17 March 2012


It's been a fascinating experience to relive the 1980s through the newspapers of the decade - brilliant to escape from the BBC and Wikipedia's "We Glorify The '70s" nonsense, and to see the '80s as they really were again. Brash. Noisy. Violent. Glamorous. Technological. Outrageous. "Stylish" (note the speechmarks). Contrasting. Money loving. Caring. Fast moving...

But sometimes the newspapers rose above the roar and clatter of the decade and contained unquestionably wonderful things like the photograph of the two monkeys above, featured in the Daily Mirror in February 1984...

Hugging each other and clinging on to life, these monkeys are a real handful.

Since they were born three weeks ago, they've left their best friend Molly Badham with scarcely any spare time. Molly, who named the inseparable pair Peter and Pop, has bottle-fed them every three hours at her zoo in Twycross, Leics, because their mother rejected them.

Happily, Peter and Pop are doing fine.

I was, for some reason, deeply moved by the photograph... those adorable little faces, those intelligent eyes, the way they were hugging each other for comfort. Just like humans...

I felt tears pricking into my eyes and began to ponder the mysteries of life...

Then my eyes moved briefly to the right:

Marilyn has his handbag pinched

Only in the '80s!

My reflective mood trailed off into a very un-high minded explosion of raucous laughter...

Pop star Marilyn had his handbag, containing £500 in cash, snatched last night as he sat in a London restaurant.

And the singer, who wears outrageous clothes and make-up on and off the stage, is offering a reward for its return.

"It's awful," he said. "It had my address and my diary in as well as my wallet and all my keys.

"It had every appointment for the next six months in. I just don't know what I'm going to do.

Two men lifted the black rubber bag with grey trimmings from a seat as Marilyn sat with a woman friend in a restaurant near Oxford Circus.

"The fact that someone can actually do that is beyond me," he said. "I know the money's gone but I'm desperate to get the address book and diary back."

Poor Marilyn. Did he get his things back? If you know, drop me a line...

From the Daily Star, October 2, 1984:

Breakfast TV beauty Selina Scott was faced with her spitting image when she ran into chart-topper Marilyn yesterday.

The look-alike couple were among the celebrities at the Variety Club banquet in honour of Radio One.

And even guests who could tell one from the other were stumped when it came to deciding who looked prettier.

However everyone agreed they made an incredible double act.

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