The goalkeeper's fear of the genetically modified pig

IN THESE last two days of the year I want to take your mind off all the bad news of 1998 by directing it to all the bad news of 1999. Yes, it's Old Miles's Almanack time again, as we gaze gloomily into the crystal ball and see the major events of the coming year...


As Project New Labour falters, with the departure of chief architect Peter Mandelson, rumours abound of a new movement within Government ranks called Project Old Labour.

New Year's Honour List announced: people getting knighthoods all say "It's a wonderful surprise and shock honour", even though they've known about it for months. Only real surprise in List? Sir Peter Mandelson.

Scientists grow a human hand on a pig.

As President Bill Clinton commences his impeachment trial, he tries to divert attention by bombing Baghdad again.

Richard Branson announces plans for new attempt to circle world in balloon. He will take off in 1999 and complete the trip in 2000, thus becoming the first person to take two centuries to go round the world.

A new miracle sex aid is launched on the American market, called Niagara. It has the opposite effect to that of Viagra: it removes sexual desire from men and gives them the urge to help with the washing up. Sales are moderate to begin with.

Rain, floods and wind. M4 under water. Global warming blamed.


Project Old Labour gains strength. Robin Cook and John Prescott emerge as leaders. Their claim is that New Labour wins elections but Old Labour runs governments.

Second human hand is grown on pig. Scientists say the idea is to train Percy the pig as goalkeeper.

Cornish Tourist Board announces there are now no hotel bedrooms left in Cornwall for solar eclipse in August and pleads with tourists to go elsewhere.

Sales of Niagara, the sexual depressant, start to boom. It turns out that many American women are buying it secretly to put in husbands' food and drink.

Ferocious snow, ice and frost in Britain. East Anglia splits off from Britain and floats away to sea. Global cooling blamed.


New best-seller from Bill Bryson: Notes from My Last Book, a collection of pieces which have previously been serialised from previous books.

Percy the Pig turns out in friendly football match between Steve Jones's Geneticists XI and Richard Dawkins's All Star Atheists. He keeps a clean score sheet, despite protests that he now takes the field wielding five hands.

Champagne industry, desperately overstocked, puts out rumour that there may be none left by millennium. Sales perk up.

Frank Sinatra comes back from the dead for surprise concert tour

Warmest March on record. Richard Branson balloon emissions blamed.


Rumours circulate that Clinton is having a wild affair with one of the Congresswomen involved in his impeachment trial. Angrily he denies it and drops a few bombs on Libya. Blair declares himself right behind Clinton.

Richard Branson announces that when his balloon goes round the world from century to century, he will be dressed as Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.

New smash hit all-girl group called Hello Girls sweeps to top of charts, meets Prince Charles, squabbles, splits and disbands.

Pregnancy rate in the USA takes a dramatic tumble; success of Niagara is blamed.

Norfolk spotted going through the Bering Strait. Could be the first English county to sail round world. No sign of Suffolk. Fears expressed.

Gales, rain, flooding and inundation. Global wetting is blamed.


Gordon Brown makes bid for premiership but fails to reach reserve price.

Alex Ferguson buys Percy the Pig to replace now departed Peter Schmeichel.

Cornish champagne stocks exhausted; dangerously low in Devon.


Percy the Pig leaves full-time football and gets his own late-night TV chat show.

First Iraqi bombs start to drop on Washing ton DC.

Norfolk makes landfall off Chile. Many Chileans take day trip to Norfolk from Santiago. Verdict: quite nice but bit boring, really.

Second half of 1999 coming tomorrow!

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’


Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'


Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from


Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump
Arts and Entertainment
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
Music Album is set to enter UK top 40 at lowest chart position in 30 years
Arts and Entertainment
The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014
Arts and Entertainment


These heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
books'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' sees the writer become the third Australian to win the accolade
Arts and Entertainment
New diva of drama: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra
Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke, faces new problems

Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).

Arts and Entertainment
Polly Morgan

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album