2001 in history

2001 in history

Here are some light-hearted facts about 2001, designed to serve as a prep sheet for a radio feature on 2001.

I created this page because when I needed some notes to create a few talking points about 2001 in Ireland I couldn't find any suitable sources, so I thought I'd share what I did find. It applies to 2001 in Britain too.

You can also look at years other than 2001:

1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1985 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008


  • The iPod was released. It had been designed under the codename 'Dulcimer'. It had the capacity to store 1,000 songs, a scroll-wheel controller and 10 hours of battery life.

  • The first Harry Potter film - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone – was released.

  • Italy's Leaning Tower Of Pisa reopened after being closed for 11 years for repairs to stop it toppling over.

  • Jack Dee won the first series of Celebrity Big Brother for charity (with Vanessa Feltz and Keith Duffy), despite escaping from the house and going for a walk around East London.

  • The Office launched on BBC Two and Popstars launched on ITV - it was billed as a documentary on the formation of a pop group, and saw the creation of Hear'Say. This was different to Pop Idol, with Simon Cowell, which also launched in this year and gave us Will Young and Gareth Gates.

  • Black Hawk Down, Bridget Jones' Diary, Monsters Inc. and Shrek were released.

  • The Segway PT (the two-wheel electric bike thing that was supposed to be impossible to fall off) was launched.

  • Jennifer Lopez became the first person to have a number one song in the charts and a number one film at the box office simultaneously. The film was The Wedding Planner.

  • One million children in over 3,000 British schools participated in an experiment to discover if it is possible to create earthquakes by all jumping off chairs.

  • Wikipedia was officially launched in this year. "Wiki" is the Hawaiian for "fast"; thanks to Wikipedia it now means "database anyone can edit".

  • The outbreak of Foot & Mouth affected zoos and farms all over the country. Dublin's St Patrick's Day parade was delayed two months.

  • The first Xbox was released in America [NB: the European release was next year].

  • Alicia Keys swept the board at the Grammys with five nominations for Fallin.

  • Bratz dolls were sold for the first time. They had a passion for fashion! - good for audio

  • The Post Office changed its name to Consignia, in what is widely regarded as one of the biggest branding failures of all time. It changed back a few months later.

  • Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were banned from Hollywood's Bel Air Hotel for life for destroying their room. It took five days to repair.

  • Major Charles Ingram won Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The next day he was accused of cheating; he was later found guilty even though he denies it.

  • Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott punched a protester who threw an egg at him in Rhyl.

  • Tony Blair's Labour party defeated William Hague's Conservatives in a General Election.

  • Millions watched Britney Spears dance with a python at the MTV's Music Video Awards.

  • Hard not to acknowledge the awful events of 9/11, when the whole world stood still. Flights were suspended for several days and bookings plummeted.

  • Irish Popstars began on TV this winter. The grand final would be early next year, and would see Nadine Coyle "forget" her age.

  • Ireland's An Post started selling starter packs with €6.35 of euro coins, for £5.

  • A 15-year-old Katie Taylor beat Belfast's Alanna Audley in the first-ever women's boxing match allowed by the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.

  • The Luas was put on display in Dublin's Stephen's Green, as construction began.

While these facts about 2001 have been checked against third-party sources (and have been used on air before!), they are provided in good faith to inspire your research and no guarantee is made about their accuracy or their uniqueness.

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Tedious about the author bit

Radio producer and travel historian. I write about travel patterns, urban development, heavy machinery and lists.

I love the places people pass through along their journey, and societies that have been shaped by our need to get around.

Producer experienced with entertainment and talk shows with an attitude described as "amusingly surly".

Legally bland

Any similarities with real-life events or wealthy international firms is probably coincidental. No products endorsed. I'm powered by Monster Munch.

© 2021 Johnathan Randall.