Breaking 1995 down into the biggest political, sports and entertainment news; here’s what happened…
Britain’s oldest bank merchant bank, ‘Barings’, collapsed due to the dodgy dealings of the so called ‘rogue trader’ Nick Leeson who somehow managed to hide £860m in a secret ‘error account’ without anyone noticing. Also collapsing was the moral standards of Brixton’s youths; hundreds of whom took to attacking police, ransacking shops and burning cars in riots in South London.
The royal family was again under the spotlight; this time a result of Diana, Princess of Wales, openly speaking on TV (in front of 15 million viewers) about her affair with her riding instructor, James Hewitt. Unsurprisingly the Queen wasn’t happy; she may have been equally unhappy that the letter she wrote to her son Charles, Prince of Wales, telling him to get a divorce from Diana was leaked to the press.
In the sports world, Eric Cantona’s infamous kung-fu style kick received much attention; the hot-headed Frenchman taking his anger out on a Crystal Palace fan having just been sent off. Getting less attention, but deserving of more, was British mountain climber Alison Hargreaves who became the first woman to climb Mount Everest without oxygen or assistance.
On UK TV screens, the nation fell in love with the inhabitants of the imaginary Irish parish of Craggy Island, and its gathering of dysfunctional priests (Father Ted, Father Dougal and the Drunken Father Jack). Whilst that offered good surreal family comedy, Britons also showed their thirst for some literary action by tuning-in in large numbers to productions of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’. The Jane Austen classics kicking off a craze for period dramas in future years.
The hit movie of the year was the interesting mix of a Scottish story, an American director and an Aussie actor; cue Mel Gibson running about without any trousers shouting at medieval English folk in an incomprehensible accent. In contrast to that big screen sensation was one of the most expensive box office flops ever made, ‘Waterworld’. Set in the future, where global warming has seen all countries emerged in water, it tried to emulate the previous years success ‘Titantic’ but instead sunk like it!