The Best of British

The Best of British

On returning home to mainland Europe a visitor to these shores shared statements he had heard and read on radio, television and in the press.

All of the following were made by a wide range of well known public figures and politicians.

They sum up what we all feel about Great Britain (although the writer failed to make these observations himself).

The best legal system in the world
Definitely the best police force in the world
Our parliamentary system, the envy of the world
The finest health system … a model for the rest of the world
The standard of British journalism which is unmatched in the world
The British pub, the most envied leisure institution in the world
Undoubtedly the best theatre in the world
The best television service in the world
The most mature electorate in the world
Still the best railway service in the world
After all the finest postal service in the world
Still the most law-abiding people in the world
The English language, the most perfect work of art mankind has ever created
The Times is the best newspaper in the world
Despite these drawbacks probably the best weather in the world
Scotland is after all the greatest f…… country in the world
Still the best sewerage system in the world

One would have to be British to understand that man’s frustration.

A news story from 1982 you may have missed

Dear sir,

I wonder if US television film-makers ever consider the picture they present of Americans in their films.

It would seem that the United states is populated by half-crazed rapists, sex-maniacs, muggers, unscrupulous businessmen, dishonest police, racists, drug addicts, devious lawyers, crooked judges and corrupt politicians.

Best selling films from 1982

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
An Officer and a Gentleman
Rocky III
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
48 Hrs.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Top selling singles of 1982
1 Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Come On Eileen

2 Survivor
Eye Of The Tiger

3 Irene Cara

4 Tight Fit
The Lion Sleeps Tonight

5 Culture Club
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?

6 Eddy Grant
I Don’t Wanna Dance

7 Adam Ant
Goody Two Shoes

8 Goombay Dance Band
Seven Tears

9 Bucks Fizz
The Land Of Make Believe

10 Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder
Ebony And Ivory

Best selling albums of 1982
1 Barbra Streisand
Love Songs

2 Kids From Fame
The Kids From Fame

3 Madness
Complete Madness

Lexicon Of Love

5 Duran Duran

6 John Lennon
The John Lennon Collection

7 Dire Straits
Love Over Gold

8 Haircut One Hundred
Pelican West

9 The Human League

10 Roxy Music

Take Passport To Pimlico  – a post war Ealing comedy in which a document is discovered after a WW2 bomb goes off, that proves Pimlico is actually part of French burgundy.

It prompts the grocer’s wife Betty Warren to add the illogical:

‘We always were English, and we always will be English, and it’s just because we are English we’re sticking out for our right to be Burgundians’.

Notable deaths in 1982

30   Stanley Holloway, English comedian, 91


6   Ben Nicholson, English painter and sculptor, 87

17 Thelonious Monk, American jazz pianist and composer, 6

18  Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand detective writer and producer, 92


5   John Belushi, American comedian, 33

9   Alan Badel, British actor, 58


15  Arthur Lowe, British actor, 66

25  Celia Johnson, English actress, 73


29 Romy Schneider, actress, 43


14  Marie Rambert, Polish/British ballerina, 94


12  Henry Fonda, actor, 77

29  Ingrid Bergman, actress, 67


5   Douglas Bader, World War Two fighter pilot, 72

14  Grace Kelly, Princess Grace of Monaco, 52


10  Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet Leader, 75

13  Chesney Allen, English actor/comedian, 88

16  Arthur Askey, English comedian, 82


2   Marty Feldman, comedian, 49

8   Marty Robins, American country singer, 57

Another news story from 1982 that may have missed

The Country’s Greatest Liar competition

Every year since 1974 the contest to find the greatest liar is held in Wasedale, Cumbria close to the Lake District.

It is in memory of Will Ritson, a Wasdale inn-keeper who died in 1890 aged 83.

Previous winners have included Clem  Mossop who claimed that a bull had eaten away at his giant turnip and got lost inside. He took the hollowed-out turnip home and used it as a hen house until it collapsed in a hard frost.

Last years winner Tom Purdham was interviewed by BBC TV and declared that he was not taking part in 1982. The TV crew departed leaving him as a possible front runner for this years title.

You can contact John Barber here: