It happened today – this day in history – January 21

1542: English Parliament passes the bill of attainder against Henry VIII’s wife Katherine Howard.

1549: The Act of Uniformity is passed by the English Parliament requiring clergy to use The Book of Common Prayer

1720: Sweden and Prussia sign a peace treaty ending hostilities during the Great Northern War.

1793: Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine in Paris.

1818: Keats writes his poem “On a Lock of Milton’s Hair”.

1846: First edition of Charles Dickens’ newspaper The Daily News is published.

1919: Sinn Féin creates its own parliament in Dublin and declares Ireland independent of Great Britain, sparking the Irish War of Independence.

1921: Writer Agatha Christie publishes her first novel “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” introducing the character Hercule Poirot.

1924: Russian revolutionary leader Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) dies of a stroke aged 53.

1934: Henri Littière appears in a Paris court charged with forcing his adulterous wife to wear a chastity belt. He had been convicted of the same crime two years earlier.

1941: Australian and British troops attack Tobruk, Libya.

1943: Soviet forces reconquer Gumrak airport near Stalingrad.

1944: 447 German bombers attack London.

1950: Writer George Orwell (Eric Blair) dies of tuberculosis aged 46.

1952: Jawaharlal Nehru’s Congress party wins the general election in India.

1959: Director Cecil B DeMille dies aged 77.

1965: Iranian premier Hassan Ali Mansur is assassinated by 17-year-old Mohammad Bokharaei of the Fadayan-e Islam.

1966: The Monte Carlo rally ends in uproar over the disqualification of the British cars expected to fill the first four places for alleged infringements of regulations about the way their headlights dipped. On the same day, George Harrison marries Patti Boyd at Leatherhead Register Office with Paul McCartney his best man.

1968: Jimi Hendrix records the Bob Dylan song All Along the Watchtower at Olympic Studios in London. On the same day, a US B-52 bomber with a nuclear bomb on board crashes in Greenland. Also, The Battle of Khe Sanh – one of the most publicised and controversial battles of the Vietnam War – begins.

1969: A partial meltdown at the Lucens nuclear reactor in Switzerland seriously contaminates the cavern containing the reactor. The plant is sealed and decommissioned.


1976: Concorde’s first commercial flight.

1977: US President Jimmy Carter pardons almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.

1979: Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys, 35-31 to win the Super Bowl.

1981: Former Ulster Unionist MPs Norman Stronge and his son James are assassinated by the IRA at their home Tynan Abbey, which is then burnt down.

1984: Singer Jackie Wilson dies aged 49, more than eight years after falling into a coma due to suffering a heart attack on stage and landing on his head..

1990: John McEnroe becomes the first player ever to be expelled from the Australian Open tennis event for bad behaviour on court.

1994: Abused wife Lorena Bobbitt is found to have been temporarily insane when she cut off her husband John Wayne Bobbitt’s penis and threw it into a field in Virginia.

On TV (Friday)


05.30ITN Morning News


09.25Win, Lose or Draw

09.55London Today

10.00The Time… The Place…

10.35This Morning

12.20London Today

12.30ITN Lunchtime News

12.55Coronation Street

13.25Home and Away

13.55Capital Woman

14.20A Country Practice

14.50Take the High Road

15.20ITN News

15.25London Today

15.30The Magic House



16.15The Dreamstone

16.40Just Us

17.10Home and Away


17.40ITN Early Evening News

18.00London Tonight

19.00Celebrity Squares

19.30Coronation Street

20.00The Bill

20.30Surgical Spirit
Hospital comedy

21.00The Chief

22.00ITN News at Ten

22.30Film: Silhouette (1990)
Thriller starring Faye Dunaway as a businesswoman in a small Texan town who witnesses a murder


07.00The Big Breakfast
Presented by Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin

09.00You Bet Your Life

09.30For Schools

12.00House To House

12.30Sesame Street

13.30Take 5

14.00Film: Footsteps in the Dark (1941)
Comedy mystery starring Errol Flynn as a playboy sleuth

15.45Three Fools And A Car

15.55The Pulse


17.00Cutting Edge


18.30Happy Days

19.00Channel 4 News

19.50First Reaction

20.00Citizen 2000


21.00Nature Perfected

Comedy series tarring Ted Danson


22.30The Unpleasant World of Penn and Teller

23.05The Word

00.05Film: Blue Hawaii (1961)
stars Elvis Presley


06.00Business Breakfast

07.00Breakfast News



10.00News, Regional News and Weather


10.30Good Morning…. with Anne and Nick

12.15Pebble Mill

12.55Regional News; Weather

13.00One O’Clock News


13.50The Travel Quiz


14.50The Flying Doctors


15.45Open a Door



16.30The Animals of Farthing Wood

16.55Newsround Extra

17.10Grange Hill


18.00Six O’Clock News

18.30Regional news magazines

19.00Home Truths
Irreverent and comic game show presented by Steve Wright

19.30Tomorrow’s World

20.00Ice Skating
JayneTorvill and Christopher Dean continue their renaissance as international competitive skaters in live coverage of the free dance routines from Copenhagen. Sue Barker introduces the evening’s coverage, which will decide the destiny of the European title.

21.00Nine O’Clock News

21.30Love Hurts
Romantic drama series, starring Adam Faith Zoe Wanamaker

22.20TV Movie: The Cops Are Robbers (1990)
A Boston superintendent launches a low profile probe into corruption within the ranks.

23.55Film: The Heartbreak Kid (1972)
Comedy starring Charles Grodin and Cybill Shepherd


08.00Breakfast News

08.15Westminster Daily

09.00Daytime on 2

14.15Sport on Friday

15.50News and Weather

16.00Today’s the Day



17.30From the Edge

18.00Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

18.25The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

19.15The Living Soap

19.45What the Papers Say

20.00Public Eye
Obsession. Tennis stars Steffi Graf and Monica Seles are among the many celebrities who have been victims of obsessive fans. But hundreds of ordinary people receive similar unwanted attention without the publicity and the money to take on their pursuers.

20.30The Great British Garden Show

21.00Red Dwarf
Comedy series set in deep space starring Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John Jules and Robert Llewelyn.

21.30Further Abroad

22.00Blackadder II
Second series of the comic saga written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. Edmund is in a spot of bother when he cuts off Sir Francis Drake’s head.

Presented by Jeremy Paxman

23.15Fantasy Football League
Comedy show where celebrities take on the role of football managers. This week, regular hosts Frank Skinner and David Baddiel are joined by guest managers Bob Mortimer and Karren Brady.

23.45The Ferguson Theory
Comedy with Craig Ferguson,

1997: More than 80 people are named as child abusers in statements to a North Wales inquiry into the treatment of children who passed through the care system in Clwyd and Gwynedd over two decades. On the same day, goalkeeper Peter Shilton plays his 1005th and last match in the Football League for Leyton Orient against Wigan Athletic. The nine matches he played for the O’s saw him become the first person ever to play in 1000 League matches. Also, Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker (Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk) dies of a stroke in Las Vegas at the age of 87.

2002: Singer, songwriter and actress Peggy Lee (Norma Egstrom) dies of complications from diabetes and a heart attack at the age of 81.

2003: David Palmer, former keyboard player for Jethro Tull changes his name to Dee after a successful sex change operation.

2005: Former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates buys Leeds United FC.

2007: Singles chart:

  1. Grace Kelly – Mika
  2. Starz In Their Eyes – Just Jack
  3. Same Jeans – The View
  4. Too Little Too Late – Jojo
  5. Proper Education – Eric Prydz ft Floyd
  6. A Moment Like This – Leona Lewis
  7. I Luv U – The Ordinary Boys
  8. Patience – Take That
  9. Calm Down Dearest – Jamie T
  10. Boogie 2Nite – Booty Luv
2007: Lily Allen: Alright, Still

Album chart:

  1. Back To Black – Amy Winehouse
  2. Undiscovered – James Morrison
  3. Costello Music – The Fratellis
  4. Eyes Open – Snow Patrol
  5. Razorlight – Razorlight
  6. Alright Still – Lily Allen
  7. Beautiful World – Take That
  8. These Streets – Paolo Nutini
  9. Showgirl: Homecoming Live – Kylie Minogue
  10. Love – The Beatles

2008: The Eyak language in Alaska becomes extinct as its last native speaker dies.

2013: Director Michael Winner dies aged 77.

2015: Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan dies aged 75.

2019: A light aircraft carrying Cardiff City’s record signing Emiliano Sala of FC Nantes disappears near the Channel islands en route to Wales.

2020: Director/writer and Monty Python star Terry Jones dies from dementia aged 77.

BIRTHDAYS: Jack Nicklaus, golfer, 83; (José) Plácido Domingo (Embil), operatic tenor, 82; Martin Shaw, actor, 78; Jill Eikenberry, actress, 76; Pye [Julian] Hastings, musician (Caravan) 76; Billy Ocean MBE (Leslie Sebastian Charles), singer-songwriter, 73; Nigel Glockler, drummer, (Saxon) 69; Jeff Koons, artist, 68; Geena (Virginia) Davis, actress, 67; Alex McLeish, former Scotland football manager, 64; Robert Del Naja, producer (Massive Attack), 58; Cat Power (Chan Marshall), singer-songwriter, 51; Emma Bunton, singer (Spice Girls) 47; Phil Neville, football manager, 46; Brian O’Driscoll, Irish rugby legend, 44; Joe Ledley, footballer, 36; Laura Robson, British tennis star, 29.