Everybody’s favourite cockney soap-opera, Eastenders, has graced our screens for a grand total of 29 years from today.
Having started with just two half-hour episodes a week, jumping up to four half-hour episodes over the years.
It has created some of British TV’s most iconic characters (as well as some not-so-iconic ones), such as: the Mitchell Brothers, Alfie & Kat Moon (nee Slater), Dot Cotton, Pat Butcher and Ian Beale.
Eastenders has picked up the Best British Soap award 10 times at the British Soap Awards since their inception in 1999.
Prince Andrew – The Duke of York
Royal celebrations today, as Prince Andrew – The Duke of York turns 54 today.
To give him his full name – Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Knight of the Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Personal Aide-De-Camp (imagine that on your passport) will be celebrating his 54th year since he was born inside Buckingham Palace.
Prince Andrew was married to Sarah Ferguson for 10 years, up until 1996.
He is currently fifth in line to the thrown, following Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George and Prince Harry.
Happy Birthday, Prince Andrew.
Pluto – no longer a planet.
One for the star-gazers on this day, as American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, discovered the ‘ninth planet’, Pluto exactly 84 years ago.
Not to take anything away from Tombaugh’s incredible discovery, but Pluto has been officially downgraded since then and is now regarded a ‘dwarf planet’, confusing school children across the globe who now can’t make head nor tail of how many planets there are in our solar system. (Answer: eight)
Officially reclassified in 2006, Pluto’s status created controversy amongst the International Astronomical Union, who eventually agreed on the following set of guidelines to fully define an actual planet:
- The object must be in orbit around the Sun.
- The object must be massive enough to be a sphere by its own gravitational force. More specifically, its own gravity should pull it into a shape of hydrostatic equilibrium.
- It must have cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.
Dre hits 49!
Andre Romelle Young, otherwise known as Dr. Dre, hits the ripe age of 49 today.
Dre, straight outta Compton, California is best known for his seminal rap-work of the 90’s, as well as in his ‘mentor’ capacity of fellow superstar, Eminem.
Having worked with some of the biggest names in rap as he built his career, including being part of ‘NWA’, he can count the likes of Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and late 2Pac & Notorious B.I.G as peers. His album ‘2001’ is seen as one of the greatest albums in modern rap music and has sold over 7.5 million albums worldwide.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Dre.
On this day in 1975, Margaret Thatcher took up leadership of the Conservative Party.
‘Iron Lady’ Thatcher would eventually become the UK’s first female Prime Minister in 1979, taking over from former PM Sir Edward Heath.
Baroness Thatcher would remain in power for 11 years, after which she was successfully challenged for her leadership by John Major.
Thatcher’s time in charge of the country is most commonly associated with the miner’s strikes of the 1980’s and subsequent fallout across the country; a spat that is believed to have cost 29 million working days.
On 8th April, 2013 Thatcher passed away following a stroke. She had been unwell for a number of years.
Blazing Saddles – 1974
On This Day in 1974, the Mel Brooks film ‘Blazing Saddles’ was released into cinemas.
The films makes direct references to the heavily-handed racism that was riddled throughout early Hollywood Wild West films.
Littered with anachronisms, such as the German Army from World War II scene, ‘Blazing Saddles’ was about as tongue-in-cheek as they come.
It tells the story of a black Sherriff in an all-white town and features a number of cameos from writer/director Mel Brooks, who was given a Writer’s Guild of America Award for ‘Best Comedy’ along with his writing team, which included high-profile black comedian, Richard Pryor.
Bicentenial Man – Charles Dickens
Late English writer and raconteur, Charles Dickens, would turn 202 today if he were still with us.
Writer of ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘Great Expectations’, Dickens created some of, not only British, but world literature’s greatest characters and stories.
Portsmouth-born Dickens was forced into work early on in his life, following his father’s imprisonment and, it is believed, his lack of education and virtual impoverishment is what gave him the drive to succeed.
His first serialised publication in 1836, ‘The Pickwick Papers’, saw him acclaimed by critics across the country and his success grew from there.