Robert Hampton

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5th January 2013


Continuing on from yesterday’s review of the year-type thing.

BBC Television CentreJuly (actually, the end of June, but I wrote the blog post on 1st July) saw me make a trip to the legendary BBC Television Centre to watch a recording of Pointless. It was a most enjoyable experience, even if the Central African Republic didn’t come up as an answer. I’m seriously tempted to go back as a contestant.

Liverpool’s Festival Gardens reopened after many years of dereliction. The government announced a whole load of railway improvement schemes, coupled with further plans to price-gouge passengers. I bemoaned the tendency for reviews to oversimplify things with a simple score.

I fretted about Global Warming (and now, after experiencing a week of unseasonably mild weather, I’m even more worried). Heat of a different kind in Liverpool city centre, as preachers continued to claim everyone was going to Hell.

Liverpool Pride march at Lime StreetOf course, at the end of the month the Olympics kicked off. In the run-up to the opening ceremony, I sounded a note of cautious optimism, which proved to be accurate as Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was a triumph.

Culture of a different kind was on display in Liverpool, as the Lantern Theatre put on a quartet (sorry, Queertet) of new gay plays.

August saw a series of blog posts counting down to Liverpool Pride (1) (2). The event itself was fun in spite of the weather, and – despite some fears – free. I hope it remains so this year.

The Commodore 64 celebrated its 30th birthday, and I celebrated by getting mine out and playing with it. I also came up with a list of essential C64 games.

Commodore 64The Olympics ended in triumph but I wasn’t sure about its legacy, especially with David Cameron in charge.

Virgin Trains lost its franchise (at least, we all thought so at the time) and I made some effort to puncture the unwarranted love for the organisation. Virgin wasn’t the only organisation for which I was playing the world’s smallest violin – the Mathew Street Festival, the highlight of Liverpool’s cultural calendar (it says here) also appeared to be in trouble.

In September I criticised – again – plans for a Nanny State “default block” on adult web content, a proposal which refused to die despite widespread criticism.

I turned thirty and felt the love, and enjoyed a short film I found on YouTube.

The really big news was the Hillsborough Independent Panel‘s long-awaited report, which contained shocking revelations. After twenty-three years of fighting for justice, the families finally seem to be getting somewhere.

The Lift (Liverpool ONE)I also pondered gays in sports, and enjoyed the Liverpool Biennial.

October saw the West Coast rail franchise in disarray as the competition was “cancelled”. Richard Branson gloated as it looked like Virgin would stay in control, but I pondered if another organisation wouldn’t be better suited to the task.

The last analogue TV transmitters were turned off, and Ceefax, the BBC’s teletext service, died with them. I mourned its passing with my own video tribute.

In the world of the gays, some bigots got touchy about being called bigots.

Barack ObamaNovember was the month of the US Presidential Election. I implored US voters not to choose Mitt Romney, and thankfully they listened, as Barack Obama won by a comfortable margin.

The BBC slipped into chaos but I was still prepared to stand up for it as the best broadcaster in the world. The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections took place, to almost universal disinterest. An adorably gruesome cartoon tried to warn the world about railway safety.

I was worried that the blog was running out of steam, but soldiered on to tell a charming story about madness and Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear.

The Leveson Inquiry was published, only for David Cameron to dismiss its main recommendation out of hand.

CD coverDecember saw yet more demonisation of people claiming benefits. On the subject of homophobia in sport, I told a tale of two footballers. A cracked rail was a serious hazard, or not, depending on whose story you believed.

A clear out of my hard drive saw me pondering my 21-year-old self’s motivations. The gay marriage debate continued to rumble on.

The Hillsborough campaigners aimed for another victory as they tried – successfully as it turned out – to score a Christmas Number One. I finally got round to making a new vlog, although I started to think I might be too old for this.

A series of festive posts rounded off the year – starting with some exciting Bauballs to decorate your tree. Meanwhile, Public transport staff enjoyed some festive singalongs.

The season of goodwill, however, seemed to bypass the church, who used Christmas as another reason to attack gay people.

As New Year approached, I bemoaned my lack of attention span, then took some time to enjoy some calendars which were well-hung… on my wall.

So that was 2012. What does this year have in store? If you’re feeling optimistic, just remember – these two are still in charge:

Cameron and Osborne Laughing

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