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What Was Happening in The 80s?

Around the World in 80s Days, from Blackpool Grand Productions, is a fun comedy and action show for all ages. The show combines comedy with 1980s musical hits, following Phileas Fogg and his valet on their journey around the world.

Show on 31st July to 31st August. Book tickets now!

Here are some of the highlights of the 1980s – there are so many to mention!


1980 – Another One Bites The Dust by Queen

In 1980, Margaret Thatcher was less than a year into her leadership. The decade started off with the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring the eradication of smallpox. Post-it notes and Rubik’s cubes are introduced in the world for the first time ever.


1981 – Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones

Lady Diana Spencer and Charles the Prince of Wales get married, with the wedding being viewed by 700 million people. For the first time ever, cases of AIDS started being reported, with not much known about it other than the disease being fatal and very contagious.


1982 – Thriller by Michael Jackson

Barney Clark, 61, becomes the first ever recipient of an artificial heart. A year after their wedding, Charles and Diana’s first son, Prince William, is born. Sony and Philips develop, launch, and distribute Compact Discs.


1983 – Karma Chameleon by Culture Club

Dr Luc Montagnier discovers the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) virus behind AIDS. The first mobile phone in the United States is introduced by Motorola, while Sony develops the first camcorder. The technology in 1983 was mainly utilised to report news and other events.


1984 – Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid

The father of modern transplantation, Dr Thomas Starzl, performs a heart-liver transplant on six-year-old Stormie Jones. Michael Jackson moonwalks at the MTV Music Awards for the first time and Bruce Springsteen releases Born in the USA.


1985 – Like a Virgin by Madonna

Pictionary, the boardgame, is released. Apple’s ‘Apple Macintosh’ is discontinued after only a year. Nintendo releases the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the United States. Willem J Kolff invents the artificial kidney dialysis machine.


1986 – Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi

IBM develops the laptop computer for commercial distribution, while Fujifilm develops the modern disposable camera for commercial use. The first heart-lung-liver transplant is undertaken while in Britain the first case of Mad Cow Disease is identified.


1987 – I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston

The first contact lenses are sold, while in Germany Dr Ben Carson and his team perform the first ever separation surgery of two occipital craniopagus twins. Margaret Thatcher is elected for the third time as the Prime Minister and the Channel Tunnel starts its construction.


1988 – A Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins

The Doppler radar is invented and in medicine the first ever liver-small bowel transplant takes place. Archaeologists discover the site of the original Globe Theatre in London, and in New York City The Phantom of the Opera premieres.


Nintendo in Japan releases the portable video game system Game Boy. The Berlin Wall was torn down, with the even being transmitted live worldwide. Konami launches the hit game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES.