Things as old as our 2019 freshers

It's amazing how different the world was back in 2003

As students born in 2003 prepare to start college with us, we thought it would be interesting to delve 16 years into the past and see what happened in the UK and the world back then!

Tony Blair was Prime Minister 

We’ve had Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and now Boris Johnson as our PM since Labour’s Tony Blair was at 10 Downing Street. Blair served from 1997 until he resigned in 2007.

Finding Nemo was released in cinemas

Pixar’s classic tale of Marlin’s mission to rescue his son Nemo came out in 2003. The film is still thought of as one of the best animated films ever! The sequel, Finding Dory, was released in 2016. 

Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Manchester United

He may now be a football icon, five-time Champions League winner and one of the best to have played the game, but Ronaldo was a relatively unknown 18-year-old back in 2003! He’s currently producing the goods for Italians Juventus at age 34. 

Little Britain debuted on our screens

The hit sketch comedy by David Walliams and Matt Lucas premiered on BBC Three in September, helping to escalate the pair’s popularity. Did you know the show started off as a radio programme?

Dolly the sheep died

Dolly was the world’s first artificially-cloned mammal, born in 1996 in Scotland. Unfortunately, she suffered from health problems and died aged six. However, the cloning process was a monumental scientific achievement – will we see human clones in the future?

Jonny Wilkinson secured the Rugby World Cup for England

Legendary fly-half Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal in extra time saw England defeat Australia 20-17 and win the Rugby World Cup final. The winner came just 26 seconds before the match ended! England reached the final again in 2007 but lost to South Africa.

“Where Is the Love?” topped the UK music charts

The Black Eyed Peas’ song was the most successful track of the year, selling more than 600,000 copies. Artists such as Gareth Gates, R. Kelly and Dido were among the most popular in the country at the time.

A heat wave struck the west of Europe

A UK record-high temperature of 38.5 C was recorded in Faversham, Kent as hot continental air combined with southern winds on the continent. France was hit the worst by the weather, with some places recording eight consecutive days of higher than 40 C temperature!

Mobile phones were very different

No one had an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy back then, the term ‘smartphone’ had not been recognised, and phones in general were thicker and heavier. The chances are someone in 2003 carried around a Nokia or Motorola!

Netflix reached one million subscribers 

The streaming service now has more than 150 million subscribers in 2019. Our entertainment habits were very different in 2003 – you probably used Blockbuster to rent a movie, had to burn CDs onto an MP3 player or iPod, and watching a film on your phone was only a dream!

What else can you think of from 2003 that is very different today?