Moments that made the year: 1997: when the Teletubbies' star rose, Oasis' fell, and Hale-Bopp blazed a trail across the heavens

Hello, Goodbye

Strange beings arrived in Britain in 1997. So we said "Hello Dolly" to an extraordinary cloned sheep. Meanwhile, half the country was saying "Eh-Oh" in imitation of those spooky things in nappies - the Teletubbies.

Children took to Tamagotchis, tiny Japanese electronic pets, and in the spring we all stared at the Hale-Bopp comet streaking across the sky. Lara Croft, busty babe in the computer game Tomb Raider II, took over cyberspace while Xena, warrior princess, became a star of the new Channel 5.

In pop, the big names of '96 shrank. Out went Oasis with their indifferent third album and Britpop lost its edge. We finally realised the Spice Girls were a con. In came sounds of the Asian underground and Big Beat, while The Verve were the success of the year, with their album, Urban Hymns.

In a retro world, oldies made a comeback. Elton John's song for Diana, Princess of Wales, took him back to the top of the charts; Mick Jagger kept rocking and became a dad at 54; and Michael Parkinson replayed his best bits and got a new show for 1998.

The likes of Wham!, Spandau Ballet and break-dancing were big again in an 80s pop revival as Dallasty dressing - glamour, glitter and sequins - returned with big City bonuses. Fake fur was everywhere - knickers, kagouls, you name it - and faux cow bedspreads were more than a compensation for the banning of T-bone steaks.

Buffalo Trainers with their Seventies platforms made jogging hard for the fashionable in their turned-up trousers. Looking back a little further, the "secret agent'' look a la Diana Rigg in The Avengers raged after Liz Hurley's success in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; and Medieval Babes cut a CD that made Gregorian chants hip for the first time in centuries.

If you wanted to make it big on the London stage, it paid to play dead. So Sian Phillips excelled in Marlene, while impersonators of Hilda Baker, Kenneth Williams and Oscar Wilde (theatrical face of the year) all drew big crowds.

Success as Oscar in the movie Wilde rehabilitated Stephen Fry; and Michael Collins, the IRA leader, became a star again 75 years after his assassination, due to a biopic featuring Liam Neeson and because Gerry Adams became the first republican leader to enter Number 10 since the "Big Fellow" in 1921.

"Sensation" caused a stir in the art world - prompting fears of barbarians at the gates of the Royal Academy, which made a portrait of Myra Hindley, comprising children's handprints, the centrepiece of its exhibition.

Arundhati Roy wowed the literary world with her first novel, the Booker- winning God of Small Things. Lord Chadlington of Shandwick PR resigned from running the Royal Opera House. Condemned for leaving such a mess, applauded for carrying the can, he took the only course open to a smart PR man.

On TV, This Life was smothered and Men Behaving Badly was retired after a final Christmas binge. Michael Grade stubbed out his last cigar at Channel 4. Bet Lynch and Racquel pulled their last pints on the Street, while Cindy Beale deserted EastEnders only to return to huge acclaim. Steve Coogan was saved by Alan Partridge.

Kirsty Young, Channel 5's sexy blonde newscaster, was the big new discovery, putting the wind up the likes of Jon Snow. And ordinary folk like Maureen who couldn't pass her test in Driving School and Eileen, the manager from hell in Hotel, became instant stars of the new "reality soaps".

Zoe Ball took over Radio 1's early-morning DJ slot from Chris Evans, but Ginger had the last laugh with the success of his rival show on Virgin, later joining the ranks of media entrepreneurs by buying the company. A kindred spirit, Nicola Horlick, started the year sacked - from her job as a fund manager with Morgan Grenfell, and returned to the public eye in September with her book Can You Have It All?

Manchester United's Eric Cantona has kicked his last spectator. Since leaving with another championship medal, he has been living in Barcelona and making a film about gangsters in Marseilles. Peter O'Sullevan bowed out after commentating on his 50th Grand National.

Graham Gooch left the crease at 44, and Dickie Bird called over for the last time. The young sporting pretenders got younger: Tiger Woods won the US Masters and 16-year-old Martina Hingis became the youngest Wimbledon women's champion this century.

And, of course, the Grim Reaper thinned the ranks of the great, the good and the infamous. From academia, AL Rowse, Isaiah Berlin, Hans Eysenck; from politics, Mobuto Sese Seko, Deng Xiaoping, Chiam Herzog, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Michael Manley, Georges Marchais, Paul Tsongas, Paulo Friere; from the cinema, Fred Zinneman, Stubby Kaye, James Stewart and Robert Mitchum; from the arts, Allen Ginsberg, Stephan Grappelli, Jonathan Silver, Roy Liechtenstein, Sir George Solti, William Burroughs, Laurie Lee, John Denver and rock singer Michael Hutchence.

Gianni Versace and Sir James Goldsmith also passed away. The world mourned Diana and Mother Teresa. Journalism said goodbye to Sir John Junor, Vincent Hanna, Jeffrey Bernard, Bobby Campbell, and our own Ruth Picardie.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
tech
Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    English Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teachers with QTS nee...

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

    Science Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Science Teachers needed for s...

    Geography Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Geography Teachers needed tha...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week