Breaking 1991 down into the biggest news, sports and entertainment events; here’s what happened…
At the start of the year the ‘Gulf War’ kicked off as a result of Iraq invading Kuwait, leading to UK forces heading off to fight Saddam Hussein’s army. The fighting lasted just a couple of months but is well remembered due to it being the first war that was televised on the news.
The little loved media tycoon Robert Maxwell met a mysterious end whilst holidaying on his boat off the coast of Tenerife. Struggling under financial pressure, with his corporation on the brink of collapse, he was thought to have gone overboard although no-one really knows what happened.
Another mystery to arise was an outbreak of ‘crop circles’. Some 600 new ones appeared (one in the Prime Ministers garden!) in the UK throughout the summer of ’91, putting Britain under the world media spotlight. Some experts pointed the finger at human hoaxers, some claimed abnormal weather conditions were the cause, whilst others were 100% sure that they were messages from aliens.
In terms of sport, England hosted the 1991 Rugby World Cup but, despite having home advantage, they were edged out in the final by the Australians. Paul Gascoigne, the new star of football, damaged his knee whilst playing for Tottenham in the FA Cup final leading to a year long spell on the sidelines.
TV saw a couple of newcomers make their mark and an old-hand return. Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer (better known as just Vic & Bob) debuted on channel 4 and their brand of bizarre humour quickly caught on, making their surreal show a 1991 hit. Back with more silly games, less than special guests and ‘gunk’ was Noel Edmonds on his live show (broadcast from the fictitious ‘Crinkley Bottom’) ‘Noel’s House Party’. Accompanying Edmonds, was his pink and yellow friend Mr. Blobby who surprisingly managed a number one single despite not being able to speak!
The top film of 1991 was ‘Silence Of The Lambs’ with leading roles from Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. As Hannibal Lecturer (a psychotic cannibal) and Clarice Sterling (a young FBI cadet) they form a strange kind of partnership in order to hunt down an even stranger serial killer by the name of “Buffalo Bill”. Also out that year was one of the few sequels to better the original; he said “I’ll be back” and Arnold Schwarzenegger was in ‘Terminator 2’. This time playing one of the good guys trying to protect the boy destined to save the human race.
On the UK music front in ’91, the year belonged to Bryan Adams and his HUGE hit ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’. The title track for ‘Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves’ topped the charts for a record 16 weeks and was in the Top 40 for a total of 6 months. As for the best selling album of 1991, that went to Simply Red and their album ‘Stars’. The Christmas number one was a re-issue; Queen again releasing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to commemorate the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury earlier in the year.