In 1980 figure skater Robin Cousins won Team GB & NI’s solitary gold medal at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. We also saw the first ever episode of the political sitcom Yes Minister, broadcast on the BBC. Dr Robert Runcie became Archbishop of Canterbury and The British Olympic Association voted to defy the government and take part in the Moscow Olympics in the summer of 1980 – the team went on to win 5 gold (including Duncan Goodhew and Alan Wells), 7 silver and 9 bronze medals.
Rhodesia became independent from the UK and changed its name to Zimbabwe. We saw the Iranian Embassy Siege – 26 people were taken hostage by a group of six terrorists. The SAS ended it by storming the building, killing 5 of the six terrorists. No hostages were killed. It was announced that US nuclear cruise missiles would be located at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire, and the disused RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire. The Alexandra Palace was destroyed by fire.
At the Tory Party Conference, Margaret Thatcher made her famous “You turn if you want to… the lady’s not for turning” speech to the Conservative Party conference and the Queen became the first British monarch to make a state visit to the Vatican. Fan of Plymouth Argyle, Michael Foot was elected Leader of the Labour Party. And John Lennon was shot dead by Mark Chapman at the Dakota Buildings in New York.