Two Chevrons Apart

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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2002

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! cards were some of the must-have toys.

  • Ben Affleck was People's Sexiest Man Alive.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Uri Geller was appointed co-chairman of Exeter City FC. He said he wouldn't be using his special powers to give them an advantage.

  • The World Cup was held in South Korea and Japan and won by Brazil. English media was obsessed with David Beckham breaking his metatarsal before the tournament; some of them tried to suggest that Argentina’s Aldo Duscher had deliberately broken it. There was also a lot of talk about David Seaman's pony tail.

  • 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.

2002 Launches

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

  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released. It was the fourth game and the biggest game of the year.

  • Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube were launched. Halo was the big Xbox game.

  • The BBC created CBeebies, a new channel and website for their youngest viewers. It would become most famous for its bedtime stories.

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

  • In London, 8 Canada Square was completed. The large tower in the middle of the Docklands is known as the 'HSBC building'.

2002 in Film

  • 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.

  • Other big films include Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Men in Black II, Ice Age, A Beautiful Mind, Scooby-Doo, Die Another Day and Lilo & Stitch.

2002 in TV

  • 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'.

  • 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.

  • Most Haunted and The Wire were new on TV.

  • Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway was on TV for the first time.

  • Children's show Balamory began, famous for its colourful buildings and songs.

  • The ITV1 name was introduced to the UK's regional TV channels.

  • 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".


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. You can use the facts however you wish: most people just take a couple of points they remember and talk around then.

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© 2024 Johnathan Randall

Johnathan Randall
Legally bland

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

© 2024 Johnathan Randall.