Baggy Trousers: Madness

Exploding on to the music scene in the late 1970s, as part of the post-punk boom in British music, Madness’ brand of ska struck a chord with fans and their debut single in 1979, The Prince, was a surprise hit, reaching number 16 in the UK chart. The band had started out in 1976, under the name The North London Invaders, but by the time they signed for 2 Tone Records, they had experienced several personnel and name changes. Their first appearance on Top of the Pops performing The Prince (a ...
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Fools and Horses: The Jolly Boys’ Outing

A group of inebriated pub regulars go on their annual outing to the seaside by coach, only for the driver to be overcome by fumes from a burning radio, thus leaving everyone stranded overnight in Margate. Could this be the day trip from hell - especially when there's a punch-up over a mistaken case of blackmailing to boot? If you're a fan of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses, you'll know this is the plot from the 1989 special, the Jolly Boys' Outing. Written by John Sullivan, it was se...
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UB40: Baby Come Back

Reggae and pop band UB40 are celebrating 40 years at the top of the music industry, after forming in Birmingham in 1978. They famously called themselves after the name of a form issued by the government's Department of Employment to people who were claiming unemployment benefit. Originally formed by lead vocalist Ali Campbell, drummer Jimmy Brown and bass guitarist Earl Falconer, who would rehearse cover versions of popular reggae songs and some of their own original compositions, the band...
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ABBA: Money, Money, Money

Swedish supergroup Abba enjoyed one of the most prolific pop careers of any band in history. During their 10-year career, between 1972 and 1982, they won a host of top awards, including the Bravo Otto Silver Award for Best Pop Group a record five times and the Radio Luxembourg Lion Award for best song, Waterloo, in 1974. They released 73 singles, eight studio albums, seven compilation albums and two live albums, achieving nine number one hits in the UK singles chart. They were also honoure...
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Tom Hanks: BIG

Legendary actor Tom Hanks' famous film, Big, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It's hard to imagine three decades have passed since the star played Josh Baskin - a 12-year-old trapped in an adult's body, after a wish he made at a fairground that he could be "big" came true. Hanks was 32 years old when he portrayed the child who was suddenly propelled into adulthood after putting a coin in the creepy antique fortune-telling machine, Zoltar, asking it to make him big. The Cal...
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Run-DMC: It’s Like That!

“And it goes a little something like this…” Run-DMC was one of the biggest American hip hop groups of the 20th century, pioneering the musical genre and becoming the first new school hip hop band to be nominated for a Grammy Award. Their 1983 debut single, It's Like That, was a social comment on unemployment and poverty that spent 23 weeks in the American Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band has been credited with transforming hip hop from an underground street movement into a pop culture ...
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New York New York: It’s up to you!

If you mention the legendary American singer and actor Frank Sinatra, most people will immediately think of New York New York - one of the most famous songs of all time. Although it was originally written for Liza Minnelli in 1977, Sinatra made it his own. He had retired in 1971, after 36 years at the top of the entertainment industry, when he decided to make a comeback two years later. He began his famous live shows at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and it was during this second phase of his...
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Food Glorious Food

One of the most famous songs from any musical must surely be composer Lionel Bart's Food Glorious Food, from the 1968 film, Oliver. Images of the Victorian workhouse boys lining up to eat their bowls of thin gruel, while the staff feast on a roast dinner, will be forever ingrained in cinema-goers' minds! The famous film was based on Charles Dickens' 1837 novel, Oliver Twist, about London's criminal gangs - homeless orphans were living on the streets, or in the harsh environment of the poor...
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Princess Diana

Princess Diana was known as the "People's Princess" for a very good reason - her caring, down-to-earth, friendly personality changed the way the royals were perceived. The former Lady Diana Spencer would have been celebrating her 57th birthday on 1st July, had she not died in a tragic car accident in Paris on 31st August 1997, at the age of just 36. After her wedding to Prince Charles on 29th July 1981, at the age of 20, Diana became the darling of the British public. Giving birth to tw...
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Courier Service Providers: The Truth

Spending hours waiting for a parcel delivery firm to arrive, only for them not to turn up at all - or finding out they've arrived late, after we've just gone out - can be one of the most irritating experiences on the planet. It's a common enough scenario: you're notified that a courier will be arriving on a specific day, but with a broad timescale - often either "morning" or "afternoon" - so you wait in especially. However, when they don't turn up, you go out to the shops, only to arrive h...
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