, Dynasty On The Beeb, Pixie Boots, Fame, Deelyboppers, Pac-Man, legwarmers and lycra leggings

If 1987 was a posh cocktail at a trendy wine bar, 1982 was a pint and a packet of cheese and onion at The Laughing Donkey. Probably wearing deelybobbers - aka deelyboppers aka bonce boppers. The name ("deely-bobbers" - according to 20th Century Words by John Ayto) was registered in the USA in 1982, with claim of usage since 1981. Previously it had been applied to a children's toy - a type of interconnecting building block.

1980s deelybobbers were glitter-covered polystyrene baubles, on springs, attached to a headband. They were daft but fun and highly popular after their arrival here in the second half of 1982, and throughout 1983.

In this country, I seem to recall them being referred to as "deelyboppers" not "bobbers" back then.
And many other names!

I personally favoured "deelyboppers" but, whatever they were called, I thought they were brilliant. More here

The Falklands War raged and Mrs Thatcher briefly lost son Mark in the desert.

Erika Roe streaked at Twickenham.

The Queen awoke to find an intruder in her bedroom at Buckingham Palace.
Michael Fagan sat chatting to her. When he asked her for a fag, she managed to summon help.

Princess Anne told press photographers to "NAFF ORF!" - more here.

The Fame TV series, based on the 1980 film, began on the BBC, and legwarmers, Fame tank tops and sweat shirts were hot.

Grandmaster Flash gave us the brilliant The Message and the Hip Hop scene was on the way.

Jeffrey Daniel of Shalamar introduced us to body popping on Top of the Pops. More here.

England, too, produced quality pop. How about Orville's Song, for starters? Or Toto Coelo's I Eat Cannibals? No? Suit yourself.

Pac-Man, invented back in 1980, was the big WOW at our amusement arcades in 1982.

"Nice Cold Ice Cold Milk!" - the fabulous "Gotta Lotta Bottle" milk ads began. More here.

Trevor Beattie came up with one of the most fondly remembered TV ads of the 1980s - Bixie, Dunk, Brian, Crunch and Brains - the Weetabix - "OK?!" More here.
Black lycra leggings, ending around the knee, were coming into fashion. Lovely when worn under a rah rah skirt. Pixie boots were a must-have. Boys loved sta prest drainpipes and white socks and the donkey jacket was rampant. The donkey jacket was adopted by girls too, and a trend began for having their names printed on the plastic panel at the back.

As large numbers of girls took up that formerly male fashion, the donkey jacket, boys were less enthusiastic about pixie boots and legwarmers!

My mate Pete was one of the few blokes I knew who wore legwarmers. "Ah," he says, when I remind him of that fact, "But they were always white ones. They had to be white."

What has that got to do with it?!

Pete also wore pixie boots.

"They were cowboy boots!" he now insists. Yeah, right, mate...

The fitness fad was on with the release of the F-Plan Diet and the Jane Fonda Workout video. Sadly, the price of video machines, even to rent, was still prohibitive to many.

The term "Sloane Ranger" had been coined in the mid-1970s, and the publication of The Sloane Ranger's Handbook - The First Guide To What Really Matters In Life by Ann Barr and Peter York in 1982 aroused great interest in the "Ok, yah," brigade.

ET was the darling of the flicks and boosted sales of BMX bikes no end. We were all going around saying "ET phone home" for months, too.

CB radio continued to thrill, inspiring a storyline in Coronation Street that could have been entitled "When Eddie ("Slim Jim") met Marion ("Stardust Lil")" and a storyline in Terry and June that could have been entitled "When Terry got Trapped in the Back of a Lorry in His Car".

The wonderfully anarchic and surreal The Young Ones gave TV comedy a boot up the bottom.

Dynasty was first shown on the BBC on the 1st of May, but Alexis did not appear until the final episode of the first series, a veiled figure in a courtroom scene. In the second series, she was revealed to be our very own Joan Collins (American soap producers seemed to think that a posh English accent gave class to their shows).

Alexis would soon become an 80s legend, but let's not forget the others - Fallon, Pamela Sue Martin, previously the wholesome Nancy Drew; Blake, played by John Forsythe (we couldn't wait to see what Charlie from Charlie's Angels looked like!) and the lovely Krystle - played by the equally lovely Linda Evans. There were many others. Such glitz. Such gloss. Such shoulder pads. Great fun.

Channel Four began, bringing us Countdown, Treasure Hunt, revolutionary soap Brookside and more alternative comedy with The Comic Strip Presents. Ronald Allen (David Hunter of Crossroads) would never be viewed in quite the same way after his stint as Uncle Quentin!

Channel Four also gave us The Tube.

The first Rubik's Cube World Championships were held in Hungary.

Hair gel was becoming an absolute must-have. I was never without a jar, and teased my hair into the weirdest shapes possible.

Boy George flounced onto the pop scene, raising more than a few eye brows.

Duran Duran shoved up the sleeves of their big-shouldered, brightly coloured jackets whilst messing about on the water for the Rio video. The reason? It was a hot day!

The brightly-coloured-jacket-with-pushed-up-sleeve-look became one of the defining looks of the 1980s.

American actor Don Johnson was impressed and ordered similar jackets, but made out of linen, for his character in Miami Vice, which began in America 1984 and popped over here in early '85.

Hi-tec '82 - the ZX Spectrum was launched, complete with rubber keys and "Pong".