1986 in the United Kingdom
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|1986 in the United Kingdom:|
|1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, Television and music|
Events from the year 1986 in the United Kingdom. It is particularly noted for the "Big Bang" deregulation of the financial markets.
- January – Production of the Vauxhall Belmont compact saloon begins, giving buyers a traditional saloon alternative to the Astra hatchback and estate models.
- 9 January
- 12 January – Game show Catchphrase begins on ITV hosted by Roy Walker along with the computer Mr. Chips. It concludes in 2002.
- 20 January – The United Kingdom and France announce plans to construct the Channel Tunnel, which they hope to open by the early 1990s.
- 24 January – Leon Brittan resigns as Trade and Industry Secretary over the Westland affair.
- 31 January – Unemployment for this month has increased to 3,204,900 – a postwar high which accounts for 14.4% of the workforce.
- 6 February – The government scraps plans to sell Austin Rover to Ford.
- 12 February – The Franco-British Channel Fixed Link Treaty is signed at Canterbury as the Channel Tunnel plans move forward.
- 15 February – In the Wapping dispute, fifty-eight people are arrested by police at a demonstration.
- 17 February – The UK signs the Single European Act.
- 4 March – The national tabloid newspaper Today launches . It pioneers the use of computer photo typesetting and full-colour offset printing at a time when British national newspapers are still using Linotype machines and letterpress.
- 5 March – The High Court disqualifies and fines 81 Labour councillors for failing to set a rate.
- 13 March – The Sun newspaper alleges that comedian Freddie Starr ate a live hamster.
- 18 March – Inheritance Tax replaces Capital Transfer Tax.
- 19 March – Buckingham Palace announces the engagement of The Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson; they will be married later this year.
- 29 March – The first high-speed catamaran ferry is introduced into service in the British Isles, HSC Our Lady Patricia on Sealink British Ferries' Portsmouth–Ryde passage.
- 31 March
- April – Hanson Trust concludes its takeover of the Imperial Group for £2.5 billion.
- 7 April – Clive Sinclair sells rights to ZX Spectrum and other inventions to Amstrad.
- 15 April – The government's Shops Bill 1986, which would have liberalised Sunday shopping, is defeated in the House of Commons on its second reading: the Thatcher government's only defeat in the Commons.
- 17 April
- Journalist John McCarthy is kidnapped in Beirut, where three other hostages are found dead. The Revolutionary Cells (RZ) claims responsibility as revenge for the recent American bombing of Libya.
- A treaty is signed, ending the supposed Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly.
- 28 April – The first phase of the MetroCentre, Europe's largest indoor shopping centre, in Gateshead, is opened. The remainder of the centre is set to open this autumn.
- 29 April – The Duchess of Windsor is buried at Frogmore.
- 30 April – Rioting erupts overnight in prisons across Britain. Dozens of prisoners escape, while prisoners at Stafford Prison set the prison canteen alight by smashing windows and dumping a burning mattress onto the roof. The worst disturbances come at Northeye Prison in Sussex, where a 70-strong mob of prisoners takes over the jail and sets fire to the canteen, hospital wing and sports hall.
- 8 May – Labour makes large gains in local council elections.
- 10 May – The first all Merseyside FA Cup final ends in a 3–1 win for Liverpool over Everton, who become only the third team this century to win the double, having already secured the Football League First Division title.
- 21 May – The Harrison Birtwistle opera The Mask of Orpheus premiers in London.
- 10 June – Patrick Joseph Magee found guilty of the Brighton hotel bombing of 20 months ago and sentenced to life imprisonment.
- 12 June
- 22 June – The England national football team's hopes of winning the World Cup are ended with a 2–1 defeat in the quarter-finals by Argentina, a game in which Diego Maradona was allowed a blatantly handballed goal.
- 23 June – Patrick Magee is jailed for life for the Brighton bombing of October 1984 as well as other IRA bombings.
- 24 June – Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party stage protest at dissolution of Northern Ireland Assembly.
- 29 June –
- – Richard Branson beats the Atlantic speed record but is denied the Blue Riband award.
- – The World Cup ends in Mexico with Argentina as winners and West Germany runners-up, but England's Gary Lineker wins the Golden Boot, having finished as the competition's leading scorer with six goals. Lineker, who has been at Everton for the last year and was the First Division's top scorer, is reported to be on the verge of a transfer to FC Barcelona of Spain.
- July – Nissan begins production of the Bluebird at its landmark factory near Sunderland.
- 1 July – Gary Lineker becomes the most expensive British footballer ever in a £2.75 million move from Everton to FC Barcelona.
- 2 July – 24 hours after Gary Lineker's transfer, Ian Rush sets a new transfer record for a British footballer when he agrees a £3.2 million move from Liverpool to Juventus of Italy, but is loaned back to Liverpool for a season.
- 4 July – A policeman is cleared of the manslaughter of five-year-old John Shorthouse, who was killed in an armed raid on a house in Birmingham in August last year.
- 10 July – Austin Rover launches its new Honda-based Rover 800 executive car, which replaces the decade-old Rover SD1. The car will also be sold in America under the Sterling marque.[verification needed]
- 12 July – Rioting breaks out at Portadown in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics.
- 17 July – It is announced that unemployment rose to 3,220,400 in June.
- 21 July – A report finds that 20% of British children are now born out of wedlock.
- 23 July – The Prince Andrew, Duke of York, marries Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey in London.
- 24 July – 2 August – The Commonwealth Games are held in Edinburgh.
- 28 July – Estate agent Suzy Lamplugh vanishes after a meeting in London.
- 30 July – A MORI poll shows that Labour are now nine points ahead of the Conservatives with 41% of the vote, with Liberal/SDP Alliance support now at 25%.
- 8 August – Rival gangs of Manchester United and West Ham United fans clash on a Sealink ferry bound for Amsterdam where the two clubs are playing pre-season friendlies. The UEFA ban on English clubs in European competitions is continuing for a second season, and there are now fears that English clubs may not even be able to play friendlies overseas.
- 13 August – The Eurotunnel Group is formed to operate the Channel Tunnel.
- 15 August – The latest MORI poll shows that the Conservatives have eliminated Labour's nine-point lead and drawn level with them by gaining 37% in the latest opinion poll, in the space of just over two weeks.
- 16 August – Figures released by the government reveal that a record of nearly 3,100,000 people claimed unemployment benefit last month, although the official total of unemployed people in Britain is still short of the record of nearly 3,300,000 which was set two years ago.
- 19 August – The Privatisation of the National Bus Company begins with the first sale of a bus operating subsidiary, Devon General, in a management buyout.
- 22 August – John Stalker, deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester police, is cleared of misconduct over allegations of associating with criminals.
- 25 August – Economists warn that a global recession is imminent, barely five years after the previous recession.
- 29 August – Britain's oldest twins, May and Marjorie Chavasse, celebrate their 100th birthday.
- September – GCSE examination courses replace both GCE 'O' Level and CSE courses for 14-year olds.
- 6 September – First episode of medical drama serial Casualty airs on BBC One. It will still be running on television more than twenty five years later.
- 8 September – Margaret Thatcher officially opens the first phase of the Nissan car factory at Sunderland, which has been in use for two months. It is the first car factory to be built in Europe by a Japanese car maker.
- 14 September – Fears of another recession in Britain are eased by economists at Liverpool University predicting 3.1% economic growth next year.
- 18 September – It is announced that unemployment rose to 3,280,106 in July.
- 19 September – Two people are killed and 100 injured at the Colwich rail crash.
- 24 September – The floatation of the Trustee Savings Banks attracts a record of the more than 4 million applications for shares.
- 7 October – The first edition of The Independent published.
- 12 October – Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh visit the People's Republic of China, the first ever visit to that country by a British monarch.
- 14 October – The MetroCentre, a shopping complex built on the Tyneside Enterprise Zone, is opened. It is similar in concept to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre that is being developed near Dudley in the West Midlands. The MetroCentre is officially the largest shopping complex in Europe. Among the MetroCentre's tenants is Marks & Spencer, whose department store there is its first out of town outlet.
- 24 October – The UK breaks off diplomatic relations with Syria over links to Hindawi Affair.
- 26 October
- 27 October – "Big Bang Day": London Stock Exchange is computerised, and opens to foreign companies.
- 28 October – Jeremy Bamber is found guilty of the murder of his parents, sister, and twin nephews and is sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum of 25 years, which is likely to keep him behind bars until at least 2011.
- 29 October – Margaret Thatcher opens the completed M25 London Orbital Motorway.
- November – Vauxhall launches its second generation Carlton executive saloon, giving the British division of General Motors a fresh rival for the Ford Granada and Rover 800.
- 3 November – The Conservatives top a MORI poll for the first time this year, coming one point ahead of Labour with 40% of the vote. Liberal/SDP Alliance support has slumped to 18%.
- 6 November
- 45 oil workers are killed when a Chinook helicopter carrying them from the Brent oilfield crashed.
- Alex Ferguson is appointed manager of Manchester United football club following the dismissal of Ron Atkinson after more than five years in charge. United won two FA Cups under the management of Atkinson but have not won the league title since 1967 and are now second from bottom in the Football League First Division.
- Nigel Lawson announces a £4.6 billion rise in public spending.
- 7 November – Sir James Goldsmith's £5 billion bid for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is rejected.
- 13 November – It is announced that unemployment fell by 96,000 in October.
- 18 November – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, who are both still behind bars some 20 years after their Moors Murders convictions, confess to the murders of two missing children. They admit their responsibility for the deaths of Pauline Reade, who vanished in July 1963 at the age of 16, and Keith Bennett, who was last seen in June 1964 at the age of 12.
- 20 November – Police begin their search for the two newly identified Moors Murders victims.
- 21 November – The government launches a £20 million campaign to warn members of the public about the dangers of AIDS.
- The first case of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy is diagnosed in British cattle.
- 1 December – The government launches an inquiry into financial irregularities at Guinness.
- 3 December – 4 million people apply for shares in British Gas in ancitipation of the floatation next week.
- 8 December – British Gas shares are floated on the Stock Exchange. The initial public offering of 135p per share values the company at £9 billion, the highest equity offering ever at this time.
- 17 December – The world's first heart, lung and liver transplant is carried out at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.
- 18 December – It is announced that unemployment fell to a four-year low of less than 3,100,000 in November.
- 22 December – David Penhaligon, a leading Liberal Party MP, dies in a car crash near Truro in Cornwall at the age of 42.
- 25 December – The highest audience of all time for a British television drama is attracted by the Christmas Day episode of EastEnders, the BBC 1 soap opera, in which Den Watts (Leslie Grantham) serves the divorce papers on his wife Angie (Anita Dobson) after discovering that she had feigned a terminal illness to try to stop him from leaving her. More than 30 million viewers tuned in for the episode of the TV series which first went on air nearly two years before.
- 29 December - Harold Macmillan, Earl of Stockton and former prime minister, dies at the age of 92.
- Inflation reaches a 19-year low of 3.4%.
- Introduction of Family credit, a tax credit for poorer families.
- Bank of England withdraws its guidance on mortgage lending.
- Establishment of National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside group of institutions, funded through national government.
- The millionth council house in the United Kingdom is sold to its tenants in Scotland, seven years after the right to buy scheme was launched.
- Mathematician Simon Donaldson wins a Fields Medal.
- Janet and Allan Ahlberg's children's book The Jolly Postman.
- Kingsley Amis's novel The Old Devils.
- Iain Banks' novel The Bridge.
- John le Carré's novel A Perfect Spy.
- Richard Dawkins' book The Blind Watchmaker.
- Brian Jacques' children's fantasy novel Redwall, first in the eponymous series.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel The Light Fantastic.
- 1 January – Colin Morgan, actor
- 12 January – Kieron Richardson, actor
- 24 January – Mischa Barton, British-born American actress
- 21 February – Charlotte Church, soprano
- 12 March – Danny Jones, musician and singer
- 14 March – Jamie Bell, actor
- 10 April – Sam Attwater, actor
- 13 May – Robert Pattinson, actor
- 20 June - Matthew Bonner, Legend
- 18 September – Keeley Hazell, model
- 8 December – Amir Khan, boxer
- 3 January – Dustin Gee, comedian (born 1942)
- 4 January
- 10 March – Ray Milland, actor (born 1907)
- 3 April – Peter Pears, tenor (born 1910)
- 29 April – Wallis, The Duchess of Windsor (born 1896)
- 23 April – Jim Laker, cricketer (born 1922)
- 8 May - Manny Shinwell, Baron Shinwell, former trade union official and Labour MP (born 1884)
- 25 June - Laurie Fishlock, former cricketer and footballer (born 1907)
- 18 July – Sir Stanley Rous, former president of FIFA and former secretary of the Football Association (born 1894)
- 31 August – Henry Moore, sculptor (born 1898)
- 18 September – Pat Phoenix, actress (born 1923)
- 5 October – James H. Wilkinson, mathematician (born 1919)
- 16 October – Ted Sagar, former footballer (born 1910)
- 28 October
- 29 November – Cary Grant, actor (born 1904)
- 22 December – David Penhaligon, Liberal MP (born 1944)
- 29 December – Harold Macmillan, former Prime Minister (born 1894)
- 31 December - Geoffrey John Audley Miles, senior Royal Navy admiral and veteran of both world wars (born 1890)
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- "1986: Leon Brittan quits over Westland". BBC News. 24 January 1986. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
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- "Sun Headlines". Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "1986: Greater London Council abolished". BBC News. 31 March 1986. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
- "History – The Hanson years". Imperial Tobacco. 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
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- "metrocentre". Retrieved 2013-03-15.
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- Jan Alsos. "1986 - Story of Mexico '86". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- "1986: Ian Paisley's battle cry condemned". BBC News. 24 June 1986. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
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- "1986: Police renew hunt for Moors victims". BBC News. 20 November 1986. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
- "1986: Surprise inquiry into Guinness affairs". BBC News. 1 December 1986. Archived from the original on 4 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
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