The A-Z Of 2020

The A-Z Of 2020

One thing’s for certain – 2020 is a year none of us will forget. But beyond the face masks and social distancing, there were a few other things that defined the last 12 months. To remind you it wasn’t all bad, here’s our run down of the year, from A to Z.

Anissa Kermiche

Interiors and our home comforts have become so important to us all this year, and if there was one brand which came to the (Instagram) fore, it was Anissa Kermiche. The brand’s female-form vases and pots were the home accessory of the year, and with pieces ranging from £65 to north of £410, they were quickly considered the perfect luxe touch for your living space.


Slated as one of the biggest films to come out in 2020, the release of the new James Bond film was delayed for the second time in October. The premiere of No Time To Die had already been moved from April to November because of the pandemic, with the film now delayed until April 2021 to allow it to be seen by a broader theatrical audience. But with other mega-releases such as Dune and Matrix 4 now due to drop on streaming service HBO Max, it remains to be seen whether Bond will get its big cinema moment. 

Honourable mention: Brexit

We couldn’t skip over ‘B’ without a brief mention of Brexit. Having formally withdrawn from the European Union at the end of January, it looks like the UK will be left grappling to hammer out a satisfactory trade deal with its European counterparts for some time yet. 

Connell’s Chain

Normal People was one of the hit dramas of the year, but if anyone – or rather anything – stole the show, it had to be Connell Waldren’s (Paul Mescal’s) chain. Despite spurring its own Instagram account (@ConnellsChain) and millions of avid fans, the look didn’t quite go mainstream – although we wouldn’t complain if it did. 

Honourable mention: Caroline Flack

The year got off to a tragic start when television presenter Caroline Flack took her own life back in February. Sparking a fierce debate online about social media trolling and the desperate need for more kindness online, it’s fair to say her untimely death left a deep impression on the nation.


We can’t quite decide which Dominic grabbed more headlines this year – West or Cummings. The former caused a media frenzy when his cosy relationship with co-star Lily James was exposed in the autumn, while the latter broke the public’s trust with a controversial trip to Durham at the height of the first lockdown. He was also forced out of his government advisory role in November. 

Emily In Paris

We don’t think any television show caused quite as much of a stir in 2020 as the much maligned – but equally addictive – Emily In Paris. Starring Lily Collins and created by the same brain behind Sex & The City (Darren Star), the Netflix series’ depiction of French clichés, poor script and bizarre fashion choices ultimately let it down. However, an intense discourse on social media meant the series still got picked up for a second round. 


Hands up – who had actually heard of this term before 2020? And yet now, the term ‘furlough’ is as commonplace as any. Used to describe someone who finds their employment temporarily suspended on partial pay as a result of the pandemic, statistics estimate up to 8.9m people in the UK found themselves on some sort of furlough arrangement during the crisis. 

George Floyd

Coronavirus might have dominated most of the daily headlines this year, but if there was one political movement which found renewed momentum, it was Black Lives Matter. Sparked by the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minnesota in May, the swell in support for racial rights and equality across the world was unlike anything seen since the mid-90s. 


Home Schooling

At the time of the initial lockdown, the UK government took the decision to close schools across the country, forcing millions of parents to take up at least part of the mantle when it came to educating their children. While teachers everywhere should be lauded for their efforts to put lessons online as quickly as possible, parents also deserve a major shout-out for keeping their kids focused amid a global health crisis.

I May Destroy You

Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You broke multiple boundaries this year, bringing the conversation around sexual consent – and how it relates to race and millennial life – front and centre once more. Tipped for multiple wins once awards season gets underway, Coel recently told Louis Theroux on his podcast Grounded that she’s currently in deep mourning following the end of the series.

Joe Wicks

Responding to the widespread shutting of schools at the height of the first lockdown, Joe Wicks – aka The Body Coach – took it upon himself to become the nation’s PE teacher. Streaming live via his YouTube channel at 9am every morning for more than 13 weeks – even when his arm was in a cast following an operation for a broken hand – Wicks earned himself an MBE for his efforts as part of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours. 

Honourable mention: Jeff Bezos

Let’s face it, Amazon parcels have been something of a life saver this year. From emergency provisions, to at-home office tech and new books, it’s no surprise to hear the retail giant’s owner, Jeff Bezos, became the world’s richest man, and the first person estimated to be worth $200bn, in August. 

Kamala Harris

Aside from Black Lives Matter, the US election had to be one of the most dramatic political events of the year. The world held its breath to see if Donald Trump would win another four-year term or whether Joe Biden and his female running mate – Kamala Harris – would defeat him. Defeat him they did, making Harris the first female VP-elect in US history – not to mention woman of colour, too. 


We never like to leave this list bereft of a good fashion trend or two, but when it comes to 2020, well… it’s hard to find anything more enduring than loungewear. The result of months spent working from home, everyone was left searching high and low for comfy – and hopefully stylish – options. Our favourite? Les Girls Les Boys, Pangaia and Frankie Shop.

Honourable mention: Lockdown

We didn’t want lockdown to be the primary entry here – but we couldn’t not give it an honourable mention. Like ‘furlough’ this was an alien term to many people before this year, but it now feels uncomfortably familiar. Moving on…


The royal family has been an enduring presence throughout the coronavirus pandemic, which made us all the sorrier to have to include Megxit in this round up. Following their hearts to forgo their royal roles in favour of civilian life in California, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle formally stepped away from their formal duties in January.

Honourable mention: Marcus Rashford

There have been plenty of homegrown heroes this year, but one who deserves special mention is footballer-slash-political-activist Marcus Rashford. Lobbying the government to review their decision not to provide free school meals during the holidays to vulnerable or deprived children, Rashford has won plaudits for his personal – and at times, emotional – work on the issue. 



This year, the biggest thank you has to go to frontline workers across the NHS. Arguably the jewel in Britain’s crown, the country has come together on multiple occasions this year – including the #ClapForCarers campaign – to protect the institution and thank the nurses, doctors and general staff who have worked tirelessly to keep the population safe and well.


The Toyko Olympics were due to take place this summer, but as a result of the pandemic, they will now go ahead in July next year. Although there are still doubts about whether the Games will be able to proceed, we can’t wait to see what Team GB has in store when the time does, eventually, come. 

Princess Diana

We know Princess Diana’s legacy is eternal, but with season four of The Crown landing on our screens this autumn, the icon’s legendary status arguably went stratospheric. From Rowing Blazers reissuing her famous red and white sheep jumper, to Emma Corrin’s star turn as the young Lady Diana Spencer in the hit Netflix series – plus, that epic editorial in Vogue starring Hailey Beiber – her influence was felt in every corner of the globe this year.


If you missed the video of Stanley Tucci pouring himself a negroni on Instagram during lockdown, we highly suggest you correct course and track it down. The actor, along with a host of other famous pals on social media (we see you Meryl), helped birth the idea of the ‘quarantini’ – that well-earned drink at the end of a long day spent at home. Cheers.

Honourable mention: The Queen’s Gambit

Making her 2020 debut in Autumn de Wilde’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, Anya Taylor-Joy took to the small screen in one of the autumn’s most widely watched shows, The Queen’s Gambit. Whether quarantine had anything to do with it or not, suffice to say, the country has never been more obsessed with chess.


We know that for Gen-Z it’s all about TikTok, but people of all ages started to embrace the video clip trend after Instagram launched its own version of the app. In ‘Reels’, Instagram users can create fun videos approximately 15 seconds in length, using audio and visual special effects. We’ll be honest, we thought the dancing craze would have worn itself out by now…

Sir Captain Tom Moore

Sir Captain Tom Moore earned himself a knighthood this year after raising more than £33m for the NHS Charities by walking 100 laps of his garden in April. A former British Army officer who served in India during the Burma campaign in WWII, ‘Captain Tom’ as he’s affectionately known, was also presented with an official flypast to mark his 100th birthday on 30th April 2020.

Honourable mention: Sustainability

One of the biggest buzz words of the year, the impact of climate change came into even sharper contrast in 2020 – largely thanks to David Attenborough and his hard-hitting documentary for Netflix, A Life On Our Planet. If you haven’t seen it yet, make it a must-watch over the break – sobering, but also inspiring.

Tiger King

If you thought we’d run out of television to mention, you’d be wrong. Who could forget Tiger King – the you’ve-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it crime docu-drama which dropped on Netflix right as the country went into lockdown for the first time? Focusing on the small but deeply interconnected society of big cat conservationists such as Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic, the series prompted the release of a one-off special hosted by Joel McHale in April. 



When it comes to ‘words of the year’ surely ‘unprecedented’ takes the cake? Over-used in every context – be it the media or just work emails – it soon became the buzzword to describe the unbelievable events of 2020. Oh, to live in precedented times again.


Hooray! The world’s most sophisticated scientific brains beat the odds in October to announce they had managed to find a potentially successful vaccine to beat coronavirus. The first to cross the line were Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, a married couple who founded the pharmaceutical company BioNTech. Together with teams from pharma giant Pfizer, the duo helped create a vaccine which is thought to be 90% effective against the virus.

Honourable mention: VE Day

Another event Brits were looking forward to this year included the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May. Instead of vibrant street parties, the nation had to make do with a quiet at-home celebration, although kudos to the BBC which managed to stage its television special by recording it in advance and following strict social distancing measures. Same goes for VJ Day in August. 


Amid the tragic events of 2020, it’s sometimes difficult to remember the devastating effect the wildfires had – not just in Australia in January, but also in California in August. Together with the unbelievable explosion in Lebanon earlier that month, and the floods which devastated vast swathes of Northern England at the start of the year, it’s a stark reminder that for some, the virus has simply been the tip of the iceberg.

X Æ A-12

Yep, that’s someone’s name – Elon Musk and his girlfriend Grimes’ son, to be exact. The eccentric entrepreneur and his Canadian singer partner (real name Claire Elise Boucher) gave their newborn the unusual name in May, although it was later rejected by the state of California which bans the inclusion of numbers on a birth certificate. As a result, the couple changed the name to X Æ A-XII, as Roman numerals are allowed. 


Thanks to the panic buying and sourdough extravaganza, it was only a matter of time before yeast sold out in the spring. It wasn’t the only thing shoppers cleared the shelves of either – anyone else remember the weird toilet roll phase? Yeah, let’s not do that again. 


Frankly, where would we have been without Zoom this year? From pub quizzes to full-team meetings, the video conferencing service has been nothing short of a godsend. In the space of a year, shares in the company have appreciated by more than 500% – while the phrase, “You’re on mute!” is bound to go down in comedy history.

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