|1982 in the United Kingdom|
|1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, television and music|
- 1 January – ITV launches three regional TV stations – Central, TV South and TV South West, replacing ATV Midlands, Southern Television and Westward Television respectively.
- 2 January –
- 10 January – The lowest ever UK temperature of −27.2 °C is recorded at Braemar, in Aberdeenshire. This equals the record set in the same place in 1895, and the record will be equalled again at Altnaharra in 1995.
- 11 January – Mark Thatcher, son of the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, disappears in the Sahara during Paris-Dakar rally.
- 14 January – Mark Thatcher is found safe and well in the Sahara Desert, six days after going missing.
- 21 January – Miners vote against strike action and accept the National Coal Board offer of a 9.3% pay rise.
- 26 January – Unemployment in the United Kingdom is recorded at over 3,000,000 people for the first time since the 1930s. However, the 11.5% of the workforce currently unemployed is approximately half of the record percentage which was reached half a century ago.
- Unknown date – Korean cars are imported to Britain for the first time, with the launch of the Hyundai Pony, a range of three and five-door hatchbacks similar in size to the Ford Escort.
- 1 February – Sales of tabloid newspapers are reported to have been boosted substantially since last summer by the introduction of bingo. The Sun has reportedly enjoyed the biggest rise in sales, now selling more than 4,000,000 copies a day on a regular basis.
- 5 February – Laker Airways collapses, leaving 6,000 passengers stranded, with debts of £270,000,000.
- 6 February – The Queen commemorates her Pearl Jubilee.
- 12 February – Opening of the first Next clothing store, a rebranding of the merged Joseph Hepworth and Kendall chains masterminded by George Davies. It specialises in women's clothing.
- 19 February – The DeLorean car factory in Belfast is put into receivership.
- 22 February – The Apostolic Delegation is promoted to the Apostolic Nunciature to Great Britain by Pope John Paul II; the first pro-nuncio is Bruno Heim.
- 23 February – The Glasgow-registered coal ship, St. Bedan is bombed and sunk by an IRA unit driving a hijacked pilot boat in Lough Foyle.
- 25 February – The European Court of Justice rules that schools in Britain cannot allow corporal punishment against the wishes of parents.
- 27 February – The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company gives its last performance at the end of a final London season, having been in near-continuous existence since 1875.
- 3 March – The Queen opens the Barbican Centre, a performing arts venue in the City of London.
- 12 March – Closure of Queen Street Mill, Burnley, the last steam driven weaving shed to work commercially.
- 18 March
- A legal case brought by Mary Whitehouse against the National Theatre concerning alleged obscenity in the play The Romans in Britain ends after the Attorney General intervenes.
- An Argentine scrap metal dealer raises the Argentine flag in South Georgia, Falkland Islands – a British overseas colony.
- 19 March – Argentines land on South Georgia Island, precipitating war.
- 25 March – Roy Jenkins wins the Hillhead by-election in Glasgow for the Social Democratic Party, whose dream of an electoral breakthrough looks strong as they still head most of the opinion polls.
- 29 March – Royal assent in London to the Canada Act 1982 sets the stage for the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution.
- 1 April – A twelve-year-old unnamed Birmingham boy becomes one of the youngest people in England and Wales to be convicted of murder after he admits murdering an eight-year-old boy, and is sentenced to be detained indefinitely.
- 2 April – Falklands War begins as Argentina invades the Falkland Islands.
- 4 April – Falklands War: The British Falkland Islands government surrenders, placing the islands in Argentine control.
- 5 April – Falklands War: Royal Navy task force sets sail to the Falklands from Portsmouth.
- 7 April – Britain declares a 200-mile "exclusion zone" around the Falklands.
- 17 April – By proclamation of the Queen of Canada on Parliament Hill, Canada repatriates its constitution, granting full political independence from the United Kingdom; included is the country's first entrenched bill of rights.
- 21 April – Walsall F.C.'s hopes of becoming the first Football League club to ground-share are dashed when officials condemn their plans to sell their Fellows Park stadium and become tenants at the Molineux (home of Wolverhampton Wanderers).
- 24 April
- 25 April – Falklands War: Royal Marines recapture South Georgia.
- 29 April – Daniel and Christopher Smith, Britain's first test tube twins, are born to parents Josephine and Stewart, at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
- 30 April – The Conservatives return to the top of the opinion polls for the first time since late 1979, with the latest MORI poll showing that they have 43% of the vote, ahead of the SDP-Liberal Alliance.
- 1 May – Falklands War: Operation Black Buck – a Royal Air Force Vulcan bomber takes off from Ascension Island and bombs Port Stanley Airport.
- 2 May – Falklands War: the nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano.
- 4 May – Falklands War: the Type 42 Destroyer, HMS Sheffield, is badly damaged by an Exocet missile. It sinks on 10 May.
- 21 May
- 22 May – FA Cup holders Tottenham Hotspur draw 1–1 with Queen's Park Rangers in the Wembley final, forcing a replay. Tottenham are without their Argentine players Ossie Ardiles and Ricardo Villa, who have been temporarily removed from the team following barracking from rival fans over their home country's involvement in the war with Britain.
- 21 May - Falklands War: HMS Ardent sunk by Argentinian Aircraft in Falkland Sound.
- 23 May – Falklands War: HMS Antelope of the Royal Navy explodes.
- 25 May - Falklands War : HMS Coventry sunk by Argentinian Sky Hawks. MV Atlantic Conveyor sunk by Argentinian Exocet.
- 26 May – Official opening of Kielder Water, a reservoir in Northumberland. It is the largest artificial lake in the UK by capacity (200 billion litres) and is surrounded by Kielder Forest; the largest planted woodland in Europe.
- 27 May
- 1982 Beaconsfield by-election was held on 27 May as a result of the death of sitting Conservative MP Sir Ronald Bell. Tim Smith retained the seat for the Conservatives with a comfortable majority of 13,053 votes against the SDP-Liberal Alliance candidate Paul Tyler. Future Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair finished in third place with 3,886 votes. It is notable for being the only election of Tony Blair's political career that he lost.
- Tottenham Hotspur win the FA Cup beating Queens Park Rangers 1-0 in a replay. A sixth-minute penalty from Glenn Hoddle is the only goal of the game and equals Aston Villa's record of seven FA Cup triumphs.
- 28 May
- Pope John Paul II's visit to the United Kingdom, the first by a reigning pope, begins at Gatwick Airport; he later meets the Queen in London.
- Falklands War: Battle of Goose Green commences, the first land battle of the war. Lieutenant-Colonel H. Jones is killed in an action for which he is awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. British troops reach Darwin, Falkland Islands.
- 29 May
- 31 May – Falklands War: the Battle of Stanley is fought.
- May – Alternative rock band The Smiths formed in Manchester by Johnny Marr and Morrissey.
- June – All restrictions on hire purchase lifted.
- 3 June
- Israeli ambassador to the UK Shlomo Argov is shot outside the Dorchester Hotel in London, an event which provokes the 1982 Lebanon War; he dies in 2003 in Israel without regaining full consciousness.
- 1982 Mitcham and Morden by-election held as a result of the sitting Labour MP (Bruce Douglas-Mann) transferring his allegiance to the new SDP. Angela Rumbold gains the seat for the Conservatives, the first gain achieved by a ruling party at a by-election since 1960/1 and the last until 2017.
- 8 June
- 9 June – Twenty pence coin first issued into circulation.
- 14 June – Falklands War ends as British forces reach the outskirts of Stanley after "yomping" across East Falkland from San Carlos Bay. They arrive to find the Argentine forces flying white flags of surrender. The formal Argentine surrender in the Falklands War is signed this evening.
- 16 June – Welsh miners go on strike to support health workers demanding a 12% pay rise.
- 19 June – The body of "God's Banker", Roberto Calvi, chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, is found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London.
- 21 June – The first child of The Prince and Princess of Wales is born at St Mary's Hospital, London (Paddington), the first birth in direct line of succession to the British throne to take place in a hospital.
- 22 June – A British Airways Boeing 747 suffers a temporary four-engine flameout and damage to the exterior of the plane, after flying through the otherwise undetected ash plume from Indonesia's Galunggung.
- 23 June – Support for the Conservative government continues to rise, mainly due to the success of the Falklands campaign, with an MORI opinion poll showing that they have a 51% approval rating.
- 25 June – Northern Ireland defeat hosts Spain 1–0 in the World Cup, later being knocked out in the quarter finals.
- 2 July – Roy Jenkins is elected as Leader of the SDP.
- 5 July – England draw 0–0 with hosts Spain and are eliminated from the World Cup in the second group stage. Ron Greenwood retires as England manager after five years and is succeeded by Ipswich Town manager Bobby Robson.
- 9 July – Michael Fagan breaks into Buckingham Palace and is apprehended after entering the royal bedroom.
- 20 July – Hyde Park and Regents Park bombings: the Provisional IRA detonates two bombs in Central London, killing eight soldiers, wounding 47 people, and leading to the deaths of seven horses.
- 21 July – HMS Hermes, the Royal Navy flagship during the Falklands War, returns home to Portsmouth to a hero's welcome.
- 22 July
- Production of the Ford Cortina ends after twenty years and five incarnations (the final two of which were virtually identical). The Cortina's successor, the Sierra, will be built at Dagenham and in Belgium, though in slightly lower volumes as the smaller Escort is now Ford's strongest-selling car.
- Exclusion zone around the Falklands is lifted.
- Margaret Thatcher rejects calls in parliament for a return of the death penalty for terrorist murder.
- 1 August – The government creates Britoil as the privatised successor to the British National Oil Corporation.
- 4 August – The first child of The Prince and Princess of Wales is christened William Arthur Philip Louis.
- 28 August – Caryl Churchill's play Top Girls premieres at the Royal Court Theatre, London.
- 29 August – 65-year-old American Ashby Harper becomes the oldest person to swim the English Channel.
- 30 August – St David's Hall opens in Cardiff as the National Concert Hall and Conference Centre of Wales.
- 7 September – Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher expresses her concern at the growing number of children living in single-parent families, but says that she is not opposed to divorce.
- 22 September – An estimated 14% of the workforce is now reported to be unemployed.
- 23 September – Nigel Lawson announces that no industry should remain in state ownership unless there is an "overwhelming" case.
- 27 September – General Motors launches the Spanish-built Opel Corsa, which will be sold in Britain from April next year as the Vauxhall Nova. The new front-wheel drive range of small hatchbacks and saloons will effectively replace the Chevette. However, the transport workers union has thrown the future of the new car, which is expected to sell around 50,000 units a year, into jeopardy by blocking imports to Britain.
- 30 September – Lord Denning delivers his last judgement as Master of the Rolls.
- 30 September – After well over 100 years, the UK Inland Telegram service closed. Telegram figures peaked after the first world war with over 100m sent annually, by the time the service closed the annual figure was down to less than 3 million.
- October – Government statistics for unemployment are now based on those claiming benefits rather than those registered unemployed.
- 8 October – With the economy now climbing out of recession after more than two years, Margaret Thatcher vows to stick to her economic policies, and blames previous governments for the decline that she inherited when entering power more than three years ago.
- 11 October – The Mary Rose, flagship of Henry VIII of England that sank in 1545, is raised from the Solent.
- 12 October – A victory parade is held in London to mark the end of the Falklands war.
- 15 October – The Ford Sierra is launched as a replacement for the long-running Cortina, and its ultra-modern aerodynamic styling causes controversy among potential buyers who for years had been drawn to the conventional Cortina.
- 21 October – Sinn Féin win their first seats on the Northern Ireland Assembly, with Gerry Adams winning the Belfast West seat.
- 27 October – Three RUC officers killed by an IRA bomb near Lurgan in Northern Ireland.
- November – The Government announces that more than 400,000 council houses have been sold off under the right-to-buy scheme within the last three years.
- 1 November
- 2 November – The fourth terrestrial television channel, Channel 4, begins broadcasting, the first programme broadcast being the game show Countdown, hosted by Richard Whiteley. Another flagship programme is the Liverpool-based soap opera Brookside.
- 7 November – The Thames Barrier is first publicly demonstrated.
- 12 November – Express Lift Tower in Northampton officially opened.
- 15 November – Unemployment remains in excess of 3,000,000 people – 13.8% of the workforce.
- 28 November – Opinion polls show the Conservative government with an approval rating of up to 44% and well on course for a second successive electoral victory, 13 points ahead of Labour. Support for the Alliance has halved in the space of a year.
- 3 December
- UK release of the film Gandhi. This will win eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Attenborough) and Best Actor (Ben Kingsley) four months later.
- UK release of the film animation The Plague Dogs based on the novel of the same name by Richard Adams; the film is controversial as it contains some violence.
- 6 December – Droppin Well bombing: The Irish National Liberation Army kills seventeen people in a bomb attack at the Droppin Well Inn, Ballykelly, County Londonderry.
- 10 December
- British chemist Aaron Klug wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his development of crystallographic electron microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes".
- John Robert Vane wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Sune Bergström and Bengt I. Samuelsson "for their discoveries concerning prostaglandins and related biologically active substances".
- 12 December – Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp: 30,000 women hold hands and form a human chain around the 9 mile (14.5 km) perimeter fence.
- 15 December – The British colony of Gibraltar gains a pedestrian link to Spain, as the gates which separated the two states are re-opened by the Spanish government after thirteen years.
- 23 December – More than 1,200 jobs are lost in the West Midlands when the Round Oak Steelworks closes after 125 years.
- Inflation has fallen to a 10-year low of 8.6%, although some 1,500,000 jobs have reportedly been lost largely due to Government policy in attaining this end.
- Douglas Adams' comic novel Life, the Universe and Everything.
- William Boyd's novel An Ice-Cream War.
- Bruce Chatwin's novel On the Black Hill.
- Shirley Conran's novel Lace.
- Richard Dawkins' book The Extended Phenotype.
- Sue Townsend's comic novel The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ (7 October, the character having been introduced earlier in the year in a BBC Radio 4 play).
- 1 January – Luke Rodgers, footballer
- 4 January
- 6 January – Eddie Redmayne, actor
- 9 January – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
- 16 January – Preston, singer
- 25 February – Chris Baird, footballer
- 26 February – Lisa Mason, gymnast
- 9 March – Paul 'Des' Ballard, children's television presenter
- 5 April – Hayley Atwell, actress
- 24 April – Laura Hamilton, children's television presenter
- 4 May – John Robins, comedian and radio presenter
- 10 May – Adebayo Akinfenwa, footballer
- 15 May – Douglas Simpson, Scottish field hockey forward
- 19 May – Kevin Amankwaah, footballer
- 7 June – Amy Nuttall, actress and singer
- 21 June – Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, prince
- 13 July – Simon Clist, footballer
- 28 July – Michael Rose, footballer
- 30 July – James Anderson, cricketer
- 14 August – Benjamin Cohen journalist, founder of PinkNews.co.uk
- 3 September – Fearne Cotton, television presenter
- 12 September – Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat politician
- 22 September – Billie Piper, singer and actress
- 30 September – Michelle Marsh, model
- 4 October – YolanDa Brown, jazz saxophonist
- 7 October - Jermain Defoe, footballer
- 8 October – Glenn Kirkham, field hockey player
- 10 October – Dan Stevens, actor
- 21 October – David Mansouri, Scottish field hockey defender
- 26 October – Nicola Adams, boxer
- 28 October – Matt Smith, actor
- 9 November – Kieran Darlow, footballer
- 13 November – Adam Shantry, cricketer
- 14 November – Stephen Hughes, Scottish footballer
- 12 December – Louise Carroll, Scottish field hockey defender
- 30 January – Stanley Holloway, actor, comedian, singer and poet (born 1890)
- 4 February – Alex Harvey, Scottish-born blues/rock musician (born 1935)
- 5 February – Ernest Bader, businessman and philanthropist (born 1890)
- 19 February – Margery Perham, Africanist (born 1895)
- 21 March – Harry H. Corbett, actor (born 1925)
- 31 March – Dave Clement, footballer (born 1948)
- 15 April – Arthur Lowe, actor (born 1915)
- 25 April – Celia Johnson, actress (born 1908)
- 1 May – William Primrose, violist (born 1903)
- 28 May – Lieutenant-Colonel H. Jones, Falklands War casualty and posthumous recipient of Victoria Cross (born 1940)
- 12 June – Ian McKay, Falklands War casualty and posthumous recipient of Victoria Cross (born 1953)
- 4 July – Terry Higgins, early British casualty of AIDS
- 12 July – Kenneth More, actor (born 1914)
- 5 August – Sir John Charnley, orthopaedic surgeon (born 1911)
- 8 August – Dorothy Edwards, children's author (born 1914)
- 29 August – Ingrid Bergman, film actress (born 1915 in Sweden)
- 5 September – Douglas Bader, World War II fighter pilot (born 1910)
- 29 September – A. L. Lloyd, folk song collector (born 1908)
- 20 October – Jimmy McGrory, Scottish footballer (born 1904)
- 8 November – Jimmy Dickinson, footballer (born 1925)
- 13 November – Chesney Allen, entertainer and singer (born 1894)
- 16 November – Arthur Askey, comedian (born 1900)
- 2 December – Marty Feldman, comedian and actor (born 1934)
- 16 December – Colin Chapman, automotive engineer (born 1928)
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