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26.6.18

A Mug For The '80s...

Here up at '80s Actual Towers, we're right mugs for all things 1980s, so in this post we've decided to up our mug status by looking at mugs. 1980s mugs, that is. We bought this new graffiti design in 1989, and the design continued to be wildly popular into the early 1990s. 'BUY BLITISH!' 'SAVE TREES EAT A BEAVER!' 'IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED CHEAT.' 'MICKEY MOUSE IS A RAT!' FABULOUS!

What about mugs reflecting crazes of the 1980s? Well, you couldn't find a better representation than the two 1981 mugs pictured below featuring the mighty Rubik's Cube. The Cube was one of the greatest success stories of the decade, sweeping into our lives in 1980 (or, more likely, 1981 - there was a shortage) and then taking those aforementioned lives over. Could we solve it? Our fascination was endless.

Sadly, I couldn't solve it and had to concede that it really was a 'mug's game'!

One of our very fave 1980s mug designs is this lovely pedestal 'Let's Break' design - with the cosily boiling kettle. There was also the same pic with a 'Have A Break' and 'Break Time' slogan. All three designs are still favourites for a comforting brew on a busy day up at '80s Actual Towers.


These mugs are also great for packet soups. Being slightly smaller than most, if you stir it up well you get a nice thick tasty slurp rather than the usual insipid powdery hot water.


Just remember to stir well and make sure the powder is fully dissolved. YUM!

The wedding of Princes Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July, 1981, provoked a welter of souvenir merchandising. This mug seems particularly evocative. The newsprint quality of the photographs would never pass muster today.

Here's our old mate Henry's Cat with a very '80s message: 'Nothing succeeds like excess!' Absolutely!

Talking about famous cartoon cats, what about Garfield? From 1981 (in America) and 1983 (England) we were swamped with Garfield stuff.

And here's a word about Garfield mugs and general merchandising. If you have Garfield merchandise it will date from the 1980s at the earliest. If it says '1978' on it that's simply because it was the year when the character first appeared in American newspaper comic strips - was first copyrighted - and he looked liked this:

His appearance evolved during the 1980s and evidence of that evolvement is obvious from the merchandising. Jim Davis founded his own Garfield merchandising company, Paws Inc. in 1981, and that's when the flood of Garfield stuff began. He made his way to English shops a year or two later.

1978 being the first copyright date for Garfield, it was often used on subsequent merchandising. The same rule applies to the Pac-Man mug later in this blog post. It's dated '1980' because that was the year the character debuted, but the mug is actually from a couple of years later.

So, next time you nip onto eBay and see a Garfield mug - apparently from 1978, don't be fooled. It won't be.

The mug featured here actually has two copyright dates - 1978 and 1981!


Right, pressing on, we say 'qua qua, fa diddily qua qua' and meet our next mug...


Yes, it's Adam (with the 'D' authentically the wrong way round) and his Ants on this little beauty from 1981. Actually, we loved Adam. We think he made David Bowie - even in David's fab 1980 Ashes To Ashes phase - look like Hilda Ogden. Adam had great street cred, and also great behind-the-bike-sheds-with-a-ciggie-and-a-transistor-radio cred, back then. It's easy to go all tongue-in-cheek about it now, but I genuinely felt Adam was something of a marvel back in the early 1980s - and I still treasure the memories. The music, the videos, the image... fantastic!


And here's another larger-than-life 1980s celebrity - Mr T - BA Baracus himself - from the A-Team. Some English TV critics were dubious about the show when it debuted here, but the kids loved it and it quickly assumed legendary status.


This mug is simply very 1980s and nice. Well, I like it. Dates from 1986.


Another favourite - the Cadbury's chocolate block mug from 1983. Lovely with hot chocolate. And a couple of choc biccies… And maybe even a couple of bars of chocolate - particularly another 1983 debut...


… the Wispa bar! Bite it and believe it, as the ads said. Scrummy!


Wanna be a yuppie? Yus, matey boots? Well, this 1984 mug is for you. This was before the hugely booming bit of the 1980s had really got underway, so the yuppie 'wants' seem a bit naff and feeble now. We still had three years to wait for Gordon Gekko.

Orville! Remember that chart-buster of late 1982 - Orville's Song? 'Orful, who is your very best friend?' 'You are.' 'I'm gonna help you mend your broken NECK!' That's what we sang. Hard-hearted gits, weren't we? But this is a very lovely mug, is it not?


And here he is, then! The one, the only, PAC-MAN! Remember the copyright date rule we discussed regarding Garfield? Well, this Kiln Craft mug contains the copyright date '1980' for the character, but the mug dates from around 1982.

The kettle never stops boiling at our place so we'll be revisiting the 1980s teatime soon...


A First Glimpse Of Prince...

A first glimpse of Prince - the funky American pop maestro, who was bringing what was being touted as "US Punkfunk" to England in this 1981 newspaper ad for the New Musical Express.

Whilst some attribute the origins of Punk to the likes of Iggy Pop in the America of the late 1960s, America's fully-fledged Punk scene was, of course, later than ours and lacked the snarling attitude (and repeated 1950s guitar riffs!) of bands like the Sex Pistols.

Prince first charted here in February 1983 with 1999.

Bruce Springsteen was also heading our way and were the Rolling Stones about to split up? There was only one way to discover the answers - buy a copy of the New Musical Express, "your ruder rudder through life's stormy seas".

The ad's "Di" and "Charlie" references reflected 1981's outbreak of Royal Wedding fever.

The Return of the 51c Cat...

Regular readers will recall the recent post about 1980s home d├ęcor and the tale (and tail) of the 51c Cat, which entered my life via my flatmate's visit to a jumble sale in 1987. Now Norm has written:

I'm particularly interested in prints of that era and have never seen this one before. You mentioned you had scanned it so I wonder if I might ask you to send me a scan please?

Hi, Norm! Well, I always thought the 51c Cat was a rare beast! I have several scans of different resolutions and would be happy to send them to you as e-mail attachments if you let me have an e-mail address.

Miaow for now!

16.6.18

Life in 1986 - A Few Magazine Ads - Hugo Boss, Cars For Rent, Puma, Just Juice And Stella Artois...

Fashion 1986 - the deelyboppers of a couple of years before had mysteriously disappeared...

Cars for rent... the Toyota MR2, Ford Escort RS Turbo, or the Ford Escort 1.6i Cabriolet - £59.40 a day or £356 a week?! The Lamborghini Countach QV or Ferrari Testarossa - £436.50 per day or £2,619.00 per week?!!!

Incredible...


Martina Navratilova and Boris Becker - "Puma" written all over them. I'll never forget seventeen-year-old Boris's win at Wimbledon in 1985. Probably the most thrilling Wimbledon I ever saw.


"No additives, no mess, no fuss - just juice!"

An advertisement for Just Juice featured in The Field Story Of Wimbledon, a 1986 magazine published to celebrate 100 years of championships at the All England Club. Wimbledon actually celebrated its centenary in 1977, but the 100th championships were not played until 1986 because of years missed during the two world wars.

Do you remember the 1980s Just Juice advertising jingle on the telly? "No pips, no additives, no preservatives, just juice..." Some days that jingle went round and round in my head from morning till night!

More liquid refreshment - this time lager at "La Brasserie" - very posh indeed. In fact, posh to the max, darlin'...


"Reassuringly expensive" - sounds barking, doesn't it? But it made perfect sense back in those 1980s days of yuppiedom - yer pays for quality yer see!

I loved a few pints of Stella Artois. It was pricey, but got me... er... muddled and jolly quicker. In fact it got me muddled and jolly very quickly. And lively too. We used to call it 'rocket fuel'!

1988: The End Of The Reagan Era...

On 9th November 1988, American Vice President George Bush beat Democrat Michael Dukakis to become President of the United States. Over here, Channel Four marked the end of the Reagan era by showing four of his films - Bedtime For Bonzo, Desperate Journey and Dark Victory.

Click on the TV Times listing above for more details.

From the Sun, November 18, 1988:

Ronald Reagan danced the last waltz with Mrs Thatcher at an emotional farewell at the Whitehouse.

The world leaders brought down the curtain on their eight-year partnership by sweeping around the ballroom to the sounds of "Hello Dolly".

Husband Denis followed with First Lady Nancy Reagan, applauded by a galaxy of political, literary and showbiz stars.

Mrs Thatcher was visibly moved as Prisident Reagan paid her yet another tribute in the after-dinner toasts.

"We love her," he said.

Nancy confessed: "I was feeling very sentimental and nostalgic and got a little teary during Mrs Thatcher's toast to my husband."

Mrs Thatcher said afterwards: "It was a very emotional moment."

The President yesterday backed incoming President George Bush, who takes over in January, and urged America to give him time to slash the nation's £150 billion budget deficit.

Bullseye

In 1981 Bullseye arrived, and in this post you'll find a couple of pics of Jim Bowen and Bully - super, smashing, great!

The pics are actually slightly later than 1981 - as the Central TV logo on them proves - 1981 was the final year of ATV, and Bullseye began as an ATV show.

This review from the Daily Mirror, 3 October, 1981, is not exactly filled with praise for the show...

Contestants on "Bullseye", the downbeat darts quiz from ATV, seem to have been picked out for punishment - and I don't mean having to meet Jim Bowen, the gloomy-faced host.

Of the three couples who played on Monday, two went home empty handed. One of them - the chap was unemployed - had to give back the meagre cash sum Jim had dispensed.

Worse still, at the end of the show they had to go to the back of the stage to study the star prize, a car, they had just failed to win.

The reviewer did not share the taste of the viewing public on this occasion - because we adored Bullseye and it soon became one of our top quiz shows.

Odd to think that Bullseye was once broadcast on a Monday - it was in the Sunday teatime slot that the show became a legend, complete with Jim's daft sayings, Bully's Special Prize and the infamous "Look at what you could've won!" bits.


A lot of people I know loved Bullseye. Must say, I was absolutely hooked myself - from the atmospheric opening music with that gorgeous pub piano to "Look at what you could've won!" - it was required viewing for me for many years!

These bendy Bullys are now quite collectable.

Presenter Jim Bowen, back for series two...

Sunday Mirror, 10 October 1982 - Bullseye is back for another series - and has now moved to its familiar Sunday teatime slot!

Series creator Andrew Wood had spent months studying game shows from aound the world before the Bullseye format was born in 1980. He wrote:

I was convinced that the written format was at the heart of the show and it would be the base on which the show would be built. The format had to be strong, one which could stand the test of time, whilst being both practical and affordable and it would place the contestants at the heart of the show and the host would be the conductor, leading the way. And thus in 1980 the Bullseye format was born, going on to achieve not just unparalleled success, but it would be come one of the most treasured and loved shows on British television.

Recently saw some vintage Bully on Satellite telly. You still can't beat it.


13.6.18

The Apple Macintosh - Why 1984 Wasn't Like '1984'

1984 - Side-stepping Orwell's version - exciting times...


The new Apple Macintosh came with a computer mouse. The first commercial system sold with a mouse, the Xerox 8010 Information System in 1981, had a purchase price of over $20,000! The Apple Mac was an exciting piece of computer kit which cost much less.

The original 1984 Macintosh blurb...

Introducing Macintosh

In the olden days, before 1984, not very many people used computers - for a very good reason.    

Not very many people knew how.

And not very many people wanted to learn.

After all, in those days it meant listening to your stomach growl in computer seminars. Falling asleep over computer manuals. And staying awake nights to memorize commands so complicated you'd have to be a computer to understand them.

Then, on a particularly bright day in California, some particularly bright engineers had a brilliant idea: since computers are so smart, wouldn't it make sense to teach computers about people, instead of teaching people about computers?

So it was that those very engineers worked long days and late nights - teaching tiny silicon chips all about people. How they make mistakes and change their minds. How they label their file folders and save old telephone numbers. How they labor for their livelihoods. And doodle in their spare time.

For the first time in recorded computer history, hardware engineers actually talked to software engineers in a moderate tone of voice. And both became united by a common goal to build the most powerful, most transportable, most flexible, most versatile computer not-very-much-money could buy.

And when the engineers were finally finished, they introduced us to a personal computer so personable it can practically shake hands.

And so easy to use, most people already know how.

They didn't call it the QZ190, or the Zpchip 5000.

They called it Macintosh.

'Ere, that's not a mouse - they go "eek, eek" and run up your trouser leg!


An advertisement from the "Cambridge Evening News" (England), May 1985. 

Actually, while 1984 wasn't like Orwell's '1984' I sometimes think the present day is rather.

1985: A Glimpse of The Sun... AIDS - 'The Wrath Of God' And 'Bongo Bongo Bust-Up'...

From this 1985 Sun front page, we learn that a vicar had just declared AIDS "the wrath of God"- against gay men (the paper was happy to describe it as "the gay plague") - and Unemploy... sorry, I mean Employment Minister Alan Clark was trying to qualify for a part in Love Thy Neighbour. Crass git.

Fortunately, he was several years too late for Love Thy Neighbour.

5.6.18

1983: The Wonder Of Stone Cladding...

Stone cladding was so much better than pebble dashing.

So much more elegant.

So much more modern.

So much more aesthetically pleasing.

Well, at least some people thought it was.

1983 - and having your house stone-cladded is becoming desirable. With the dosh floating around and the credit boom of the mid-to-late 1980s, "doin' up the 'ouse" in all sorts of ways became more and more popular.
Of course, some people thought it was dead common. And when Jack and Vera Duckworth had it in Coronation Street in 1989 it was the death knell for any trendiness the trend had ever had - well, at least for tiny terraced houses.


But back in 1983, when it was all exciting and new, this particular company offered:

NEW Unique 'Country Cottage' one-piece corner stones with traditional sawn stone finish. A revolutionary building development that eliminates unsightly vulnerable edges, to give you an unbelievably perfect finish - everytime...

So, whether you're a homeowner or in the process of buying your Council house, your home will take on a charming and unique character. If you ever decide to sell, you will probably find that you have added considerably to the value of your property...

Every stone is an object of natural beauty. Mellow Cotswold golds, ruggedly handsome greys, browns and delicate pastel shades are all available...

All that and improved sound proofing, thermal insulation and a thirty year guarantee! I'm just as impressed as Jack and Vera! But then the Coronation Street district was always a bit snobby - and having Emily, Ken and Alec looking down their noses was an everyday hazard in 1989.

4.6.18

BANG! How The 1980s Began... Tabloid Snippets From The First Two Years...



1980 - Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please... The anthem of that summer. LOVE IT!!!! Listen to it whilst you're reading through this article - it'll help bring that early 1980s vibe flooding back...

"TWO PINTS OF LAGER AND A PACKET OF CRISPS PLEASE!" we all squawked in the summer of 1980. This was thanks to Splodgenessabounds, of course. 

June 24, 1980:

Britain's most outrageous punk group have rocked into the charts with their first single.

The band, Splodgenessabounds, pour out four letter words, show their bare bottoms and break wind on stage.

Their recording of Simon Templar has reached No. 7 only four weeks after its release.

But it is the B-side - a song called Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Please - which has caught on with the fans.

The group's founder, lead singer Max Splodge, 21, said in London last night: "Before I take my trousers down and moon, I always take a special powder so that I can break wind effectively."

The only person in the eight-strong band without a bare bottom role is girl singer Baby Greensleeves, 22.

Baby, who sometimes takes her dog Two Pints to the group's concerts, said: "I'd moon as well, but it would take too much time because of the gear I wear."

And what was the song about? Some desperate young lad trying to get served in a packed-out pub. Been there so many times. Mind you, if I'd been a barmaid/bloke, I probably wouldn't have served me either.

Max Splodge, Two Pints... writer and singer, spilled the beans about the song years later:

"One night I rushed into The Crown in Chislehurst waving a pound note, trying to buy two pints of lager and a packet of crisps. The bell rang and the bloke wouldn't serve me. The guys in the band were out of their heads on magic mushrooms and thought this was hysterical. The next day I put down a drum track and bass line and just shouted, 'two pints of lager and a packet of crisps...' Mike Reid played it on Radio 1 and it started selling 17,000 copies a day. No one could believe it. It sold a quarter of a million copies and got to No 7."


Cor, the '80s were starting out dead posh, weren't they? 

 Splodgenessabounds' wonderful 1980 anthem on glorious vinyl, tucked away on the B-side with Michael Smith's Talking Bum.



 1981 - England's burning...

Well, of course, we all remember the Style Decade! The glitzy 1980s! Yuppies! Docklands developments! Big Bang! The Credit Boom! Big hair and shoulder pads!

Ho, ho, weren't they up themselves, mateyboots?

Well, actually, one of the things that fascinates me the most about the 1980s is what a turbulent and contrasting decade it was, and nothing speaks louder about that than the good old tabloid newspapers of the era, those we propped up against the Daddy's Sauce bottle as we read and gronffed down our egg and chips early in the decade, or against the bottle of fancy salad dressing as we read and gronffed down our beautifully prepared Nouvelle Cuisine later on.

Let's continue to trawl through some early 1980s tabloid snippets... no yuppies. No mobile phones. Three TV channels and Top of The Pops on Thursday nights...

In my street, none of the school leavers stayed on to sixth form or had the remotest desire to attend university. Oh no, we wanted out of school, and that was the way it had been for us, the lower working classes, the great unwashed, forever. During the 1980s, this would begin to change, but when I left school it certainly wasn't the case. Unemployment had been a problem for years, and with Thatcher focusing on inflation, the number of jobless folk was accelerating through the roof in the early 1980s. But we poor sods had no thought of "staying on" - and it would not have been financially viable for parents round my district anyway.

No yuppies in the early 1980s, no credit boom... riots, royals, CB radio, New Romantics, Space Invaders, and Rubik's Cube were the new trends popping one by one onto the scene.

One writer referred to "The Swinging Sixties And Savage Seventies". As the 1980s got underway, I wondered if they would be remembered as "The Aggro Eighties"? Actually, there was a lot of aggro THROUGHOUT the 1980s, so perhaps it's a worthy title, but so much else happened in that ten years that there are many others!

Anyway, sit back and continue (hopefully) to enjoy this visit to 1980 and 1981, via the Daily Mirror...

1981 - "There's Going To Be A Rumble Tonight"...The riots... in 1980, there was some trouble, centred around racial tensions, a youth leader commented he'd seen it coming for fifteen years or so. In 1981, inner cities burned and shops were plundered as trouble makers, opportunists, political activists and bored youths joined in.

July 9, 1981:

Hours before the latest explosion of mob violence in North London, the word was passed around: "There's going to be a rumble tonight!"

The news spread rapidly through local pubs, youth clubs and even school playgrounds.

It resulted in a crowd of around 400 youths converging on Wood Green and turning it into a battlefield of looting and rioting.

Yesterday police, community leaders and shopkeepers - who were robbed of thousands of punds' worth of goods - were in no doubt that the mob was well organised.

More than six hours before the eruption, the Daily Mirror was warned that trouble was about to break out.

A man, who refused to give his name, phoned the Mirror to say: "There will be trouble in Wood Green High Road tonight."

The caller explained that he had overheard a group of youths in a North London pub boasting that they were going to "take on the police".

At about the same time, police themselves heard about the impending violence.

This was revealed yesterday to local police Commander Jim Dickenson.

He said: "It was obviously organised by somebody.

"You don't get hundreds of people massing in one place by coincidence."

Haringey Council leader Robin Young also got a tip-off hours before.

He said: "Undoubtedly it was all pre-arranged. The word went round that there was going to be a rumpus."

Youths in orgy of plunder

Moss Side

Shopkeepers were last night counting the cost of mob violence which exploded in Moss Side, Manchester, early yesterday.

Mobs of youths threw petrol bombs, smashed windows and looted shops, leaving a trail of damage estimated at £300,000.

They stoned fireman who were forced to retreat and watch helplessly as two shops were gutted...

In Liverpool, 25 people - the youngest aged eleven - appeared in court following the Toxteth riots.

They were charged with offences ranging from assaults on police to criminal damage. Most of the adults charged were remanded in custody.

Meanwhile, the BBC was apparently giving instructions on Radio 2 on how to make a Molotov cocktail. Good grief!

Wednesday, July 8, 1981: 

A bomb boob on JY show

The BBC blundered yesterday by broadcasting how to make a petrol bomb.

BBC community relations correspondent John Clare, who has been covering the Liverpool riots, described the ingredients of a Molotov cocktail on Jimmy Young's Radio 2 show.

The BBC received a number of complaints and Jimmy made an apology later in his show.

On the same day, a letter published in the Mirror's Public Opinion section asked an interesting question...

As I lived in Toxteth until about two years ago, the riots there are less of a surprise to me than most. It was obvious that the levels of social deprivation I witnessed could not continue without some reaction sooner or later.

I wonder, though, why riots have only broken out now under a Tory Government.


Ted Heath and the Left Wing Mirror were well and truly on Thatcher's case, and Lady Di caused shock amongst traditionalists as Royal Wedding fever raged...

 Thursday, July 2, 1981:

Lady Diana Spencer will NOT promise to obey Charles when they marry on July 29.

She will pledge herself only to "love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health" at the ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral.

Her decision after talks with Prince Charles and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, breaks with the tradition followed by Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Anne.

But it delighted women's libbers like Nell Noell of the Women's Rights Movement.

But Lady Di didn't go far enough for Nell, who said: "I hope she will avoid the humiliation of using her husband's name.

"She should stick to name she was born with and not agree to be called Princess Charles."

Flippin' 'eck! The times were changing, however, quite frankly I couldn't have cared less about the Royal Wedding. But what's that at the bottom of the front page? The topless Mary Poppins? Good grief! SURELY NOT?!!!

Eeeek!

Thursday, July 2, 1981:

AT LAST.. this is the moment when sugary British star Julie Andrews loses all her inhibitions and Mary Poppins finally pops out.

Julie plays a fading Mary Poppins-type actress in her new film, SOB, the story of the machinations of the Hollywood film moguls.

She is called on to go topless in a movie to save the studio from going bust.

It's quite a wrench for the poor girl, but finally she is convinced that fans will pack the box offices if she is seen in the bare flesh.

There is another eye-popping scene where she bares her bottom for a quack doctor to inject her with a muscle-relaxant drug so she can pluck up courage to peel off for the cameras.

What did Julie think of her part in the film, directed by husband Blake Edwards? "It gave me quite a kick," she said.

That nice Mary Poppins certainly wouldn't have approved.

I was so shocked, I nearly passed me fags round. 

In other news... Ronald Reagan was elected President of the USA in November 1980. He was shot in 1981, but survived.

Oh well, we'll watch Wimbledon! In 1981, Wimbledon was a bastion of tradition, a far more staid, and in fact downright posh, affair than it is today. The perfect retreat from the stresses of the highly modern early 1980s world.

Oh yeah?!!!!


"You CANNOT be serious!" John McEnroe was making waves as he dragged Wimbledon out of the highly polite "More Tea Vicar?" 1930s and into the brash, "In-Yer-Face" 1980s....

Lady Diana Spencer watched at Wimbledon yesterday as tennis superbrat John McEnroe smashed his way into the final with a volley of abuse.

Lady Diana, a keen tennis fan, was a surprise visitor to Wimbledon. She was given a standard ovation when she arrived in the Royal box.

Then the 14,000-strong crowd watched in amazement as McEnroe made thirteen loud comments to the umpire and shouted obscenities at spectators.

The behaviour on court brought a public warning and penalty point with the possibility of a £5,000 fine.

And twenty minutes after his semi-final victory, over Australia's Rod Frawley, the fiery American was still at it. 

He stormed out of a press conference after calling newsmen "liars" and "trash".

McEnroe's first-set public warning for unsportsmanlike behaviour came when he suddenly bellowed: "I hate umpires. I get screwed by them in this place."

In the final set he lost a penalty point for shouting, "You are a disgrace to mankind."  The umpire took it as an insult, but McEnroe later said he had been talking to himself.

At the press conference McEnroe's first explosion came when he was asked whether the return to New York of his girlfriend, Stacy Margolin, meant they had split up.

The 22-year-old New Yorker shouted: "People like you make me sick. It is none of your business in the first place and the answer is no."

He went on: "You guys are sh*t and trash and I want you to quote me on that."

During McEnroe's outburst Lady Diana's name was mentioned. He suddenly paused and said: "She's a terrific person."

Before sweeping out of the room McEnroe told reporters: "I don't want to waste time on low people like you."

The uproar continued after the star's exit when a fight broke out between two newsmen - a Britain and an American - which sent chairs and microphones flying.

 Phew, feel quite exhausted after this little trip back... Time to go and have a cuppa and a quick play with my ZX 80, I think. More soon...

1983: The Strange Case Of Time Magazine And Margaret Thatcher's Teeth

Originally a sometimes windswept-looking woman with slightly wonky teeth, in the 1980s Margaret Thatcher changed. Her outfits grew smarter. Her hair grew bigger and stiffer. Her teeth grew straighter.

So, what was on earth was America's Time magazine doing ignoring Mrs T's new nicer gnashers in its cover illustration for the 20th June 1983 edition - the edition which featured an article on Mrs T's return to power via the 1983 General Election?

Let the Diary from the Daily Mirror, June 16, 1983, tell the story - tongue in cheek, of course...

How Time drew Maggie's teeth

Maggie Thatcher, with her new ring of confidence, will today give her first interview to a foreign television company since her return to power.

She is doing a programme in London with Barbara Walters for the big United States network ABC.

Miss Walters may well find that Mrs T is a little miffed with the American media at the moment.

For Time magazine, in their issue of June 20, feature her on the cover with her teeth not quite meeting.

This is one gap in Mrs Thatcher's life that has been bridged - by the marvels of cosmetic dentists last year - and she could well feel that Americans should have noticed.


Left: Untimely "Time", June 1983 - Mrs T's gappy pearlies were made perfect in 1982. Right: Mrs T shows a totally happy, absolutely non-gappy smile to the world, after she is elected for a second term in the 1983 General Election.