99 reasons to be cheerful about 2017

99 reasons to be cheerful about 2017

Yes, really.

It's true, a lot of really bad stuff happened in 2017 (sad!), but one very, very good thing that happened was Ed Miliband launching his brilliant podcast Reasons to be Cheerful, co-hosted by Geoff Lloyd.

Anyone who was a fan of the fun-loving former-Labour leader screaming along to Napalm Death when he filled in on BBC Radio 2 is sure to enjoy it.

As a way to spread some positivity through the world, Ed and Geoff also take the time each week to give their own reasons to be cheerful - and it's this idea we've ripped off and applied to the past 12 months.

Because even though we've had Brexit, the Weinstein scandal, the Kevin Spacey scandal, the Trump scandal, the other Trump scandal, and the other, other Trump scandal, there's still plenty of reasons to be cheerful about 2017 as we finally confine it to the history books.

1. Curb Your Enthusiasm came back.

It's been six years but we were finally able to live vicariously through Larry David again. Pretty, pretty good.

2. We started talking about the gender pay gap again.

It was 1970 when then-secretary of state Barbara Castle announced the Equal Pay Act to bring women's pay in line with men's by 1975.

Isn't it worrying that we're still trying to make that a reality all these decades later?

Still, the conversation is back on the table after 2017 and maybe this time we'll get it right.

3. Emily Thornberry gave us this gif.

4. Nuclear war didn't break out.

It looked touch and go at times, but at time of writing, we haven't been dragged into a nuclear war. Touch wood.

5. Young people became energised and engaged in politics.

Regardless of your political leanings, the fact that youth vote in 2017's General Election surged by 15 per cent can only be a good thing.

6. Australia voted to legalise same-sex marriage.

Because love is love, wherever you are.

7. NBC commissioned a third season of The Good Place.

In hundreds of years, the human race will still be singing sonnets about the incendiary on-screen chemistry between Ted Danson and Jameela Jamil.

8. Wonder Woman gave us the female-centred superhero story we deserve.

Can we have a Black Widow film now please, MCU?

9. Salt Bae.

Bless you, Salt Bae, you are too pure for this Earth.

10. A queer black love story won Best Picture at the Oscars.

Sorry La La Land, but we neededMoonlight to win.

11. Smart home devices definitely cemented themselves as 'a thing'.


12. Twitter introduced 280 characters.

It's not that bad really, is it?

13. Michael Flynn cooperated with the authorities.

14. Taylor Swift returned with Reputation.

Look what you made her do.

15. Fiona the Hippo.

An icon.

16. Video games became fun again.

Thank you, Mario Odyssey. Thank you, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Thank you, Nintendo Switch.

17. Energy price cap plans were revived.

Two years ago it was considered a "Marxist" policy, but in October the plans to cap the big energy companies were brought back, meaning 12 million households could save hundreds of pounds each.

18. Michael Fabricant went on First Dates for charity.

"You don't look nervous at all. You look like a movie star."

Picture: Screengrab / Channel 4

19. Philip Pullman released a new book set in the His Dark Materials universe.

Hey, Lyra!

20. The Great British Bake Off reboot was actually quite good.

Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding are the double act we didn't know we needed.

21. Also, Liam from The Great British Bake Off.

You will always be with us, sweet prince.

22. Donald Trump wasn't named Time Magazine's Person of the Year again.

23. The accolade was given to people much more deserving instead: The Silence Breakers.

24. PrEP, one of the most important developments in the fight against HIV and AIDS, became fully available in Scotland on the NHS.

Wales and England have also begun rolling out projects to make the drug available, which might have something to do with...

25. The number of new HIV diagnoses in men who have sex with men fell for the first time since the AIDS epidemic.

PrEP, increased testing, early antiretroviral treatment and better condom use are all been lauded as contributing factors.

26. history of the entire world, i guess

Following on from his history of japan, Bill Wurtz came back in 2017 with his YouTube magnum opus.

27. Nasa discovered a new solar system that could support alien life.

At least three planets are the right temperature that could allow life to flourish.

28. Same-sex marriage in the US was linked to fewer suicides in teenagers.

Giving LGBT+ kids the same rights as heterosexual kids is good for their mental health. Who saw that coming?

29. Blue Planet II.

Except for you, Bobbit worm.

30. Justin Trudeau's socks.

The Canadian Prime Minister's sock game was the gift that kept on giving in 2017.

31. Almost a million trees were planted in defiance of Trump's views on climate change.

Trump Forest, as its known, is made up of 880,000 trees and counting.

32. Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming made superhero movies fun again.

In a large part thanks to Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster. Oh, that reminds us...

33. Jeff Goldblum in general.

Sorry Blake Shelton, but you're looking at the real sexiest man of the year.

Picture:Picture: Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

34. Denmark cleared its foreign debts for the first time in 183 years.

If only we could say the same...

35. Pop star Olly Alexander explored LGBT+ mental health and internalised homophobia in a very empowering way.

His BBC Three documentary Growing Up Gay was eye-opening for LGBT+ people and parents alike.

36. Elon Musk's 'hyperloop' rail system had its first successful test.

Analysts say it could reach speeds up to 760mph and revolutionise how we travel.

37. Zimbabwe put a ban on the beating of all children in the country.

Both in school and at home. This was long overdue.

38. Oh, and Robert Mugabe resigned.

It definitely wasn't a military coop, OK?

39. Star Trek Discovery aired the first gay male kiss in the franchise's 50-year history.

Boldly going where no gay characters have gone before.

40. We almost wiped out Guinea worm disease.

There were only five recorded cases as of May. If we succeed, it'll be the second disease after smallpox to be completely eradicated.

41. We've nearly wiped out polio, too.

There were only eight confirmed cases of the virus in the wild in 2017.

42. Pennywise dancing became a thing.

The film was good and all, but the meme was iconic.

43. We remembered 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales with one of the biggest celebrations of Pride on record.

Showing how far we've come, but highlighting how far we've still got to go for our trans brothers and sisters.

44. Rick and Morty returned with a third season and it's better than ever.

Look, all that Szechuan dipping sauce nonsense aside, it's still one of the most thought-provoking and intelligent shows on TV.

45. Jim Carrey laid his soul to bare in a very real way.

We saw the actor like we'd never seen him before in the captivating Netflix documentary Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, which shows him in-character as his idol Andy Kaufman during the production of biopic Man on the Moon.

46. The incredibly rare pale tiger was spotted in the wild for the first time since the 1950s.

Photographed by Nilanjan Ray, it's good to know there's still beauty in the world not yet totally destroyed by man.


47. A new species of orangutan was discovered in Indonesia, making it the first great ape to be discovered in almost 100 years.

He's the king of the swingers, the jungle VIP.

48. People started talking about food banks more, which should hopefully lead to more donations.

A sadly essential service for thousands in 2017. Search for your nearest one on The Trussell Trust and check out what items they need the most.

49. Kesha returned with new, empowering music and continued advocating for mental health after being embroiled in legal disputes for years.

She's a motherf***ing woman.

50. A brand new music festival was announced in London for 2018, including The National, Nick Cave, The xx and Bjork.

It's called All Points East in Hackney and we don't even remember what Glastonbury is anymore.

51. British Vogue appointed its first editor-in-chief of colour in Edward Enninful.

His first cover featured Adwoa Aboah and turned the fashion world on its head, marking a turn towards greater inclusivity.

Model and activist Adwoa Aboah features on the cover of the December issueModel and activist Adwoa Aboah features on the cover of the December issue

52. The transgender community demanded a seat at the table.

While on one hand, this has led to much more transphobia being pumped out into the world, it's inspiring to see the trans community refusing to be silenced and making itself heard.

53. The face Michelle Obama served during Trump's inauguration.

In that moment Michelle was all of us, and we were all Michelle.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with outgoing U.S. Vice President Joe Biden as outgoing President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama look onU.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with outgoing U.S. Vice President Joe Biden as outgoing President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama look on

54. Scientists got closer to finding a way to reverse Alzheimer's memory loss.

The discovery of a protein means an enzyme that interferes with the memory-forming process in people with Alzheimer's can now specifically be targeted.

55. In a Heartbeat.

The animated short about a closeted boy following his heart has been viewed more than 32 million times.

56. Millions of people in more than 600 cities around the world joined the Women's March.

On 21 January, women made sure 2017 was going to belong to them and not to men.

57. Will & Grace came back.

After 11 years, Will, Grace, Jack and Karen are back, and they've never been more necessary.

58. Owen Jones and Ellie Mae O'Hagan launched a podcast to deconstruct British politics.

Whether you agree with their views or not, Agitpod offers fascinating insight while prompting debate and recharging the youth interest in what's actually going on.

59. We finally started talking about what to do about Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and the problematic use of racial stereotypes.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu released documentary The Problem with Apu, which should see positive changes to the character.

60. Hundreds of thousands of people the world over showed solidarity with Muslim communities by taking to the streets to protest Trump's travel ban.

This was pretty much an overarching theme throughout the year.

61. Lady Gaga's Super Bowl half-time show.

She really, really did that.

62. NFL players stood up to the far-right and white supremacists by taking the knee during the national anthem.

They brought to attention the forgotten verse which many believe celebrates the killing of freed slaves in the American Revolutionary War.

63. Despite Brexit, we actually didn't do terribly in the Eurovision Song Contest.

15th is the best we've placed in years.

64. The One Love Manchester benefit concert raised millions for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund in response to the horrific bombing in the city just weeks prior.

Ariana Grande and the city of Manchester responded to the senseless loss of life with grace, poise, class and humility.

65. Baroness Hale was sworn in as the first female president of the UK's Supreme Court.

Let's carry this momentum forward and give positions of power to more women in 2018.

66. Topshop abolished gender-specific changing rooms. In doing so, they kicked off a chain reaction in other high street stores introducing gender-neutral spaces.

It came amidst a media storm after trans performer Travis Alabanza claimed they "had just experienced transphobia" in Manchester after being denied entry into a women's changing room.

67. Nigella Lawson made her return to TV with Nigella: At My Table.

No one can make a cheese and ham toastie quite like Nigella.

68. When the BBC interviewed Robert E Kelly about the political turmoil in South Korea and his kids hijacked the interview.

42 seconds of solid gold. Even Tom Hanks tweeted about it.

69. Sophia the robot was made a citizen of Saudi Arabia, becoming the world's first robot citizen.

And she's already calling for women's rights in the Arab state. Take that, Skynet.

70. Lubaina Himid became the oldest winner of the Turner Prize, and its first black female winner, too.

The judges praised her work for its "uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today".

71. Producers announced House of Cards will have a final season with Robin Wright as the lead.

If we're being honest, this should have been in the works even before the Kevin Spacey scandal.

72. Russia was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics for systemic doping.

In a historic decision, the government must also pay $15 million to a new Independent Testing Authority and reimburse the cost of the investigations.

73. Aldi announced it was going to give all its unsold fresh food to the less fortunate on Christmas Eve.

Your move, every other supermarket.

74. England won the FIFA World Cup.

Well, the under-17s team did anyway. And for the very first time, at that.

75. Peppermint's reveal while she lip-synced for the crown in the RuPaul's Drag Race final.

A trans woman of colour feeling herself so purely? Goosebumps.

76. Londoners stood bravely in the face of terror attacks in the city.

Police, emergency services and 34 members of the public were honoured for their bravery following attacks in Westminster Bridge, Borough Market and Finsbury Park.

77. The far-right was defeated in elections throughout Europe.

Despite a worrying rhetoric, common sense won out in the end.

78. Apple introduced Animoji Karaoke with the iPhone X using the Face ID technology and it almost justified the £999 price tag.

Our favourite is the duet of Love Shack between a cat and a unicorn. Obviously.

79. Hamilton finally arrived in the UK.

The first London performance of the Broadway smash unsurprisingly left audiences stunned.

80. Viola Davis won her first Oscar for her role in Fences.

"I became an artist because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life," she said in an emotional speech.

81. Sandi Toksvig delivered the greatest one-liner in QI history.

A second entry for Sandi, but she deserves it.

Spoiler warning.

82. Jon and Dany finally came, urm, face-to-face in Game of Thrones.

It took seven seasons but fans finally got to see the two favourites together - in more ways than one.

83. The UK's first zero-waste shop opened in London.

Help the planet by buying products in their purest form without plastic packaging.

84. Doctor Who announced it would have its first-ever female Doctor, played by Jodi Whittaker.

Better late than never.

85. Munroe Bergdorf challenged unconscious racism and white privilege and made us all question if we were really doing enough to help people of colour.

The trans model became a pioneer in 2017 when it came to issues of race, gender and sexuality.

86. Twitter started stripping prominent neo-Nazis and white supremacists of their blue ticks.

87. We started breaking the silence around male rape.

More and more people came forward to talk about their experiences, normalising male rape in our communities, and the BBC even made an essential documentary called Male Rape: Breaking the Silence.

88. The Trump Draws Twitter account.

It's been quite a year for memes, especially Trump ones, but this particular one ranks up there for us.

89. Call Me By Your Name.

A glorious piece of filmmaking, centred around a same-sex love story and an exotic location, which received widespread acclaim and mainstream acceptance.

90. God's Own Country.

The same as above, but in Yorkshire.

91. BoJack Horseman's new series got us all talking about mental health.

It's been lauded as a leading example of TV getting mental health right and has led to fans gaining a better understanding of depression.

92. Henry Cavill's moustache.

A teleological argument for the existence of the divine if we ever saw one.

Picture: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

93. Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Enough said.

94. Porgs, from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Also enough said.

95. The Babadook came out as queer and was universally accepted.

It might have started as a fun meme after Netflix incorrectly listed The Babadook as an LGBT+ film, but he's a gay icon now and he's living his best life.

96. Morrissey scored his lowest chart position in 20 years after spending most of 2017 spewing xenophobia and hatred.

Turns out the former cultural icon was a crashing bore after all - albeit a hateful one. And the people responded by not listening to his new album.

97. Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd launched their podcast Reasons to be Cheerful.

Well, it inspired this list, so it's only right we give it a mention.

98. Liam from The Great BritishBake Off. Again.

A second entry for Liam, but he deserves it.

99. We survived.

If you're reading this, then we made it. Bring it on, 2018. We're ready for you.

More: People love this amazing list of positive things that happened in 2016

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