We don’t need to tell you how boring the last 12 months have been as we’ve surged in and out of lockdowns and gone up and down various tiers.
What it has meant though is we’ve spent lots more time either watching the telly or scrolling through our phones, which has led to many cultural obsessions and milestone moments.
As we gear up for another week indoors, here’s a reminder of some of the shared joy we’ve all experienced in the world of entertainment since the first lockdown began...
1. Chanel the African Grey
The saga of one woman’s missing parrot captured the internet’s attention back in April, when she took to the streets of Everton, screaming for “CHANNNELLLLL!”.
Thankfully, the story had a happy ending meaning that we could all enjoy the thousands of memes it sparked – but perhaps the best of the lot came from Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall, who remixed the cries of the parrot’s name to the Robin S banger, Show Me Love.
Nearly a year on, we’re still obsessed.
2. Nigella Lawson’s “meecrowhavé”
Now listen, we know Nigella was only jesting when she referred to her microwave as a “meecrowhavé” on her BBC cookery show last year, but the glorious ridiculousness of the whole thing still brought a much-needed smile to our faces. Particularly as Nigella – famed for her sumptuous and decadent recipes – isn’t the kind of chef you imagine to have an affectionate name for that specific kitchen appliance.
3. Connell’s chain
Another inanimate object that got everyone into all of a tizz was the chain sported by Connell Waldron on the smash hit BBC series Normal People.
Never before had a piece of jewellery proved so swoonsome, but such was the effect of Paul Mescal’s character’s chain that it even sparked its own dedicated Instagram page, which we’re definitely still not following *ahem*.
Gogglebox has long been a TV favourite, but the show took on new significance throughout the various lockdown periods, when it acted as the voice of the nation.
Each Friday night has felt like a catch up with old friends when we can’t see our own, so it’s no surprise it experienced a surge in ratings, seven years on from its debut.
We genuinely miss the antics of Jenny and Lee, and Pete and Sophie and co when it’s not on air, but thankfully a new series is only round the corner, with it set to return on 19 February.
5. Jackie Weaver
The “Jackie Weaver saga” has had the whole nation gripped after footage of a chaotic Handforth Parish Council meeting ended up going viral.
Memes were born, merchandise was created, and Andrew Lloyd Webber even penned a song about the whole palaver.
But at the centre of it was Jackie, who became an overnight celebrity, and ended up appearing on a raft of shows including The Last Leg, Loose Women and Good Morning Britain.
If Strictly or I’m A Celebrity bosses have any sense, they’ll be locked in a bidding war trying to secure her services for their shows later this year.
6. Moria Rose’s way with words
Schitt’s Creek might have been around since 2015, but the Canadian sitcom experienced an explosion in popularity in 2020 thanks to lockdown and word of mouth.
And perhaps one of the biggest reasons for its success is down to the iconic Moira Rose. First there’s *that* accent. Throw into the mix Moira’s extensive vocabulary (not to mention that sensational wardrobe and extensive wig collection) and you have the ingredients for one of the most legendary sitcom characters to ever exist.
Trying to nail impressions of her has become one of our favourite lockdown pastimes, but we have to admit, no one takes off Moira better than social media sensation Michael J Berry, whose videos always save us from feeling like a disgruntled pelican.
7. The Backstreet Boys’ Zoom performance
Right back at the start of the pandemic, when Zoom somehow felt fresh and new, the Backstreet Boys left us strangely moved with a remote performance of one of their biggest hits.
Admittedly, after all the virtual gigs etc we’ve seen over the last year, it no longer hits in quite the same way, but it’s still a nice bit of nostalgia for 90s pop fans.
8. BBC News’ Simon McCoy
He’s earned a cult following over the years, thanks to his often wry take on world events, and has continued to deliver many lighthearted moments throughout the pandemic.
But there was no one who summed up the feelings of a nation at the end of a difficult year when he made this quip while broadcasting live on New Year’s Eve.
9. Two biscuits-gate
On the topic of news broadcasts not going exactly as you might expect, we’re still laughing at the “two biscuits” episode on Sky News.
To the amusement and admiration of many watching, foreign affairs editor Deborah Haynes had been juggling looking after her son with working from home, when he walked in to ask for biscuits during a live report from her home.
“Hold on that’s my son arriving, really embarrassing,” the journalist said. “Can I have two biscuits,” he asked, to which she replied: “Yes, you can have two biscuits, really sorry about that.”
A TV moment we’ll be seeing on blooper shows for years to come.
10. Hun culture
The continued rise of the hun has meant that meme culture has thrived in lockdown.
Social accounts like Love Of Huns and Hunsnet on Instagram have brought us much joy, as they’ve celebrated the ladies behind some low-key iconic moments in the world of entertainment, relating their escapades to a number of everyday situations.
Whether it’s been their commentary on Ruth Langsford larking about with her QVC girlies or EastEnders’ Sonia Fowler getting her trumpet out, there’s been a lot to laugh at – so much so we even compiled our own appreciate-hun to the hunest huns to ever hun.
11. The rise and rise of Alison Hammond
Speaking of huns, Alison Hammond has ascended to even greater heights over the last year.
After serving up hilarious moments like this, this, this, this and this, ITV bosses finally saw sense and handed her a permanent presenting slot on This Morning, firmly cementing her place as a daytime TV legend.
We love to see it.
12. Drag Race UK
It’s fair to say that the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK has surpassed all expectations and has become one of those rare shows that is appointment viewing each Thursday at 7pm, despite being on a streaming platform.
Whether it’s been Ginny Lemon Ben DeLa Creme-ing herself, the actor Lorraine Kelly’s turn on the judging panel, UK Hun, or Tayce’s “audacity, gall and gumption”, there have been countless moments that have had the fandom screaming.
But our favourite? RuPaul’s H&M rant, and the thousands of memes it sparked, of course.
13. French TV
Something else that we probably wouldn’t have predicted 12 months ago is how much we’d have all gotten into French telly.
And if you want to know more about our sudden love affair with télévision française, you can here.
14. Matt Lucas’ Boris Johnson impression
One word: Uncanny.
The former Little Britain star had Great British Bake Off viewers doing a double take when he transformed into the PM to send up one of his coronavirus press conferences as he opened the new series of the Channel 4 baking competition.
15. Tiger King
Little under a year ago, the majority of us had never heard of the names Joe Exotic or Carole Baskin, but that all changed when Tiger King debuted on Netflix last April and got us all absolutely hooked.
Since then, we’ve had courtroom revelations, bids for presidential pardons, and a Tiger King-themed routine on the US version of Strictly from a certain Carole Baskin.
16. Brad and Jen’s online reunion
In many ways, 2020 was the year of Brad and Jen. They reunited on the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards back in January, before meeting again for this virtual table read in September.
The former couple were playing two lovestruck characters from 1980s film Fast Times At Ridgemont High when the script got steamy.
″Hi Brad. You know how cute I always thought you were. I think you’re so sexy. Will you come to me?” Jennifer said to Brad in character, who was stifling laughter. Also seen giggling was Julia Roberts, who clearly noticed the awkward tension.
Just what does the future hold for the former husband and wife? We’re on tenterhooks waiting to find out.
17. The hedonism and heartbreak of It’s A Sin
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent the last few weeks in tears after devouring Channel 4’s It’s A Sin.
Not only did it have us lamenting the days of heady nights out and the joy of casual sex, but it put us through the emotional wringer as it depicted how the AIDS pandemic had an utterly devastating impact on the gay community in the 1980s.
If you’ve not watched all the episodes yet, we won’t spoil it for you, but let us say it will stay with you for a very long time.
18. I May Destroy You
It was named the best TV show of 2020 by multiple outlets at the end of last year, including The Guardian, Time, The Independent and Empire, so there was quite rightly widespread criticism when it was snubbed by the Golden Globes last month.
Seven months on from its debut, it remains one of the most – if not THE most – affecting and impressive works of 2020, something the SAG Award nominations thankfully recognised.
19. ‘I’m not a cat’
A lawyer from Texas was engulfed in the kind of technical difficulties only the last few years could bring after getting stuck in a kitten filter during a Zoom hearing.
Rod Ponton had to let judge Roy Ferguson know that he wasn’t a cat after the function was accidentally activated during a virtual court case.
A Zoom conversation for the ages.
20. The Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton
Honestly, we haven’t stanned a couple so hard since Harry and Meghan got married in 2018 as much as we have the leads in Netflix’s smash hit Bridgerton.
Roll on series two, we say.