2020 vision: Old-age homes for the YBAs, Simon Cowell's 'Big Brother' makeover and the McPolyphenol burger

From Heston Blumenthal's molecular menu makeover at McDonald's to the horror of Big Brother's comeback, BB: Celebrity Suicide Watch, the past decade has seen our leisure time transformed in ways we could never have imagined.

It is technology, of course, which has heralded many of the most dramatic changes in the past decade. And at the end of 2010, the Tories set the techie tone: in the first collaboration of its kind, the new government partnered with Carphone Warehouse to entitle anyone without an iPhone to a special upgrade benefit, in order to help them become a more meaningful part of society. It coincided with the memorably chilling state campaign to educate children on the dangers of joining the same social networks as their parents. Our iPhone-centric culture, though, has had its casualties – quite literally, in the case of the two publicans who were tragically shot dead by police at an illegal protest in 2011 against the mandatory introduction of the now commonplace anti-binge-drinking Breathalyser app, which monitors citizens' alcohol intake via Google Earth, GPS and CCTV facial recognition software.

On a happier note, 2012 saw the launch of Jamie's Tower, the UK's first self-sufficient food complex, owned by Sir Jamie Oliver. Housed in London's former BT Tower, the farm-grocery-restaurant hybrid sells only meat reared on the building's hydroponic meadows and vegetables harvested from the living exterior of the building. Oliver's plans for a chain are on hold, however, as the "Heal Our High Street" movement continues to gather strength. McDonald's might have been saved by Heston Blumenthal's McPolyphenol burgers 10 years ago, but Starbucks is still floundering after its rebrand: despite each branch having been given a different name and look – and the tagline "the original independent coffee house" – the chain is still struggling.

Meanwhile, it's definitely been the British tourist industry's decade. Record numbers of Britons stayed at home after the country's transformation into the northern hemisphere's number-one holiday destination. Developments such as Newcastle Tyneside beach, the Beckingham Palace theme park and the new luxury resorts springing up on the Shetland Isles have all contributed. Abroad, meanwhile, and despite a recent four-fold increase in the cost of flights, thousands of elderly ravers have been flocking to Ibiza's Still 'Avin' It, the world's first superclub for the over fifties, opened in 2018 by the 58-year-old DJ Danny Rampling.

Home entertainment reached new levels. It's strange to think that only a few years ago we couldn't sit next to holographic Come Dine With Me contestants, or that we still had to use a clunky remote-control device to switch platforms and channels. As for content, it's been a controversial decade. First there was 2014's cult low-budget YouTube series Sharia Court, based on Granada television's 1970s Crown Court format. Then, two years later, came The Real Royal Family, the brainchild of Peter Bazalgette and Prince Andrew. The toe-curlingly awful reality show hoped to claw back some of the regal funding that the then prime minister Gordon Brown had reappropriated during the great Noughties' Depression. It's a miracle that those posh tucker trials didn't finish the Queen off. (Or that they weren't Prince Charles' idea.)

The reality TV death knell almost literally rang when Big Brother returned, after a five-year hiatus, with Simon Cowell at the helm. But BB: Celebrity Suicide Watch, the self-help/talent-contest hybrid which went head-to-head with Google's Suicide Clinic – wherein viewers got to vote on who most deserved a luxury Swiss death – was, fortunately, a flop.

In society at large, leisure time is changing for our increasingly elderly population. Four years ago, of course, the Tories scrapped retirement for any over-sixties who'd ever claimed benefits and, in partial response, the septuagenarian Charles Saatchi opened the country's first Old Britsters' Home, in Stroud. The charitably funded establishment was designed to provide a "creative environment for an elderly artistic community". The building is covered in cheery Damien Hirst spots and residents, many with dementia – which now affects 300,000 more of the population than it did in 2010 – are encouraged to relive early memories by scrawling the names of everyone they've ever slept with on the walls of the on-site "Groucho Bar". But let's not knock the concept – in another decade's time, some of us could be heading there... '

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor