It seems amazing to think that this year marks the end of the decade. For many of us, that time represents the move from primary school, to secondary, to sixth form and well into university – but it isn’t just us that have changed. The world is a completely different place than it was ten years ago, and our writers have been looking into the big stories in entertainment news that have defined the decade.
Coronation Street 50th anniversary – Emily Dennis
Britain itself is a forefront for great entertainment. The turn of the latest decade also saw a huge celebration for a timeless British classic; Coronation Street turned 50 years old! The nation’s favourite soap had given lots of drama for half a century (including death by fridge, multiple fires, and more murder than you could ever imagine), and did not fail to disappoint with its lead up to the celebratory live broadcast in December of 2010. After almost a year of dramatic build-up, faith was affirmed in the soap by still leaving viewers shocked and upset by its unfolding. Coronation Street even got two Guinness World Records for being the longest running soap and having the longest running soap actor (Big up Ken Barlow). The original writer had planned to destroy the street after the 13-episode first season, and never once imagined 2010 would be its 50th birthday.
One Direction formation – Morgan McMillan
2010 started the decade with a bang with the formation of the best boyband the world has ever seen, One Direction. After failing to progress as solo artists in the ‘Boys’ category at X Factor’s bootcamp stage, they were instead put together to form a five-piece boyband, thus allowing them to progress further into the competition. This is a moment for the history books for any Directioner out there as Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson started to takeover the world – and our hearts. One Direction came third in the competition after only a few months together as a band proving they were the next big thing.
Robbie Williams returns to Take That – Becky Davies
2010 surely seems like the year of the boyband – as well as One Direction, we saw the debut album from The Wanted, the UK premiere of Big Time Rush and, perhaps most significantly, the return of Robbie Williams to Take That. When they first separated back in 1996, the public were distraught, to the extent that they even had to open helplines for their grieving fans. Their disbandment happened just a few months after Robbie left the band, and it was common knowledge that he had a strained relationship with Gary Barlow. By 2010, a reunited Take That had had considerable success with their albums Beautiful World and The Circus, but one vital component had been missing – until now. Robbie rejoined the band for the Progress album, and the coinciding tour broke records when it sold out eight nights at Wembley Stadium, with the whole tour selling over 1.3 million tickets in just 24 hours. Although Robbie left the group once more, along with Jason Orange, they are still going strong as a trio today and Robbie continues to do occasional performances with them.
This year saw the biggest shake up in The X Factor’s history, with a complete overhaul of the judging panel. Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole all left, leaving Louis Walsh as the longest standing judge. They were replaced by Kelly Rowland, Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos, with the latter winning the show as mentor of Little Mix, the first group ever to win the show.
Elsewhere in 2011, we saw Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ go absolutely viral, back when this happened pretty rarely – it was definitely a big deal. Critics described it as the worst song ever made at the time – whether anybody has taken this title since then is up for debate.
Perhaps the most significant news story of 2011, however, was the passing of Amy Winehouse. Her tragic death shocked the world, as she was only 27 years old and had only released two albums. Her distinctive voice and heartbreaking songs are still well loved today, and deserve to be for many decades into the future, too – her music has an unrivaled, timeless quality to it, and she is still sorely missed.
Olympics Opening Ceremony – Louise Chase
London made history when it was the first city to host the Olympics on three different occasions (1908, 1948, and 2012) but the opening and closing ceremonies in 2012 were something spectacular.
The 15-minute long sequence titled “Pandemonium” went through all stages of British history, showcasing the industrial revolution to a minute’s silence to the fallen, with an amazing use of staging and choreography all accompanied by Underworld’s track “And I Will Kiss”. The sequence’s climax of the glowing Olympic rings hoisted above the stadium became an iconic moment of the whole adventure. A minute’s silence was held halfway through had the crowds in the stadium standing unprompted in respect.
Both ceremonies looked at the best of British culture, from fictional characters James Bond and Peter Pan were also joined by words from Shakespeare, J.K Rowling, and music from Queen (including recordings of Freddie Mercury).
Almost eight years on, the ceremonies stand as some of the best in recent memory, and if nothing else, the games achieved its motto and “inspired a generation”.
The Fifty Shades phenomenon – Zarah Akhavan-Moossavi
Originally a Twilight fan fiction, the first instalment of E. L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy was re-released in 2012 and quickly became a sensation. The mass amount of attention this novel received made James the best selling author, replacing J. K. Rowling and bumping Harry Potter from the number one spot. The success of the novel is clear in its sales, however this success doesn’t come without a backlash. Many criticised the novel for its representation of sex, particularly BDSM, as well as its writing style leading to censorship of the book in many places around the world. Despite this, there is no doubt of its place in history. The novel prompted a film adaptation of each book, a classical album of the same name, as well as numerous parodies (film, literary and stage). Fifty Shades of Grey is immortalised in history, though perhaps for many of the wrong reasons.
Girls Aloud Split – Morgan McMillan
After 10 years together, on the last night of their anniversary tour Girls Aloud officially announced their split. This broke the hearts of millions of fans across the globe as the band who had brought us so many girl power anthems over the years, carrying on the legacy of the Spice Girls, were finally coming to an end. Their discography is a seemingly endless list of banger after banger, with tracks like ‘The Loving Kind’, ‘The Promise’ and my personal favourite ‘The Show’; they really displayed their versatility and had a song for every mood. The group were formed on Popstars: The Rivals back in 2002, which put Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh together and lead to the release of their iconic debut single ‘Sound of the Underground’ which became the Christmas number one that year. Let’s hope the 2020s give us the Girls Aloud reunion we are all waiting for!
2013 was a heartbreaking year across the board for our noughties favourites – JLS and Sugababes also separated. We also saw the reinvention of Miley Cyrus, who ditched her child star image for good in favour of a more raunchy look (including that VMAs performance) and the release of Bangerz.
2014 was a huge year in pop culture. This was the year in which Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin ‘consciously uncoupled’, a phrase which was widely mocked by the media. Both have since found happiness, as Gwyneth went on to marry Brad Falchuk in 2018, whilst Chris Martin is now dating Fifty Shades star Dakota Johnson. Elsewhere, Solange attacked Jay Z in an elevator after the Met Gala, we had celebrity weddings including Kimye, Brangelina and the Clooneys, and James Cordon got his big break across the pond.
What a year!
Keep your eyes peeled for the second half of the Nostalgic News timeline coming soon!