30 things turning 30

30 things turning 30 in 2018

Topic: News /

2018 is a big year for Rapiergroup – we’ll be celebrating our 30th anniversary in June. Back in 1988, we demerged from a group of companies known as Rapier Associates and went it alone from an office in London’s Clerkenwell, rebranding as Rapiergroup in 1994.

Our milestone year led us to wonder what – and who – else is turning 30 in 2018? From books and films to celebrities and songs, read on for our list of 30 turning 30 that’s guaranteed to make you reminisce.


1. Rupert Grint

Famed for playing Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, it’s hard to believe that Rupert Grint turns 30 this August. Then again, it’s also hard to believe that the first Harry Potter film was released in 2001. How time flies…

2. Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday tribute concert

On June 11th, 1988, the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute was broadcast to an audience of 600 million across 67 countries. Two years later he was released – after 27 years in prison.

3. Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign

This now iconic campaign was launched in 1988 with three ads, and is so significant that it has been preserved in the Smithsonian Museum.

4. Die Hard

Bruce Willis first graced our screens as John McClane in 1988. The first film grossed over $140 million in cinemas worldwide, and Willis has reprised the role four times since then.

5. Kylie & Jason’s ‘Especially For You’

This hit from the two former Neighbours stars reached no. 1 in the UK, Belgium, Ireland and Greece after its release in November 1988.

6. Paul Gascoigne’s record signing

In 1988, footballer Paul Gascoigne transferred from Newcastle to Spurs for a £2.2m fee. At the time, this was a record British transfer fee, a world away from the £105m that Barcelona have paid for Philippe Coutinho in 2018.

7. Princess Beatrice

The daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, seventh in line to the British throne, celebrates her 30th birthday in August this year.

8. The National Curriculum

Designed to ensure every single pupil receives the same standard of education, the National Curriculum was introduced to all English, Northern Irish and Welsh state schools in 1988.

9. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Featuring a combination of animation and live action, this film held the title of most expensive film ever made until Terminator 2: Judgment Day took the top spot in 1991.

10. This Morning

Originally presented by Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley, ITV’s This Morning celebrates its 30th birthday in November, and is one of the longest running British daytime TV shows.

11. Davidoff Cool Water

The original Cool Water fragrance has stood the test of time for 30 years, and is still just as popular today.

12. Crimestoppers

Charity Crimestoppers UK began life as the Community Action Trust in 1988, having been established after the murder of PC Keith Blakelock at the Broadwater Farm Estate riots in 1985.

13. Cliff Richard’s ‘Mistletoe and Wine’

Originally written for a musical, Mistletoe and Wine became Cliff Richard’s 99th single in 1988, spending four weeks at the top of the charts.

14. Red Dwarf

Science fiction comedy sitcom Red Dwarf first aired on BBC Two in 1988, and now boasts 12 series and 73 episodes.

15. Switch debit cards

RBS, NatWest and the Midland Bank launched Switch cards as cash cards and cheque guarantee cards in 1988. Switch was renamed to Maestro in 2002, but it’s still going strong.

16. Eddie the Eagle’s Olympic journey

In 1988, Eddie the Eagle became the first Brit to compete in Olympic ski jumping competitions since 1928, finishing last in both the 70m and 90m events but making history while doing so.

17. Adele

On May 5th, British singer-songwriter Adele will celebrate her 30th birthday – and this year also marks ten years since her debut album, 19, was released.

18. Garfield and Friends (TV Show)

The 17th of September marks 30 years since the premiere of Garfield and Friends, an animated comedy based on Jim Davis’ comic strip Garfield. Seven seasons of the show were produced, before its finale in 1994.

19. The first Red Nose Day telethon

More than 150 comedians and celebrities took part in the first ever Red Nose Day telethon, which saw Lenny Henry head to Ethiopia to raise awareness – and £15 million – for children in need across the globe.

20. GCSE exams

Replacing GCEs and CSEs, the General Certificate of Secondary Education was launched in 1988, giving those who wanted to leave school at 16 the chance to gain national qualifications.

21. Beetlejuice

Tim Burton’s comedy-fantasy film Beetlejuice – starring Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Michael Keaton, and launching Winona Ryder’s career – was the 10th highest-grossing film of 1988.

22. The Volvo 440

Swedish car giant Volvo first launched the Volvo 440 in 1988 as a five-door hatchback to compete with the popular Ford Sierra.

23.  Life without £1 notes

The Bank of England’s £1 note was in circulation from 1797 to 1988, with the last notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II on the front, and Isaac Newton on the back.

24. Big

Starring Tom Hanks as a boy who wishes to grow up and becomes an adult overnight, Big was the first feature film directed by a woman (Penny Marshall) to gross over $100 million.

25.  Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3

1988 was the year that Nintendo released two games from the same franchise in one year. Super Mario Bros 3 in particular is remembered as one of the best entries in the franchise.

26. Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’

Fast Car was the first single that Tracy Chapman released from her debut album, and it became a top ten hit in the US and the UK after her appearance at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute.

27. Prozac

The Eli Lilly Company first introduced antidepressant Prozac to the US market in 1988, and by 1999, it was providing the company with over 25% of its $10bn revenue. (If you’re in the pharma industry and looking for a launch that’s just as successful, take a look at the work we’ve done with our pharmaceutical clients.)

28. Ted Baker

The first ever Ted Baker clothing and accessories store opened in Glasgow in 1988, with the Princes Square shop primarily selling shirts. Now, it’s a brand with over 300 stores and concessions worldwide.

29. Opel Vectra

Large family car the Opel Vectra (sold as the Vauxhall Cavalier and, later, the Vauxhall Vectra), made its debut on our roads in 1988.

30. Yazz’ ‘The Only Way Is Up’

Dance track The Only Way Is Up was the song that shot British singer Yazz to fame in 1988. Since then, it’s had a dubious claim to fame – being used in the opening credits of The Only Way Is Essex.

For Yazz, the only way was up. For us, the only way is forward – and we’re excited to see what the next 30 years in our history have to bring. If you want to find out how we can help you to make your own history, get in touch.

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