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Nostalgia – the year is 1983….

Rob Reaks , March 4, 2020

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Nostalgia – the year is 1983….We were born (in Brighton) in 1983, so we’ve been creating amazing group holidays for 37 years! Wow, we feel old…… here’s what the world looked like back in 1983.

The Top Ten

Back in the day when we recorded the Charts off the radio onto a cassette recorder, these were the top selling singles. Topping the chart is Karma Chameleon, Culture Club’s biggest hit in the UK, where 1,405,000 copies were sold. It won the 1984 Brit Award for Best Single.

01Culture ClubKarma Chameleon
02Billy JoelUptown Girl
03UB40Red Red Wine
04Paul YoungWherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)
05Spandau BalletTrue
06The PoliceEvery Breath You Take
07Rod StewartBaby Jane
08Men At WorkDown Under
09KC & The Sunshine BandGive It Up
10David BowieLet’s Dance


It was also the year singers Lee Ryan (Blue) Cheryl Cole (Girls Aloud) and Amy Winehouse were born.

Nostalgia, the year is 1983....

Compact Discs

Staying with music, the first CD went on sale in the UK in March 1983. From a peak of almost 1 billion units per year in 2000 (US sales), they are now almost non-existent with the advent of streamed music.

Nostalgia, the year is 1983....


The £1 coin went into circulation in England and Wales on 21st April. That £1 is now worth £3.40 due to inflation.

The average house price in 1983 was £26,000 (over £88,000 in today’s money) vs £235,000 in 2020 which means houses cost, on average, 2.7 times more today than they did back in 1983.

Life Expectancy

We’ve gained over 7 years of life! With life expectancy of 74.38 years back in 1983 and today (2020) it’s 81.40 years.

Nostalgia, the year is 1983....
Photo Credit: Bigstock/aksay


The UK population was 56.32 million in 1983 and has risen to 67.89 million today, but we’re still only a small island – the United Kingdom population is equivalent to just 0.87% of the total world population.

Nostalgia, the year is 1983....
Photo Credit: Bigstock/Varavin88


On May 21st, Manchester United and our home team, Brighton & Hove Albion, drew 2–2 in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Five days later, Manchester United defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 4–0 in the FA Cup final replay.

The average weekly wage of a top division footballer has risen from £840 in 1983 to over £30,000 today.


The first episode of sitcom Blackadder was broadcast on BBC One in 1983. 1983 also saw the birth of ‘British breakfast time television’ – first was the BBC with Breakfast Time (17th Jan) followed just a few weeks later by ITV’s TV-am (1st Feb).

Nostalgia, the year is 1983....
Copyright BBC TV

The children’s show “Fraggle Rock” debuted on HBO as one of the premium cable network’s first original programs and ran until 1987.


It was the year of two Bonds. Sean Connery played Bond for the seventh and final time in 1983 in Never Say Never Again directed by Irvin Kershner. Unlike the majority of Bond films, Never Say Never Again was not produced by Eon Productions, but by Jack Schwartzman’s Taliafilm in association with Kevin McClory. The film was a commercial success, grossing $160 million at the box office.

Eon Productions released Octopussy in the same year with Roger Moore in the iconic role for his sixth time as Bond. The film beat Never Say Never Again and earned $187.5 million against its $27.5 million budget.

Bond’s latest outing, No Time to Die, opens in late 2020, as Daniel Craig plays Bond for his fifth and final time, with the title track by  Billie Eilish who, at the age of eighteen, is the youngest artist to record a Bond film title track.

Bond No Time to Die

1983 also saw film classics Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi; Tootsie; Trading Places; and, Superman III hit the big screen.

Canary Wharf

The decade of the Yuppy is synonymous with Canary Wharf – the Docklands redevelopment in East London began in 1983 with the opening of an Enterprise Zone on the Isle of Dogs on 22 September. The population of the Docklands has more than doubled during the last 30 years, and the area has become both a major business centre and Canary Wharf has become one of Europe’s biggest clusters of skyscrapers.

Nostalgia, the year is 1983....
Photo Credit: Bigstock/r.nagy


The House of Lords voted to allow television broadcast of its proceedings and over in the House of Commons, Neil Kinnock won the leadership battle for the Labour Party. Kinnock led the Labour Party to a fourth, consecutive defeat at the 1992 general election and subsequently resigned.

Houses of Parliament, London Credit: Bigstock/pikselstock


Breaking the global dominance of the ‘Hoover’, designer and entrepreneur James Dyson produces his prototype vacuum cleaner. By 2018, Dyson Ltd. was reporting a massive annual revenue of £4.4 billion.

Apple introduced LISA, the first commercial personal computer with a graphical user interface (GUI).

Microsoft launched Word, originally called Multi-Tool Word. The firm distributed 450,000 disks containing a demonstration version of Word in the November issue of PC World magazine.

The first mobile phones were introduced to the public by the Motorola Company.

Photo Credit: Bigstock/maxxyustas

Top selling food

As freezer food took hold on the nation (quick and convenient), the chicken kiev became the main player for speedy suppers in 1983. Chicken coated in breadcrumbs with a rich garlic butter filling, this 80s favourite is still going strong.

Photo Credit: Bigstock/iuliia_n

Seat Belts

Seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers becomes mandatory.


Think extreme make-up, crazy hair and confused genders. 1983 was a year when men wanted to look like women and women wanted to look like men. Remember Annie Lennox with her androgynous look, cropped orange hair and a suit and the heavily made-up Boy George? Power dressing was all the rage for ladies, including of course Maggie Thatcher, with neck scarves for career women, blouses with puffed sleeves and leg warmers and leotards. It was also the time of the Ra-Rah skirt. Far to say, in fashion terms, it was not our finest hour!

Margaret Thatcher
Photo Credit: Bigstock/newsfocus1

Wedding Dresses

The trend for organza meant Wedding Dresses were big, bold and beautiful. It was just important not to stand too close to a naked flame!

Princess Diana’s 1981 dress was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel. It was valued at £151,000 (over £500,000 in today’s money). Diana observed tradition by wearing ‘old’ antique lace, ‘new’ silk specially spun at Lullington silk farm in Dorset, a ‘borrowed’ tiara from the Spencer family collection, and a small ‘blue’ bow, sewn into the waistband of her dress for luck.


Founded in 1983 in Zürich, Switzerland by Nicolas Hayek, Swatch watches became extremely trendy and popular with dozens of quirky designs and colours available.

The Swatch Kiki Picasso is the most expensive Swatch watch with a collector’s price of around $22,600. This watch was launched as part of the 1985 Spring Summer Collection with only 120 watches being produced.

Photo Credit: Bigstock/Sorbis

Smash Hits

Smash Hits was a British Teen pop music magazine originally published by EMAP. It ran from 1978 and sales peaked during the late 1980s, regularly selling 500,000 copies per issue the magazine peaked at over one million by 1989. The magazine ceased publication in 2006, by which time sales had slumped to 120,000 copies per issue.

We were ‘born’ on the 11th April 1983, this is the edition of Smash Hits for that week in 1983. Interviews Included – Altered Images, Nick Heywood, Tracy Ullman, New Order, The Kids From Fame. Source

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