That Was the Year That Was - 1991

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    1991 Following the Iraq invasion Kuwait A United Nations Coalition Force including USA, Arab and European countries Bombs Iraq Forces in Kuwait and force Iraq Forces out of Kuwait and back to Iraq. After many years of Apartheid in South Africa a new constitution for multicultural society is formed. This is also the beginning of the Balkan Wars and Lech Walesa is elected as President of Poland. This is also the year that Freddie Mercury the lead singer of the band Queen dies on 24th November from the AIDS Virus. Some of the notable technology advances include Airbag, A Blue Rose (through the use of Genetic Engineering) and Tim Berners-Lee introduces the web browser. Winter of 1990–91 The winter of 1990–1991 was a particularly cold winter in Western Europe, noted especially for its effect on the United Kingdom, and for two significantly heavy falls of snow which occurred in December 1990 and February 1991. Sandwiched in between was a period of high winds and heavy rain which caused widespread damage. The winter was the coldest since January 1987, and the snowfall experienced in many parts of the United Kingdom would not be seen again until the snowfall of February 2009. The harsh weather conditions brought down power lines across England leading to loss of electricity for many areas. Power was also disrupted in parts of France. In the UK some 650,000 people were without power, and about 1.2 million without water supplies for several days. The Army was called in to help restore utility supplies to outlying areas. In addition, the adverse weather conditions had a negative economic impact with takings at stores on what was the third Saturday before Christmas considerably lower than normal. The severe weather led to the deaths of ten people in the United Kingdom. Three were killed in road accidents in Northern Ireland which was hit by gale force winds. Most of the snow had gone within four days, but its effects were felt for several days afterward. Much of the rest of December was unsettled, and the United Kingdom was hit by heavy storms over the Christmas and New Year period. High winds and heavy rain on Christmas Day caused disruption and power cuts for some parts of the United Kingdom, while the UK and Ireland experienced severe gales on 5 and 6 January 1991. Gusts of up to 70 mph brought down trees and power lines leaving thousands of homes blacked out across Ireland and the southwest of England, resulting in the deaths of 30 people. The dead included 11 crew members who were lost off two merchant vessels, a couple out walking on the beach near Brighton and 13 people who died in Ireland as a result of falling trees and other accidents. Seven of the Irish deaths occurred when a tree crashed onto a minibus. Giant of rock dies Freddie Mercury has died aged 45, just one day after he publicly announced he was HIV positive. The lead singer for rock group Queen died quietly at his home in west London of bronchio-pneumonia, brought on by Aids, his publicist said. The flamboyant star is thought to have had the disease for two years, but he continued to make music and the decline in his health was only rarely glimpsed. Mercury was born Farookh Bulsara in Zanzibar in 1946 and spent most of his childhood in India before his family settled in England in 1964. That year he enrolled in art school. Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, Brian May and Mike Grose formed Queen in 1970. Regarded by fans and critics alike as a consummate showman, Mercury was openly bisexual and enjoyed a colourful rock-star lifestyle. Tributes from all over the world have been pouring in for the man who stole the show at Live Aid and wrote ground-breaking hits like Bohemian Rhapsody - which was number one in the UK for nine weeks. Music critic Paul Gambaccini praised Mercury for his huge contribution to hard rock music. "He gave a form which was pretty staid and sour, a great personality," he said. The director of an Aids education charity, Dr Patrick Dixon, told the BBC that Mercury's greatest gift to his fans was admitting he was suffering from the disease. "His hope was no doubt that through his openness many people throughout the world would see that Aids is a real illness - that it's killing people every day," said Dr Dixon. Publisher Robert Maxwell dies at sea The body of the millionaire newspaper publisher, Robert Maxwell, has been found in the sea off the coast of Tenerife. Mr Maxwell's body was discovered at approximately 1800 local time (1700 GMT) and flown to Gran Canaria for identification. The publisher had been cruising in the Canary Isles aboard his luxury yacht, the Ghislaine. He is thought to have gone overboard early this morning but was not reported missing until about 1100 local time (1000 GMT) when he failed to answer a telephone call. Two helicopters, rescue launches and a dozen ships were then sent to the area to assist in the search. It is not yet known how Mr Maxwell ended up overboard. The Prime Minister, John Major, has led the tributes to Mr Maxwell, calling him a "great character". From humble beginnings in Czechoslovakia, Robert Maxwell became one of Britain's richest men. He enlisted in the British army during World War II and was decorated for bravery. He subsequently worked for the Foreign Office before building his business empire. In 1984 he achieved a long-held ambition to own a national newspaper when he bought the Daily Mirror. Earlier this year Mr Maxwell also purchased a New York paper, the Daily News, which had been on the brink of closure. But at the same time he was being forced to sell off companies to reduce his debts, prompting criticism of his business methods and abrasive management-style. Dealing in shares in Mr Maxwell's Mirror Group was suspended after the news of his disappearance became public. Mr Maxwell's sons, Kevin and Ian, have been put in charge of his businesses. After Robert Maxwell's death it emerged that the Mirror Group's debts vastly outweighed its assets and £440m was missing from the company's pension funds. In 1996, after an eight-month trial, Kevin and Ian Maxwell and another man, Larry Trachtenberg, were cleared of conspiracy to defraud Mirror Group pensioners. In 2001 the Department of Trade and Industry released a report into the Maxwell affair which said "primary responsibility" for the collapse of the Maxwell business empire lay with its founder. But it added that Kevin Maxwell and some leading City financial institutions also bore a "heavy responsibility" for the company's failure. After Robert Maxwell's death campaigners for the 30,000 Mirror Group pensioners mounted a three-year campaign for compensation. Their funds were largely recovered thanks to a £100m government payout and a £276m out-of-court settlement with City institutions and the remnants of Robert Maxwell's media group. The Son of God 29 April - On an edition of Terry Wogan's evening chat show Wogan and amid howls of laughter from the studio audience, former footballer David Icke claims that he is "the son of God," and that Britain will be devastated by tidal waves and earthquakes. He later said that he had been misinterpreted, and that he had used the term "the son of God" to mean an "aspect" of the Infinite consciousness. The interview proved devastating for him. The BBC was later criticised for allowing the interview to go ahead, Des Christy in The Guardian calling it a "media crucifixion."" rel="nofollow"> Oliver Reed appears on TV drunk 28 January – Oliver Reed appears on an edition of the late night discussion programme After Dark discussing militarism, masculine stereotypes and violence to women. Reed drinks alcohol during the broadcast, leading him to become drunk, aggressive and incoherent. He refers to another member of the panel, who has a moustache, as 'tache' and uses offensive language. After one hour Reed returns from the toilet and, getting more to drink, rolls on top of the noted feminist author Kate Millett. The show is briefly taken off air following a hoax call to the station claiming that Channel 4 boss Michael Grade is furious." rel="nofollow"> Everything I Do, I Do It for You 19 October – Canadian singer Bryan Adams makes history when his hit single (Everything I Do) I Do It for You, which features in the film Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves (released on 14 June this year, and starring Kevin Costner) enters its 15th successive week at number one in the UK singles charts. 27 October – It loses its number one position at the top of the singles charts after a record 16 consecutive weeks, displaced by U2's The Fly. Christmas Day Wednesday 25th December 1991 ITV Central 6.00am TV-am Cartoon Carnival 6.30am Klondike Christmas 7.00am The Twelve Gifts 7.30am Alvin and the Chipmunks 7.45am Mr Men 8.00am Greatest Adventure Stories from the Bible 8.30am The Osmonds 9.25am Morning Service live from Bristol Cathedral 10.20am Cartoon : Ali Baba Bunny starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck 10.30am Film : The BFG (1989) 12.15pm Christmas on Children's Ward 12.45pm Brown Bear's Wedding animation 1.10pm Film : Pinocchio (1940) 2.50pm Coronation Street 3.00pm The Queen 3.05pm Coronation Street 3.35pm Film : For Your Eyes Only (1981) starring Roger Moore 5.55pm This Is Your Life 6.25pm News, Weather 6.30pm Watching 7.30pm Coronation Street 8.00pm Film : Crocodile Dundee II (1988) starring Paul Hogan 10.05pm News, Weather 10.15pm Minder 11.15pm Film : Police Academy 4 : Citizens on Patrol (1987) starring Steve Guttenberg Première 12.50am Film : Assault and Matrimony (1987) starring Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker 2.35am Film : Silver Dream Racer (1980) starring David Essex and Beau Bridges 4.40am Film : A Tale of Two Cities (1984 ) animation 5.35am Cartoons a triple bill of Porky Pig and Sylvester 5.55am News 1991 Timeline January – Tax-Exempt Special Savings Accounts introduced as a government concession to promote personal savings. 3 January – The UK expels all Iraqi diplomats from the country due to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait five months ago. 5 January – 27 people die as a result of gale force winds across Britain. 8 January – A train crash at Cannon Street station in London kills one person and injures over 500. 11 January – As the recession deepens, 335 workers at the Peugeot car factory in Coventry are made redundant while Ford is looking for up to 1,000 voluntary redundancies at its British factories. Thousands of jobs in the financial services factor are reportedly at threat, as the total UK unemployment is currently standing at nearly 1,800,000 but is expected to rise to well over 2,000,000 by the end of the year. 14 January – Donald Coleman, Labour MP for Neath in South Wales, dies aged 65. 16 January – The final phase of the M40 motorway through Oxfordshire is opened, giving the West Midlands conurbation its first direct motorway link with London. 17 January – The Gulf War begins, as the Royal Air Force joins Allied aircraft in bombing raids on Iraq. Regular TV programming is abandoned to bring live coverage of the Gulf War after Allied Forces launch Operation Desert Storm against Iraq. Over the coming weeks there is extended coverage of events in the Persian Gulf. ITV also broadcasts news and discussion programmes about the war throughout the night. Some broadcasting, particularly in the earlier part of the war, comes from CNN. 18 January – In spite of the deepening recession, the Conservatives have climbed back to the top of the opinion polls, a MORI poll placing them five points ahead of Labour on 46%. 19 January – It is announced that 1,844,000 people are now unemployed in the United Kingdom, and experts warn that the figure will exceed 2,000,000 before the end of the year. 28 January – Oliver Reed appears on an edition of the late night discussion programme After Dark discussing militarism, masculine stereotypes and violence to women. Reed drinks alcohol during the broadcast, leading him to become drunk, aggressive and incoherent. He refers to another member of the panel, who has a moustache, as 'tache' and uses offensive language. After one hour Reed returns from the toilet and, getting more to drink, rolls on top of the noted feminist author Kate Millett. The show is briefly taken off air following a hoax call to the station claiming that Channel 4 boss Michael Grade is furious. 29 January – John Major resists calls from the Labour Party for interest rates to be cut in a bid to combat the recession. 7 February – The Provisional Irish Republican Army launch a mortar attack against 10 Downing Street, blowing in all the windows of the cabinet room, during a session of the War Cabinet, but there are no injuries. 8 February – Heavy snow disrupts the country for a second time during the winter 1990–1991 season as Britain experiences a prolonged cold snap. 17 February – Barclays Bank is reported to be on the verge of axing more than 13,000 workers. 18 February – The IRA explodes bombs in the early morning at both Paddington station and Victoria station in London. 25 February – Alan Green, Director of Public Prosecution, announces that the Birmingham Six could soon be free from prison after 17 years as their convictions for terrorism and mass murder are no longer considered safe and satisfactory. 26 February – Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. As the war comes to its conclusion, television programming begins to return to regular broadcasting. 27 February – The National Institute of Economic and Social Research predicts that the recession will end this summer. 28 February – Iraq accepts a provisional ceasefire, and British troops halt their advance on Baghdad. 3 March – An Ipsos MORI poll shows that John Major is more popular with his voters than his Conservative government. 8 March – Ribble Valley, the tenth safest Conservative seat in Britain, is won by the Liberal Democrats in a by-election. 9 March – While a guest on the ITV chat show Aspel & Company, singer Rod Stewart takes off his shoes and tosses them into the audience. 10 March – The UK reportedly has the fastest pace in rising unemployment than any other European Community country. 14 March – The Birmingham Six are freed after the Court of Appeal quashes their convictions over the 1974 pub bombings in Birmingham which killed 21 people and injured more than 160 others. 15 March – Unemployment is now above 2,000,000 for the first time in two years. The number of British workers employed in the manufacturing industry has fallen below 5,000,000 for the first time since records began. 19 March – Norman Lamont predicts 2% economic contraction for this year. 21 March – Education Secretary Kenneth Clarke announces plans to remove further education and sixth form colleges from local authority control. 23 March - The Government launches its Citizen's Charter campaign. John Major announces the abolition of the Community Charge. 28 March – An inquest in Sheffield into the Hillsborough disaster records a verdict of accidental death on the 95 people who died as a result of the tragedy in 1989. Many of the victims' families criticise the verdict in open court, as many of them had been hoping for a verdict of unlawful killing, or an open verdict, and for criminal charges to be brought against the police officers who patrolled the game. 29 March – Sir John Stradling Thomas, Conservative MP for Monmouth, dies aged 65. 4 April - Social services in the Orkney Islands are criticised for their handling of more than 100 children who have returned to their families after being taken away over allegations of child abuse. Labour retains the Neath seat in a by-election with new MP Peter Hain gaining more than half of the vote. 8 April – The Football Association announces plans for a new "super league" of 18 clubs to replace the Football League First Division as the highest division of English football. The move is attacked by smaller Football League clubs, who fear that they could go out of business if TV revenue was confined to the proposed super league. 18 April – Despite the continuing recession, the Conservatives are still top of the opinion polls as the latest MORI poll puts them two points ahead of Labour on 42%. The Liberal Democrats have trebled their showing in the last 15 months, now gaining 15% of the vote. 19 April – George Carey enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury. 20 April – The Sports Channel is rebranded as Sky Sports. 23 April – Government confirms that the unpopular Community Charge is to be replaced by a new Council Tax in 1993. 29 April - On an edition of Terry Wogan's evening chat show Wogan and amid howls of laughter from the studio audience, former footballer David Icke claims that he is "the son of God," and that Britain will be devastated by tidal waves and earthquakes. He later said that he had been misinterpreted, and that he had used the term "the son of God" to mean an "aspect" of the Infinite consciousness. The interview proved devastating for him. The BBC was later criticised for allowing the interview to go ahead, Des Christy in The Guardian calling it a "media crucifixion." 5 May – Hopes for a quick end to the recession are boosted by CBI predictions that a sharp recovery in business profits will begin shortly. 15 May – Manchester United win the European Cup Winners' Cup with a 2–1 win over FC Barcelona of Spain in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Mark Hughes scores both of their goals to give English clubs a winning return to European competitions after their five-year ban was lifted last year. 16 May – Unemployment is now at 2,175,000 – the highest since late 1988. It is also above the European average for the first time since 1987. 17 May – The Conservatives lose another by-election when Labour gain their Monmouth seat in Wales. 18 May – Helen Sharman becomes the first British person in space, flying with the Soyuz TM-12 mission. As of 2011 she is the only British astronaut. Tottenham Hotspur win the FA Cup for a record eighth time with a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest. Midfielder Paul Gascoigne, a multi-million pound transfer target for Italian side Lazio, suffers cruciate knee ligament damage early in the game and is not expected to play again in 1991. 21 May – South Wales, one of the regions hardest hit by unemployment, receives a boost when the go-ahead is given for Japanese electrical company Sony to build a new factory in Bridgend that will create 1,400 jobs when it opens in 1993. 22 May – Nearly six months after the breakthrough in the Channel Tunnel service tunnel, the breakthrough in the North rail tunnel is achieved. On the same day, road links to the British terminal are improved when the final section of the M20 motorway is opened between Maidstone and Ashford, meaning that the Chunnel's unbroken motorway link with London has already been completed an estimated three years before the first trains move between Britain and France. 24 May - Labour tops a MORI poll for the first time this year as they stand six points ahead of the Conservatives on 43%. Sutton Manor Colliery at Bold in the Lancashire Coalfield closes, the last in Britain to use a steam winding engine. 27 May – Eric Heffer, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, dies after an 18-month battle against cancer. 29 May – Economists warn that the economy is still in an "exceptionally steep" recession and that it could be another year before the first real signs of recovery become visible. June – Kia, the Korean carmaker, begins importing cars to the United Kingdom for the first time; initially it will only import the Pride (a rebadged version of the Japanese Mazda 121), but at least one further model is expected to join it by 1994. 3 June – The British Army kill three IRA gunmen in Northern Ireland. 6 June – Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock condemns John Major for high interest rates, as much as 17%, being charged on small businesses by banks. 10 June – The National Gallery (London) opens its new Sainsbury Wing to the public. 13 June – Unemployment is reported to have risen to 2,250,000, the lowest monthly rise reported this year. 14 June – Julie Ann Gibson becomes the first woman to qualify as a pilot with the Royal Air Force. 19 June – Secretary of State for Employment Michael Howard announces a £230million plan to tackle rising unemployment. 25 June – Nissan, the Japanese carmaker with a plant at Sunderland, starts "price wars" by reducing the cost of its cars in order to boost flagging sales brought on by the recession. 28 June - Seven months after her resignation as prime minister, Margaret Thatcher announces that she will stand down as a Member of Parliament at the general election, which has to be held within the next 12 months. The final breakthrough in the Channel Tunnel is achieved when the last section of clay in the South rail tunnel is bored away. July – South African produced cars are imported to Britain for the first time, with the launch of the Sao Penza, a rebadged version of the Mazda 323. Production of the Vauxhall Belmont compact saloon ends and a newer Astra range of hatchbacks and estates begins with saloon and convertible models arriving later. 4 July – Labour retains the Walton seat in a by-election, with new MP Peter Kilfoyle gaining more than half of the vote. 5 July – The Bank of England closes down the Bank of Credit and Commerce International amid fraud allegations. Several local authorities in the UK lose millions of pounds in investments held with the bank. 8 July – Two suspected IRA terrorists shoot their way out of Brixton Prison in London. 11 July – Labour Party MP, Terry Fields, joins the list of people jailed for refusal to pay the poll tax after he receives a 60-day prison sentence. He is the first MP to be jailed for refusing to pay the controversial tax which was introduced early last year. 14 July - 1991 British Grand Prix - Podium First: United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault Second: Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda Third: France Alain ProstFerrari. 15 July – 17th G7 summit held in London. 16 July – A government survey of children's school reading reveals that Roald Dahl, who died eight months ago, has now overtaken Enid Blyton as the most popular author of children's books. 18 July – Economists warn that unemployment will reach 3,000,000 (a level not seen since early 1987) by the end of next year. 23 July – The Ministry of Defence proposes the merge of 22 army regiments as part of a general reform programme. 24 July – Chancellor Norman Lamont assures the House of Commons that the economic recovery will begin before the end of this year. 31 July – The BBC's Lime Grove Studios close. NICAM stereo sound introduced on BBC Television. 8 August – John McCarthy, a British hostage held in Lebanon for over 5 years is freed. 12 August – The Times reports that every job vacancy is being chased by 22 applicants. 16 August – The Bank of England declares that the worst of the current recession is now over. 23 August – Growing confidence over economic recovery has helped boost the Conservative government's popularity, as they return to the top of the MORI poll with a two-point lead over Labour putting them on 42%. 29 August - Rioting breaks out in Leeds and Cardiff. Princess Diana attends the funeral of Adrian Ward-Jackson, her friend who died of AIDS earlier this month. Alick Buchanan-Smith, Conservative MP for Kincardine and Deeside, dies aged 59. 30 August – Scottish runner Liz McColgan becomes the first British gold medalist at the World Athletics Championships in Tokyo, Japan. 3 September – Following the recent outbreaks of violence in Leeds and Cardiff, rioting breaks out at Handsworth in Birmingham, Kates Hill in Dudley and Blackbird Leys in Oxford. 5 September – The actor Arthur Pentelow, who died on 6 August, makes his final on screen appearance as Henry Wilks in Emmerdale. The character dies off screen on 3 October. 12 September – Unemployment has hit 2,400,000 – the highest level since the spring of 1988 – completing a 50% rise in just over a year. However, the rate of rising unemployment is slowing down and retail sales are improving. 13 September – Further rioting breaks out in Tyneside. 14 September – George Buckley, Labour MP for Hemsworth in West Yorkshire, dies aged 56. 15 September – A poll shows that Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock is a liability to his party, who are now behind John Major's Conservative Party in the opinion polls. 17 September – Neil Kinnock hits out at claims that he is to blame for his party falling behind in the opinion polls, sparking speculation that John Major will call a general election within the next two months. 19 September – Robin Leigh-Pemberton, governor of the Bank of England, says that he is confident that the recession is now over in Britain. 20 September – Richard Holt, Conservative MP for Langbaurgh in Cleveland, dies suddenly at the age of 60. 25 September – Kidnappers in Beirut release hostage Jackie Mann after over 2 years in captivity. October – Vauxhall launches the third generation of its popular Astra family hatchback and estate, with saloon and cabriolet variants due next year. Cigar and pipe tobacco adverts are banned from UK television. 2 October – Just over two weeks after Neil Kinnock was damned by a poll as a "liability" to the Labour Party, the leader and his MPs are celebrating after they overtake the Conservatives by two points in the opinion polls. 9 October – The first Sumo tournmament to be held outside Japan is hosted at the Royal Albert Hall in London. 11 October – John Major outlines his vision of a "classless" Britain in a party conference at Blackpool, where his predecessor Margaret Thatcher voices her support for him. 16 October – The ITV franchise auction results are announced and many notable names go off air including Thames Television, TVS, TSW, TV-am and ORACLE Teletext. The changes take effect at midnight GMT on 1 January 1993. 17 October – The smallest monthly rise in unemployment since last November is cited by the government as an "unmistakable" sign that the recession is drawing to a close. 18 October – Labour's hopes of election success are boosted by the latest MORI poll, which shows them six points ahead of the Conservatives on 45%. 19 October – Canadian singer Bryan Adams makes history when his hit single (Everything I Do) I Do It for You, which features in the film Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves (released on 14 June this year, and starring Kevin Costner) enters its 15th successive week at number one in the UK singles charts. 22 October – Leonora Knatchbull, the five-year-old daughter of Norton Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne and his wife Penelope, dies after a one-year battle against a kidney tumour. She was also a great-grandchild of Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was murdered by the IRA in 1979. She is buried at Romsey Abbey on 26 October. 23 October – In the legal case of R v R decided on appeal, the Law Lords unanimously decide that spousal rape is a crime in England and Wales, overturning the principle established by Chief Justice Hale in 1736. 27 October – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, the power ballad performed by Canadian singer Bryan Adams, loses its number one position at the top of the singles charts after a record 16 consecutive weeks, displaced by U2's The Fly. 29 October – Hopes that the recession is drawing to a close are boosted by CBI findings that show that manufacturers are now more optimistic than at any time in the past three years. November - Computer retailer PC World opens its first store in Croydon, Surrey. Alan Sked forms the Anti-Federalist League, a political party aiming to field election candidates opposed to the Maastricht Treaty. 5 November – Robert Maxwell, owner of numerous business interests including the Daily Mirror newspaper, is found dead off the coast of Tenerife; his cause of death is unconfirmed, but reports suggest that he has committed suicide. 7 November – Labour retains its control of Hemsworth in the by-election, with the new MP being Derek Enright, while the Liberal Democrats gain Kincardine and Deeside from the Conservatives in another by-election. Another by-election sees the Conservatives lose Langbaurgh to Labour, who gain a new MP in 35-year-old Indian born Ashok Kumar. 9 November – First ever controlled and substantial production of fusion energy achieved at the Joint European Torus in Oxford. 15 November – Britain's hopes of economy recovery are dealt with a major blow when shares on the Wall Street Stock Exchange fall by 120 points. 16 November – Two IRA bombers die in St Albans, Hertfordshire, when a bomb explodes prematurely. 18 November – Terry Waite, a British hostage held in Lebanon, is freed after four-and-a-half years in captivity. 23 November – Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of rock band Queen, announces that he is suffering from AIDS, following lengthy media speculation about his health. 24 November – Freddie Mercury dies at his home in London, just 24 hours after going public with the news that he was suffering from AIDS. 25 November - The Court of Appeal quashes the convictions of Winston Silcott, Engin Raghip and Mark Braithwaite, for the murder of PC Keith Blakelock in the Broadwater Farm riot at Tottenham, North London, six years ago. Raghip and Braithwaite are released from prison, but Silcott remains imprisoned for a separate murder. 26 November – Julin Bristol, the last UK nuclear test, takes place at the Nevada Test Site. 27 November - Freddie Mercury is cremated after a funeral service at West London Crematorium. The government announces that joyriders who are found guilty should face a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment as well as unlimited fines and unlimited automatic driving bans. Joyriding has recently surged across Britain, with almost all of those involved being children and teenagers. 28 November – First performance of Alan Bennett's play The Madness of George III in London. 1 December – Thousands of British shops, including retail giants Asda and Tesco, defy trading laws and open their doors on a Sunday in a bid to boost trade that has been badly hit by the ongoing recession. 5 December – The Robert Maxwell Business Empire goes into receivership with £1billion+ debts, exactly one month after Robert Maxwell's death. The Daily Mirror reports that Maxwell had wrongly removed £350million from its pension fund shortly before he died. 10 December – Ronald Coase wins the Nobel Prize in Economics "for his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy". 16 December – Stella Rimington announced as the first female director general of MI5. 19 December – Unemployment is now above 2,500,000 for the first time since early 1988. 23 December – Bohemian Rhapsody returns to the top of the British singles charts after 16 years, with the re-release's proceeds being donated to the Terence Higgins Trust. 25 December – In an unusual move, the Royal Christmas Message is integrated into the first of the day's episodes of Coronation Street on ITV. Character Alf Roberts sat down in front of his television, 'watched' the speech in its entirety, and the episode resumed. 27 December – The last MORI poll of 1991 shows that Labour are six points ahead of the Conservatives with 44% of the vote. 29 December – A quarterly opinion poll shows that Neil Kinnock and Labour are three points ahead of John Major and the Conservatives, sparking hope for Labour that they will win the next election (which has to be held within five months) or at least the election will result in a hung parliament for the first time since 1974. The economy remains rooted in the recession which began last year. Despite the deepening recession, inflation has been substantially decreased to 5.9%. One Canada Square at Canary Wharf in London becomes the tallest building in the UK. The Communist Party of Great Britain dissolves. Scout Groups may admit girls to all their sections. Despite the onset of the recession and a sharp fall in new car sales (with fewer than 1,600,000 new cars being sold in 1991 compared to the record of more than 2,300,000 in 1989), Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK's car plant at Sunderland returns a profit for the first time, making £18.4million this year. It currently only makes the Primera family saloon and hatchbacks there, but from August next year it will be joined by the new version of the smaller Micra. Television BBC1 3 January – The Brittas Empire (1991–1994, 1996–1997) 8 January – Spender (1991–1993) 12 January – Joking Apart (1991, 1993) 30 April – Big Break (1991–2002) 31 August – The House of Eliott (1991–1994) 3 September – 2point4 Children (1991–1999) 26 September – Get Your Own Back (1991–2003) Spider! (1991) Brum (1991–1994, 2001–2002) 23 November – Noel's House Party (1991–1999) BBC2 17 September – Bottom (1991–1995) 14 November – Murder Most Horrid (1991–1999) ITV 7 April – The Darling Buds of May (1991–1993) 7 April – Prime Suspect (1991–2006) 3 May – Second Thoughts (1991–1994) 17 May – A Perfect Hero (1991) 10 June – Soldier Soldier (1991–1997) 6 September – Victor and Hugo (1991–1992) 11 September – Thatcher: The Final Days (1991) 17 October – Captain Zed and the Zee Zone (1991–1992) 25 December – Brown Bear's Wedding (1991) Bernard Wenton, performing as Nat King Cole wins the second series of Stars in Their Eyes. Channel 4 6 June – G.B.H. (1991) 30 June – Family Pride (1991–1992) 24 December – Father Christmas (1991) April – Channel 4's three-week Banned season features a series of films and programmes which had previously been banned from British television or cinema. The season includes network television showings of Scum, Monty Python's Life of Brian and Sebastiane. There is also a second broadcast of the controversial 1988 Thames Television documentary Death on the Rock which investigated the shooting of three members of the IRA by the SAS in Gibraltar. The season proves to be controversial and Channel 4 is investigated by the Obscene Publications Squad and referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Charts Number-one singles "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" - Iron Maiden "Sadness (Part I)" - Enigma "Innuendo" - Queen "3 a.m. Eternal" - The KLF "Do the Bartman" - The Simpsons "Should I Stay or Should I Go" - The Clash "The Stonk" - Hale and Pace "The One and Only" - Chesney Hawkes "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" - Cher "I Wanna Sex You Up" - Color Me Badd "Any Dream Will Do" - Jason Donovan "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" - Bryan Adams "The Fly" - U2 "Dizzy" - Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff "Black or White" - Michael Jackson "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" - George Michael and Elton John "Bohemian Rhapsody / These Are the Days of Our Lives" - Queen
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