Image credit: Free Malaysia Today
2015 has been a year of immense highs and devastating lows. We prayed for Paris, celebrated Queen Elizabeth II as the longest reigning British monarch, welcomed Princess Charlotte to the world, limped out of the Rugby World Cup on home turf, witnessed uproar at the death of Cecil the Lion, and began paying for carrier bags.
As yet another eventful year draws to a close, we present JAM’s most memorable moments of 2015, happy, sad and indifferent:
Charlie Hebdo attacks (7th January)
Ten journalists and two policemen were killed by al-Qaeda gunmen after they opened fire at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris. The brutal assault was regarded as France’s worst terrorist attack in a generation. Heartbreakingly, it would only get worse.
National Employee Motivation Day (21st January 2015)
The UK celebrated its first official National Employee Motivation Day, a day dedicated to inspiring passion and appreciation across the UK’s workforce.
Clarkson sacked from Top Gear (March)
Renowned for his acid tongue, outspoken ways and ego the size of a Hummer, Jeremy Clarkson was driven off the show for good following a spat over a buffet. In support of their colleague, co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May stood united and the three amigos are geared up to return to our screens in 2016 with a new motoring show on Amazon Prime.
Germanwings Flight 9525 crashes (24th March)
On 24th March 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525, flying from Barcelona to Düsseldorf, crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 passengers. Co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, locked the captain out of the cockpit before putting the plane into a controlled descent, deliberately crashing the plane.
FIFA Corruption Scandal (May 2015 – ongoing)
FIFA officials were charged by US authorities over allegations of money-laundering conspiracies spanning 24 years. The whistle has also been blown on Sepp Blatter as the FIFA corruption scandal goes into extra time.
Royal Baby Number Two (2nd May 2015)
Weighing in at 8lb 3oz, Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge made her entrance to the world at 8:34am on 2nd May 2015. Brother, George looked simply adorable as he waved to the world’s paparazzi while visiting his little sister in hospital.
The Conservatives re-elected (8th May)
David Cameron returned to Downing Street as prime minister following the Conservative’s outright win in the 2015 General Election.
Cycling Scouser (May – October)
Charity fundraiser and adventure seeker, Cycling Scouser – real name, Andrew Rogerson – took on an epic, 10,000-mile journey from China to Liverpool… on a push bike! The grueling, five month solo cycle was in aid of blood cancer charity, the Anthony Nolan Trust. To date he has raised over £20,000. To donate, please visit the Cycling Scouser Just Giving page.
Alton Towers Smiler Crash (2nd June)
No one was left smiling when 16 people were injured, including two people having legs amputated, when a carriage of the Smiler rollercoaster hit another that had stopped on the track. The ride is set to reopen in 2016.
Gay Marriage Legalised in the USA (26th June)
Cecil the Lion (1st July)
Cecil, the legendary lion, was lured out of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe and shot with a bow by dentist Walter Palmer. The world was in uproar at Cecil’s brutal and untimely death.
Caitlyn’s Vanity Fair Cover (July)
Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself to the world via a historic Vanity Fair cover. The heartfelt article and beautiful images of the former Olympian made a fitting tribute to Caitlyn’s new life.
Malala Yousafzai – Nobel Peace Prize winner (12th July)
Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani education activist, shot by the Taliban aged 15, was the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, at age 18. She is an inspiration to us all.
Manchester Soul Festival (30th August 2015)
August bank holiday Sunday saw hordes of Northern Soul fans descend on The Printworks for Manchester’s first Soul Festival, in aid of The Christie. Over thirty solo acts, bands and artists performed to over 35,500 people who danced the night away, raising over £20,000 for the charity.
Longest reigning British monarch (9th September)
On 9th September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch and longest-serving Queen in history. Congratulations, Ma’am!
Rugby World Cup (September – October)
Despite getting booted out of the games on our own turf, the Rugby World Cup 2015 was a sensational tournament. Jaws dropped when Japan beat South Africa and hearts melted when New Zealand’s, Sonny Bill Williams gave his medal to 14 year old fan, Charlie Line – one of YouTube’s top moments of 2015, with over 2.5million global views.
5p Carrier Bags (5th October)
On the 5th October, England became the last country in the UK to start charging for plastic bags. Cue hilarious memes!
Manchester named in Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities in the world (27th October)
We’re absolutely buzzin’!
Paris Attacks (13th November)
Quite frankly, the most horrific Friday the 13th in history, as 129 helpless souls lost their lives in a series of violent attacks around Paris. #PrayForParis
European Migrant Crisis (January – ongoing)
In 2015 over one million migrants entered European borders. Over 2000 refugees lost their lives while trying desperately to seek asylum. Haunting images of children drowned, washed up on shore highlighted the severity of the devastating situation.
Star Wars (18th December)
After months of anticipation, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hit the big screen. According to Google, the official trailer, unveiled in October, is one of the most-viewed movie trailers of all time, with over 61million views.
Sports Personality of the Year (21st December 2015)
Well-done Andy Murray, again! The BBC felt the Scot was a clear winner after he led Great Britain to its first Davis Cup triumph for 79 years.
Famous Faces We’ll Miss
Too many wonderful people left us this year, but the one that shocked and saddened us the most was the amazing Cilla Black. Taken far too soon. Ta-ra chuck.
Other lost legends:
– Anne Kirkbride (Deirdre Barlow)
– Jackie Collins
– Maureen O’Hara
– Stephen Lewis (“I ‘ate you, Butler!”)
– Sir Christopher Lee
– Keith Harris
– Richie Benaud
– Warren Mitchell (Alf Garnett)
– Wes Craven
– George Cole (Arthur Daley)
– BB King
– Errol Brown
– Ben E King
– Terry Pratchett
– Leonard Nimoy
– Jonah Lomu
And in JAM’s own news, 2015 brought us two coveted gongs:
– Best Print Design – The Drum Design Awards 2015
– Best Full Service Agency – Talk of Manchester Business Awards 2015
From all at JAM, we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a successful 2016.