That Was The Year

Tom McClurg presents Edmund J Saunders with an award at "The 11th International Congress on Internal Control, Internal Audit, Fraud and Anti-Corruption Issues"
Tom McClurg presents Edmund J Saunders with an award at “The 11th International Congress on Internal Control, Internal Audit, Fraud and Anti-Corruption Issues”. You think that is a mouthful, try saying it in Polish!

As we leave the first quarter of 2013, I’ve been looking back over the previous year.

How will 2012 be remembered? For me I’ll remember having some lovely gigs, making a documentary for BBC Wales, starting work on a new children’s sitcom which has just finished being filmed in Belgium and going to Poland for a Fraud Convention.

By the way, that convention was interesting and I have a delightful story about our esteemed editor Mr Hodder – but I’m sworn to secrecy… (damn right – ed)

But the main thing I’ll remember was that 2012 felt like a flashback to 1980.

Let me explain…

  • In 1980 Eric Bristow was on TV winning his first World Darts championship.
  • In 2012 Eric Bristow was on TV as one of the contestants on I’m A Celebrity Get me Out of Here.

Oh and I’m aware that some of you were very young in 1980 or weren’t even born. I hate you. Anyway, I should explain that Eric Bristow played Darts. Darts was a popular sport at that time – providing the term ‘sport’ can be defined as overweight men drinking beer and throwing things at a target. I’m surprised knocking down a coconut at the fair never became a sport.

By the way, is it me or isn’t “I’m a Celebrity…” really one of the most awful programmes ever made? People whose careers are slowly grinding to a halt are put together in a secluded picnic area in Australia to be humiliated for our viewing pleasure. And how some of them can say the phrase “I’m a Celebrity” with a straight face is beyond me.

  • In 1980 23,500,000 viewers watched the James Bond Film Live and Let Die on TV beating all previous viewing records.
  • In 2012 the James Bond Film Skyfall made £37.2m in the UK in its first seven days beating all previous box office records.

I’m a big James Bond fan but this film annoyed me. How could he possibly have had the Aston Martin and not met Moneypenny!!!??? (hang on wasn’t Moneypenny introduced towards the end of the movie? – ed) Why did M recite a poem??!! Why was the ending basically ‘Home Alone’??….. I’ll stop now or I’ll start getting upset again.

  • In 1980 the UK celebrated the fact it won 21 medals at the Olympics in Moscow.
  • In 2012 the UK celebrated the fact it won 65 medals at the Olympics in London.

Let’s be honest, we all expected our Olympics to be a bit rubbish. We thought the opening ceremony was going to make us a laughing stock around the world and we thought we’d come last in everything. We were wrong. It was actually pretty good. Well done. (Saying that, I did a corporate gig for LOCOG back in June and they are ironically making me jump over hurdles to get paid)

  • In 1980 the majority of the UK population were dissatisfied with the Conservative Government under Margaret Thatcher.
  • In 2012 the majority of the UK population were dissatisfied with the Conservative Government under David Cameron.

Again, for those of you too young to remember Margaret Thatcher, she once ran this country. Into the ground. Which is ironic as she closed down the mines.

This is of course providing that Yoda can get out of his Vodafone contract and that the Devil doesn’t go back on his soul-exchange agreement with George Lucas.

  • In 1980 Jim’ll Fix It, was one of the most popular shows on television. It’s famous clip of boy scouts eating their packed lunches on a roller coaster was shown that year.
  • In 2012 Jimmy Savile was posthumously accused of being a paedophile. If only we knew then what we know now. Now… then…. Now…. then….

By the way, my wife is Spanish and had never seen Jimmy Savile until this was all revealed in the news. When she saw footage of him, dressed in a track suit and surrounded by young girls she turned to me and said: “And no one thought anything?!” She had a point.

  • In 1980 unemployment was an unprecedented 2 million.
  • In 2012 unemployment was 2.5 million.

I’m making no political point. Just stating facts.

  • In 1980 the BBC changed the name of its teletext service CEEFAX to ORBIT. It was later changed back.
  • In 2012, with the advent of digital takeover, CEEFAX finished completely.

Once again kids, CEEFAX was like texting when drunk. It didn’t always make sense, some letters would be missing and you would organise a holiday which you would immediately regret.

  • In 1980 the UK was in recession.
  • In 2012….well I think you can see where all this is going.

So some things have changed in 32 years yet others have remained the same. The fact that our TV’s/video recorders/hi fi systems/cameras and phones can all now fit into one small device in our pocket is incredible. The fact that we still don’t know how to spend money correctly isn’t.

So what will 2013 bring? Will it be the year that several important questions are answered? Things like:

  • How can we discover the Higgs boson particle yet not get our trains to run on time?
  • Is being unable to impregnate someone due to bad aim just a popular misconception?

And, as my CV used to say: “Bennett was in the BBC Comedy Awards with Justin Lee Collins and wrote for Freddie Starr” what credit will I have to remove next…..?


About Bennett Arron

Bennett ArronBennett Arron is an award-winning writer and stand-up comedian as well as a popular speaker on the subject of Identity Theft. See what Bennett’s up to at 

Follow Bennett on Twitter: @bennettarron

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