2002 in history

2002 in history

Here are some light-hearted facts about 2002, designed to serve as a prep sheet for a radio feature on 2002.

I created this page because when I needed some notes to create a few talking points about 2002 in Ireland I couldn't find any suitable sources, so I thought I'd share what I did find. It applies to 2002 in Britain too.

You can also look at years other than 2002:

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  • One of the most popular TV shows was the Only Fools and Horses Christmas Special, with 17 million viewers in the UK. The episode sees Del and Rodney accidentally kidnap somebody in France, and they have to convince their wives that he’s their friend, 'Gary' - good for audio

  • Popstars: The Rivals aired in Britain and Irish Popstars aired in Ireland - both featuring Nadine Coyle at the centre.

    Nadine, from Derry, was one of the winners of the Irish show. At the end she let slip that she was 16, not 18 as she had told producers. After struggling to convince them she had lost her passport, she confessed and was kicked out the band. Judge Louis Walsh encouraged her to enter the British show later that year.

    Nadine won the British show along with Cheryl Tweedy, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh, who formed Girls Aloud. They beat One True Voice ("the rivals") to scoring the Christmas number one.

  • American Idol was first shown and gave rise to Kelly Clarkson.

  • The re-launched Top Gear, with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, started in this year. Iconic character The Stig was introduced, but James May was a later addition.

  • The first Test The Nation - the nationwide IQ test - appeared on BBC TV, presented by Anne Robinson and Phillip Schofield.

  • The first series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! was won by Tony Blackburn. Both contestants and producers didn't know what to expect; the celebrities complained that they couldn't cope without cigarettes and there was nowhere private to get changed.

    Producers later discovered that the camp they were using would flood for most of the year. As a result they never used this camp again.

  • MTV premiered The Osbournes.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! cards were some of the must-have toys - good for audio

  • The camera phone was invented - the Sanyo SCP-5300 launched it.

  • Angus Deayton was sacked from his role as host of Have I Got News For You after months of headlines about his dealings with drugs and prostitutes. Paul Merton later told Parkinson, "we stabbed him in the front".

  • Ben Affleck was People's Sexiest Man Alive.

  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released (the 6th title in the series).

  • Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears broke up.

  • Michael Jackson caused an international controversy after he dangled Prince Michael II off the balcony of his hotel room in Berlin.

  • When Spider-Man was released in this year, it was the first movie ever to gross $100 million at the domestic box office on its first weekend.

  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding was released.

  • Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube were launched.

  • Philip Schofield replaced John Leslie as host of This Morning.

  • Steve Fossett finished his non-stop trip around the world via balloon on July 4th. It took him 14 days, 19 hours and 51 minutes.

  • Paul McCartney married Heather Mills at Castle Leslie in Co. Monaghan.

  • Roy Keane was sent home from Japan after the 'Saipan incident' with Mick McCarthy.

  • Euro notes and coins were introduced across the European Union.

  • Ireland's black and white TV licence was abolished in this year.

  • Ireland became the first country to bring in the plastic bag levy. It led to a 90% drop in the use of plastic bags.

While these facts about 2002 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.