To say 2016 has been an eventful year is still somewhat of an understatement. Over the past 12 months, it feels like we’ve witnessed a decade’s worth of explosive news – ranging from the shocking, to the depressing, to the bizarre. Lucky for you, we’ve condensed this whirlwind of craziness into ten of the biggest moments.
But just a quick warning before you read on: this isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Trump in the White House
When Donald Trump, best known as the star of The Apprentice USA , first stated his intentions to run for President back in June 2015, it was brushed off as nothing more than a joke. But as his campaign’s momentum grew, complete with offensive claims and promises of building a Mexican border wall, it was evident that he meant business. Flash forward to the 8th November 2016 and America’s answer to Alan Sugar is being granted full control of the planet’s most powerful country. It’s fair to say the next four years could be very interesting.
Leicester City's Premier League miracle
To put this one into context, there were better odds at the start of the season for Simon Cowell becoming the country’s next Prime Minister. Despite the 5000/1 odds stacked against them, Claudio Ranieri’s valiant squad stunned everybody with a miraculous campaign of seriously entertaining football. The title victory even resulted in Gary Lineker presenting Match of The Day in his underwear; another of the year’s more chilling moments. In fact, we’re still trying to erase the image from our heads.
When musical luminary David Bowie sadly passed away at the start of the year, the world stood at a standstill. Unbeknown to us, this was only the beginning of a series of tragic celebrity deaths. Purple Rain legend Prince, boxing champ-turned-activist Mohamed Ali and broadcasting hero Terry Wogan were just a few of the other huge stars to be taken from us in 2016. Thankfully, their legacy will live on forever.
Team GB smash it in Rio
One of the year’s more joyous events came from Rio de Janeiro’s wonderfully vibrant Olympic games. And while everyone expected stars like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps to shine, it was the collective achievements of Team GB that became a real talking point. Finishing second in the medal table with a total of 67, our nation’s athletes made us proud to be British.
England's Euros embarrassment
In a year defined by change, it’s always nice to take comfort in the fact that some things will always remain the same: death, taxes and England being knocked out of a major football tournament under humiliating circumstances. Once again, a team billed with so much promise were sent packing early; this time at the hands of minnows Iceland. Maybe next time, lads?
When news first emerged of a Cincinatti Zoo gorilla, Harambe being shot and killed after a three-year-old child climbed into his enclosure, it became one of the most captivating stories of the year. Sensing the injustice of the primate’s controversial death, the internet took over. Soon, Harambe was immortalised with certified meme status. Our favourite of these was the brilliant petition to make him into a Pokemon*. Safe to say, Harambe the gorilla won’t be forgotten any time soon.
*A notable mention here for the augmented reality app Pokemon Go, which didn't quite make the cut!
Andy Murray wins big
He may be a miserable bloke, but Andy Murray can certainly play a mean game of tennis. The tennis ace not only won his second Wimbledon title, but also smashed it at the Olympics to claim back-to-back gold medals in the men’s singles. He even shed a few tears of joy after his exploits in Rio – revealing a softer side to the newly crowned world number one.
To EU or not to EU, that was the question. A nation was divided, and after months of relentless campaigning, the 52% who voted Leave emerged victorious. But the drama didn’t stop there. Brexit’s subsequent fallout saw David Cameron fall on his sword and resign from 10 Downing Street. This opened the door for Theresa May to take the helm – and the very onerous task of successfully guiding UK out of the EU. Good luck with that.
DAB became cool with the dab
Every now and then a dance craze sweeps the globe, such as the early ballroom waltz or even the modern moves of the Macarena. But now, it’s all about the dab! Pioneered by the likes of footballer Paul Pogba, the move has spread like wildfire around the globe…
Obviously DAB radio was already pretty cool, but this ubiquitous dance move has boosted its profile no end. Cheers!
Bake Off sold to Channel 4
For some, the most shocking news of the year came after Channel 4’s purchase of the Great British Bake Off – which prompted the departure of judge Mary Berry and cohorts Mel and Sue. As expected, the public’s reaction was cataclysmic. A British institution had been tarnished forever! Now with Paul Hollywood the only original member left, the programme’s new incarnation could very well end up looking like this…
So that was 2016. While there’s been the odd glimmer of hope, let’s face it: it’s been a pretty awful year for everyone.
But don’t worry, everything will be just fine in 2017.