As we reach the end of another year, there’s a lot of reflecting and looking back at the big moments of the year in film, TV and music.
D’you know what, though? Forget it. It’s over. Ain’t coming back. Done.
The good thing is, there’s a lot to look forward to in the 12 months to come, not least the 26 forthcoming moments we’ve rounded up below, from must-see films and music tours to the TV events we’ll all be talking about, and music releases that we’ll be streaming and downloading ASAP...
1. The ‘Circle Of Life’ moves us all once again
Not only is the forthcoming ‘Lion King’ remake going to be a guaranteed jolt of nostalgia for Disney fans, with a voice cast boasting Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor and James Earl Jones (the original Mufasa), there’s surely only so far wrong this live-action reboot can actually go.
2. The ‘Spice World 2019’ tour
We’ll tell you what we want, what we really, really want…
Well, to be fair, what we really, really want is a full five-piece Spice Girls reunion, but with Victoria Beckham’s “business commitments” standing in the way of that, we’re still very, very excited for what the remaining girls have planned up their collective sleeve for their first tour in more than a decade.
3. Litchfield Prison closes its doors once and for all
The most recent series of ‘Orange Is The New Black’, it must be said, was not the show’s best, but the final episode set the scene perfectly (and chillingly) for what was later announced to be its final season.
It might not be the TV juggernaut it once was, but ‘OINTB’ has given us plenty to talk about over the years, and we’re intrigued to see what Jenji Kohan has planned for the award-winning prison drama’s final series.
4. ‘Game Of Thrones’ comes to an end
But ‘Orange Is The New Black’ isn’t the only long-standing show coming to an end in 2019.
With more twists and turns (and bloodshed) than any of its competitors, ‘Game Of Thrones’ fans around the world are on the edge of their seats, waiting to see how the epic drama reaches what we’re sure will be an exciting conclusion.
5. ‘The Witcher’ debuts on Netflix
It’s not all about the goodbyes, though, with Netflix also unveiling their new fantasy show, that we’re sure will garner plenty of attention, thanks in no small part to its leading man (a small-known actor called Henry Cavill, we’ve never heard of him, but we’re sure he’s got a bright future ahead).
‘The Witcher’ is based on the books of the same name, which has already been turned into a critically-acclaimed video game series, so the stakes are high with this one, and we’re curious to see whether the show will meet expectations.
6. ‘Toy Story 4’
Yes, a full eight years (!!) after we last caught up with Woody and Buzz, they’re back with a whole new adventure in 2019.
From what we’ve seen from the short teaser, the usual gang are all present and correct for what looks to be the most off-the-wall instalment in the ‘Toy Story’ series yet. One of the new characters is a talking spork with pipecleaner arms, for crying out loud.
7. Billie Eilish’s debut album
We touted her as “one to watch” in 2018, and she’s continued to impress us over the last year, with dark new cuts like ‘You Should See Me In A Crown’ and ‘When The Party’s Over’, both of which were accompanied by equally unnerving music videos.
All of this is even more impressive when you consider Billie isn’t even old enough to drink in the UK yet, and while she obviously appeals to the younger generation, her music is accessible to all, and we can’t wait to hear what she has in store for her first full-length studio album.
8. Olivia Colman goes global
Her rise from small roles in British comedies like ‘Peep Show’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and the critically panned mockumentary ‘Confetti’ to more serious parts like ‘Broadchurch’, ‘Fleabag’ and ‘The Night Manager’ has truly been something to behold, but in 2019, things are about to get even bigger for Olivia Colman.
As well as landing the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the upcoming series of ‘The Crown’, there’s also already Oscar buzz around her upcoming leading part in ‘The Favourite’, in which she stars opposite existing Academy Award-winners Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.
Oooh, we feel like a proud parent or something...
9. Phoebe Waller-Bridge treats us to yet more TV greatness
And speaking of ‘Fleabag’, the BBC Three show’s creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge had a massive year in 2018, thanks to the huge success of her show ‘Killing Eve’, which is back for a second run in the new year, with both Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer returning for a second series.
What’s more, after a three-year absence, we’re also being gifted a whole new series of ‘Fleabag’ in 2019, filming for which began earlier this year. We’re fully ready to laugh and laugh and laugh and then ugly cry. And then laugh again.
10. The current ‘Star Wars’ trilogy comes to a close
‘The Last Jedi’ proved divisive among fans of the sci-fi franchise, as did origin story ‘Solo’, but we’re confident that JJ Abrams can knock it out of the park as we reach the conclusion of a story that’s now been 40 years in the making.
Plus, we’re just excited to see the incredible Carrie Fisher back on the big screen, in what will be her final film appearance.
11. ‘The Greatest Dancer’
With ‘The X Factor’ now having been fully trounced by ‘Strictly’ when it comes to ratings, it’s interesting that for Simon Cowell’s latest venture he’s not only focussing specifically on dance but has grabbed one of his rival’s most popular figures, Oti Mabuse, for the judging panel, and jumped ship to the BBC.
It’s not all completely unfamiliar territory, though, with Cheryl Tweedy also on the panel, dishing out advice in an area she’s probably more qualified in than singing, along with Matthew Morrison and presenters Alesha Dixon and Diversity’s Jordan Banjo.
We’re not quite confident enough to say that it’s a sure-fire hit, but we’ll definitely be tuning in, to see what the fuss is about if nothing else.
12. Glastonbury is back with a bang
After a year out, music fans are gearing up for the return of Glastonbury in summer 2019, and with Stormzy confirmed as the first confirmed headliner, they’re shining a light on a talent who, despite his huge success of late, is still relatively on the come-up, compared to more established headliners in years gone by.
Rumours would suggest they’re going big elsewhere, too, with The Cure and Sir Paul McCartney also tipped to be closing the show (we suppose every woman in the industry was busy…), while Kylie Minogue is following on from ELO, Dolly Parton and Lionel Richie by performing in the Sunday afternoon ‘Legends’ slot.
13. Captain Marvel
A superhero whose own film has been long overdue, Captain Marvel is finally stepping into her own, with Oscar-winner Brie Larson at the helm. And if Brie isn’t enough to get you excited, perhaps co-stars Samuel L Jackson, Lee Pace, or Gemma Chan will be.
Or, indeed, the sight of her decking an old woman on the bus in the trailer.
14. The GC on ice
Listen, we’re fully aware that ‘Dancing On Ice’ is not exactly high-brow television, and yes, last year’s series did make us ponder whether the revival was even worth the bother. But we were given renewed hope when the 2019 cast was announced, including ‘Grease’ legend Didi Conn and former ‘Strictly’ pro James Jordan.
Oh, and that’s without mentioning reality TV veteran Gemma Collins, who has been the talking point of pretty much every show she’s been a part of, and that’s without throwing ice skating into the equation.
15. Madonna (hopefully!) reclaims her pop throne
Madonna has been working on her upcoming 14th album for some time now, and we’re truthfully not really sure what to expect from it. In between reports of her taking heavy inspiration from Portuguese Fado music (she’s currently living in Lisbon, where her teenage son is on a football team), we’ve also been treated to increasingly bizarre MDNA Skin ads, the ‘Rebel Heart’-esque ‘Beautiful Game’ and the trap-inspired Quavo collaboration, ‘Champagne Rosé’.
Basically, we’ve got no idea what she’s got in store for us, but when it comes to Madonna, the element of surprise has always been one of her strong points.
16. ‘Stranger Things 3’
‘Stranger Things’ took a break in 2018, which is good for the writers being able to take their time making the next series as strong as possible, and good for the child actors who can have a bit of downtime. If you’re anything like us, though, the break is not good, because we’ve been waiting ages to find out what’s next for the residents of Hawkins, Indiana.
While we’re sure there’ll be the usual mix of creepiness and drama, the ‘Stranger Things 3’ trailer proved we’re also in for a few laughs too, steeped in 80s nostalgia, of course
17. Who is going to win ‘All Stars 4’?
Let’s be honest, the last three ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ winners - Chad Michaels, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 and Trixie Mattel - have all been shoo-ins before a single episode has even been shown (we called Trixie’s victory in a piece similar to this one last year).
Even though there are a couple of front-runners this time around - Latrice Royale, Valentina and Manila Luzon spring immediately to mind - there’s no real obvious winner, and for a series of ‘All Stars’ to be unfolding with such a wide open playing field (for most of them, at least… we won’t name names, but there are a couple of seat-fillers on the line-up) is an exciting prospect.
And speaking of...
18. ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ arrives in the UK
Fans have been asking for this for literally years, and the stars have finally alligned.
Both RuPaul and Michelle Visage will be back for the eight-part series, which begins streaming on BBC Three in 2019. We have literally no idea what to expect, and we can’t wait.
19. Where does ‘Love Island’ go from here?
Now going into its fifth series, ‘Love Island’ has never been bigger. Traditionally, series 5 is when British reality shows go big.
Series 5 was when Cheryl joined ‘The X Factor’. It’s when ‘Big Brother’ turned “evil”, and its ‘Celebrity’ counterpart became embroiled in a global racism scandal. It’s when Carol Thatcher didn’t just enter the ‘I’m A Celebrity’ jungle, but wound up winning the whole thing. And who won the fifth series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’? Oh, only Alesha flipping Dixon.
Bring it, ‘Love Island’. And by “it”, we mean some LGBT+ contestants, because it really, truly is about time.
20. And what about ‘The X Factor’?
So, as far as we were aware, 2019 was the year ‘The X Factor’ went into the final series on its current three-year contract. Simon Cowell has since claimed that this deal has been extended, but regardless, the upcoming ‘X Factor’ is going to be a crucial one.
We don’t know what to suggest, at this point, but surely something’s got to give...
21. ‘The Goldfinch’ hits cinemas
The fact it’s based on the critically acclaimed novel by Donna Tartt has already made ‘The Goldfinch’ one of the year’s most anticipated film release. This has also been helped by its cast, led by Ansel Elgort, and also featuring some of our faves, including Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, Aneurin Barnard and Jeffrey Wright.
We saw ‘Ocean’s 8’, and we know that a strong cast does not always a good film make, but that doesn’t mean we’re not already excited about this one.
22. ‘Line Of Duty’ is back
‘Bodyguard’ was undeniably the biggest drama of 2018, and while there’s still no clear answer on whether we’ll be getting a new series in the future, we do know that Jed Mercurio’s other hit show, ‘Line Of Duty’, will be back for a seventh run, expected to debut in the spring.
23. The long-awaited return of Adele
They are, for the time being, just rumours, but there have been whisperings that Adele will be releasing the follow-up to the critically-lauded ‘25’ in 2019, with outlets including the Daily Star and The Sun suggesting next year will be the singer’s return to the music scene.
Over the summer, it was claimed she’d already written a handful of songs, with her label supposedly eyeing the Christmas period for the release date.
24. Oh, and ABBA are back too
Considering they split up 36 years ago, there’s certainly been a lot of ABBA in the last year, hasn’t there? Between the release of the ‘Mamma Mia!’ sequel and Cher’s covers album (not to mention tribute band Björn Again heading off an a reunion tour of the UK), the four-piece have been unescapable, and we’ve loved it.
Even better, two new original tracks are coming before the end of the year, having originally been slated for release in 2018. To say we’re excited would be an understatement.
Who else is excited?
25. Ariana Grande says “thank u, next”
No, it really doesn’t feel like five minutes since ‘Sweetener’ came out, but Ari has had a lot to get off her chest in the last year, OK? And besides, who’s complaining about another new album from Ariana Grande, particularly after lead single ‘Thank U, Next’ proved to be one of her biggest hits to date.
26. The Met Gala 2019
As if the sight of Rihanna in a bejeweled Pope outfit she literally borrowed from the Vatican wasn’t enough, this year’s event is being thrown by Harry Styles (oooh!), Lady Gaga (ahhhh!), Serena Williams (yassss!) and Alessandro Michele (Alessandro we don’t know you, but we’re sure you’re lovely).
And what’s more, the theme is... “camp”. It’s going to be epic.