Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. It is on the east coast of Ireland, in the province of Leinster, at the mouth of the River Liffey, is bordered on the south by the Wicklow Mountains, it has an urban area population of 1,173,179, while the population of the Dublin Region, as of 2016, was 1,347,359, the population of the Greater Dublin area was 1,904,806. There is archaeological debate regarding where Dublin was established by the Gaels in or before the 7th century AD. Expanded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin, the city became Ireland's principal settlement following the Norman invasion; the city expanded from the 17th century and was the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State renamed Ireland. Dublin is a historical and contemporary centre for education, the arts and industry; as of 2018 the city was listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network as a global city, with a ranking of "Alpha −", which places it amongst the top thirty cities in the world.
The name Dublin comes from the Irish word Dubhlinn, early Classical Irish Dubhlind/Duibhlind, from dubh meaning "black, dark", lind "pool", referring to a dark tidal pool. This tidal pool was located where the River Poddle entered the Liffey, on the site of the castle gardens at the rear of Dublin Castle. In Modern Irish the name is Duibhlinn, Irish rhymes from County Dublin show that in Dublin Leinster Irish it was pronounced Duílinn; the original pronunciation is preserved in the names for the city in other languages such as Old English Difelin, Old Norse Dyflin, modern Icelandic Dyflinn and modern Manx Divlyn as well as Welsh Dulyn. Other localities in Ireland bear the name Duibhlinn, variously anglicized as Devlin and Difflin. Scribes using the Gaelic script wrote bh with a dot over the b, rendering Duḃlinn or Duiḃlinn; those without knowledge of Irish omitted the dot. Variations on the name are found in traditionally Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland, such as An Linne Dhubh, part of Loch Linnhe.
It is now thought that the Viking settlement was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, from which Dyflin took its name. Beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements; the Viking settlement of about 841, a Gaelic settlement, Áth Cliath further up river, at the present day Father Mathew Bridge, at the bottom of Church Street. Baile Átha Cliath, meaning "town of the hurdled ford", is the common name for the city in modern Irish. Áth Cliath is a place name referring to a fording point of the River Liffey near Father Mathew Bridge. Baile Átha Cliath was an early Christian monastery, believed to have been in the area of Aungier Street occupied by Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church. There are other towns of the same name, such as Àth Cliath in East Ayrshire, Anglicised as Hurlford; the area of Dublin Bay has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times, but the writings of Ptolemy in about AD 140 provide the earliest reference to a settlement there.
He called it Eblana polis. Dublin celebrated its'official' millennium in 1988, meaning the Irish government recognised 988 as the year in which the city was settled and that this first settlement would become the city of Dublin, it is now thought the Viking settlement of about 841 was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, from which Dyflin took its name. Beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements which became the modern Dublin; the subsequent Scandinavian settlement centred on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey in an area now known as Wood Quay. The Dubhlinn was a pool on the lowest stretch of the Poddle, used to moor ships; this pool was fully infilled during the early 18th century, as the city grew. The Dubhlinn lay where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Library within Dublin Castle. Táin Bó Cuailgne refers to Dublind rissa ratter Áth Cliath, meaning "Dublin, called Ath Cliath". Dublin was established as a Viking settlement in the 10th century and, despite a number of attacks by the native Irish, it remained under Viking control until the Norman invasion of Ireland was launched from Wales in 1169.
It was upon the death of Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn in early 1166 that Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, King of Connacht, proceeded to Dublin and was inaugurated King of Ireland without opposition. According to some historians, part of the city's early economic growth is attributed to a trade in slaves. Slavery in Ireland and Dublin reached its pinnacle in the 10th centuries. Prisoners from slave raids and kidnappings, which captured men and children, brought revenue to the Gaelic Irish Sea raiders, as well as to the Vikings who had initiated the practice; the victims came from Wales, England and beyond. The King of Leinster, Diarmait Mac Murchada, after his exile by Ruaidhrí, enlisted the help of Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke, to conquer Dublin. Following Mac Murrough's death, Strongbow declared himself King of Leinster after gaining control of the city. In response to Strongbow's successful invasion, King Henry II of England affirmed his ultimate sovereignty by mou
The Boomtown Rats
The Boomtown Rats are an Irish rock band that had a series of Irish and UK hits between 1977 and 1985. The group is led by vocalist Bob Geldof; the other members of the original line-up were Garry Roberts, Johnnie Fingers, Pete Briquette, Gerry Cott and Simon Crowe. The Boomtown Rats reformed in 2013, without Johnnie Fingers or Gerry Cott. Most of the six members originate from Ireland. Having been booked for their first gig under the name The Nightlife Thugs, the group agreed to change their name – when Garry Roberts threatened to resign if they were called that – to The Boomtown Rats, after a gang of children about whom Geldof had read in Woody Guthrie's autobiography Bound for Glory, they became a notable band, but one whose accomplishments were overshadowed by the charity work of frontman Bob Geldof, a former journalist with the New Musical Express. In the summer of 1976, the group played their first U. K. gig in London followed by gigs in the Netherlands before moving to London where they signed with Ensign Records that year.
Their first single, "Lookin' After No. 1", came out in August 1977. It reached the Top 40 of the first of a long string of successes; the album The Boomtown Rats was released the following month. Music journalist Martin C. Strong commented, "Geldof's moody charisma helped to give the band a distinct identity", their next album, A Tonic for the Troops, featured three hit singles, "Like Clockwork", "She's So Modern" and "Rat Trap". The US version of the album came out the next year on Columbia Records. Mutt Lange produced "Rat Trap", which became the first rock song by an Irish band to reach No. 1 in the UK. In addition, "Rat Trap" was the first new wave song to claim the number one spot. In 1979, "I Don't Like Mondays" was released; this was written in response to a school shooting in California carried out by Brenda Ann Spencer, reached No. 1 in the UK. It was a worldwide hit, with the exception being the United States, it was the band's only song to reach the US Billboard Hot 100 and was included in the band's third album, The Fine Art of Surfacing.
The album contained "Diamond Smiles" and their next Top 10 hit in the UK, "Someone's Looking at You". In 1980 "Banana Republic" was released, their last Top 10 hit, in the following year the Boomtown Rats' next studio album Mondo Bongo was issued. Cott departed from the band at this point. According to Bob Geldof's autobiography, Is That It?, Cott had grown disillusioned with what he saw as the band's growing laziness in the studio, their apparent relinquishing of their early R&B influences in favour of "cod-reggae". Throughout his time with the band, Cott had maintained a distance between himself and the other members and he resigned the day before the end of their 1981 world tour, only hours after the rest of the band had decided to confront him for refusing to join them and the road crew for a drink to celebrate Simon Crowe's birthday. Cott had a short-lived solo career, releasing two UK singles, "The Ballad of the Lone Ranger" and "Pioneers" and the 1984 Canadian single "Alphabet Town".
The band's fifth album, V Deep, was released in February 1982. The first single was "Never in a Million Years" which did not sell well, while the follow-up "House on Fire" made number 24 in the UK Singles Chart. In the US, the album was rejected by their American label, which instead issued a four-song EP called The Boomtown Rats, featuring four selections from V Deep; the full album was issued in the US in late 1982. A follow-up album entitled In The Long Grass was recorded in 1983, but was rejected by the group's label. By 1984, the band was touring universities after becoming unable to fund the "guarantee" required to book mainstream concert halls. In The Long Grass was issued in the UK in May 1984, but failed to chart. Two singles, "Tonight" and "Drag Me Down", were taken from the album; the Boomtown Rats' involvement with Band Aid raised their profile again, in January 1985, a revised version of In the Long Grass was released in the US. The album made the US charts at #188, but the associated singles failed to make an impact on the charts or on the radio.
The band subsequently performed at Live Aid's charity performance. "Dave", a single from the original release of In the Long Grass was re-recorded as "Rain" for the US market. The song was about the band's saxophone player and school friend David MacHale, who had suffered a breakdown after his girlfriend was found dead in a public toilet next to an empty heroin bag. The'Rain' metaphor in the altered lyrics referenced Duran Duran's earlier song "Hold Back The Rain", where Geldof's friend Simon Le Bon pleaded with an unnamed band member to cease dabbling with narcotics. After this, the band was mothballed while Geldof wound up his affairs with the Band Aid Trust, during which time he succeeded in getting them a one-album deal with Vertigo Records. However, both Crowe and Fingers refused to rejoin the Boomtown Rats full-time, preferring to pursue their own band, Gung Ho; the band's final performance came at Self Aid, a 1986 concert featuring many Irish rock stars, to raise awareness of unemployment in Ireland.
Their rendition of "Joey's on the Street Again" was 12 minutes long, with an extended bridge, during which time Geldof ran among the crowd. Following this performance, Ge
The Marquee Club was a music venue first located at 165 Oxford Street, England when it opened in 1958 with a range of jazz and skiffle acts. Its most famous period was from 1964 to 1988 at 90 Wardour Street in Soho, it closed when at 105 Charing Cross Road in 1996, though the name has been revived unsuccessfully three times in the 21st century, it was always a small and cheap club, located in the heart of the music industry in London's West End, used to launch the careers of generations of rock acts. It was a key venue for early performances by bands who were to achieve worldwide fame in the 1960s and remained a venue for young bands in the following decades, it was the location of the first-ever live performance by The Rolling Stones on 12 July 1962. The club was established by Harold Pendleton, an accountant whose love of jazz had led him to become secretary of the National Jazz Federation, it was located in the Marquee Ballroom in the basement of the Academy Cinema in Oxford Street, where dances had been held since the early 1950s.
Its decor was designed by Angus McBean with a striped canopy to imitate a marquee. Pendleton took over management of the ballroom, the first Jazz at the Marquee night was held on 19 April 1958. Johnny Dankworth, Chris Barber, Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies were early resident performers, Tubby Hayes and Joe Harriott were regular performers. In 1962 the club began a regular R&B night that featured visiting American musicians such as Muddy Waters. Pendleton launched the National Jazz Festival in 1961 in Richmond. By 1963 the club had become most noted for its R&B acts, including Davies, Brian Auger and Manfred Mann–who played there a record 102 times between 1962 and 1976–but Pendleton was forced to find a new venue when his lease expired. In March 1964 the club moved a short distance to what became its most famous venue with an entrance at 90 Wardour Street, with the actual music venue housed over two buildings. Here every major rock band of note played over the next 25 years on the tiny stage.
‘The Marquee in Wardour Street did not have an alcohol license until 1970. Jack Barrie along with Kenny Bell came up with the idea of opening a private bar above The Marquee at 100 Wardour Street, called La Chasse. Band residencies during the late 1960s included Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies, Chris Barber, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, The Who, King Crimson, The Syn, Mabel Greer's Toyshop, Jethro Tull, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Pink Floyd. Another band that made regular appearances was The Manish Boys featuring David Bowie, who first played there in November 1964. To find out, playing on any given night, you could just call in at the'Ship' pub a few doors away. In 1964 Moody Blues manager/producer Alex Murray used a homemade studio in the garage at the back of the club to produce the classic "Go Now" single, which shot to No. 1 at Christmas 1964, filmed for it the first UK pop promo video. The development of Marquee Studios was financed by profits from this record; the studio was used by Elton John, The Groundhogs, The Clash and others.
The Rolling Stones, who first appeared at the club in January 1963, returned there on 26 March 1971 after an eight-year hiatus to film a television special. John Gee, a former accountant and journalist, became the manager of the Marquee Club during the 1960s and was a pivotal part of helping create what the Melody Maker termed "the most important venue in the history of pop music." Gee championed certain groups that played at the club such as Ten Years After and Jethro Tull, wrote the liner notes for Ten Years After’s eponymous 1967 debut album. Jethro Tull named the B-side of their second single, "A Song For Jeffrey", a jazz-flavoured instrumental, "One for John Gee." Gee introduced the bands to the audience. He left the Marquee Club in 1970 to take a job in the offices of Radio Luxembourg. Jack Barrie, the former manager of the Soho bar La Chasse took over as the manager of the Marquee in 1970; the Marquee Club nurtured a large social scene based around the record industry, with record company heads and their A&R representatives visiting the venue on a daily basis talent spotting.
The venue attracted many famous musicians and recording artists who used the VIP Bar to socialise in. The Marquee staff became an integral part of the club as much as the bands; the Faces performed at The Marquee on 7 December 1970. Queen performed at the club three times in the beginning of their career. First on 8 January 1971 on 20 December 1972, on 9 April 1973, as their first gig after signing with the Trident record company. In 1972, Status Quo took to the stage with a blistering set, including "Paper Plane", the video for, filmed during this gig. On 18, 19 & 20 October 1973, Be-Bop Deluxe and String Driven Thing appeared on the same bill in 1974, David Bowie filmed The 1980 Floor Show at the Marquee for the American NBC TV late night show The Midnight Special. NBC used the Marquee Studios as dressing rooms for the cast. Although never a seminal punk venue, the club embraced the burgeoning punk rock movement of the late 1970s and promoted punk and new wave nights into the 1980s. Bands such as Sex Pistols, X Ray Spex, The Boys and the Hot Rods, The Stranglers, Generation X, The Police, XTC, The Sinceros, the early Adam & the Ants, The Jam, Joy Division, The Sound and The Cure all trod the fa
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. Anglesey, Wales, is the largest island in the Irish Sea; the second in size is the Isle of Man and the sea may but be referred to as the Manx Sea. The Irish Sea is of significant economic importance to regional trade and transport, power generation in the form of wind power and nuclear power plants. Annual traffic between Great Britain and Ireland amounts to over 12 million passengers and 17 million tonnes of traded goods; the Irish Sea is connected to the North Atlantic at both its southern ends. To the north, the connection is through the North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Malin Sea; the southern end is linked to the Atlantic through the St George's Channel between Ireland and Pembrokeshire, the Celtic Sea. It is composed of a deeper channel about 190 miles long and 20–30 miles wide on its western side and shallower bays to the east; the western channel's depth ranges from 80 metres up to 275 m in the Beaufort's Dyke in the North Channel.
Cardigan Bay in the south, the waters to the east of the Isle of Man, are less than 50 m deep. With a total water volume of 2,430 km3 and a surface area of 47,000 km2, 80% is to the west of the Isle of Man; the largest sandbanks are the Bahama and King William Banks to the east and north of the Isle of Man and the Kish Bank, Codling Bank, Arklow Bank and Blackwater Bank near the coast of Ireland. The Irish Sea, at its greatest width, narrows to 47 miles; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Irish Sea as follows, On the North. The Southern limit of the Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland, defined as a line joining the South extreme of the Mull of Galloway in Scotland and Ballyquintin Point in Northern Ireland. On the South. A line joining St. David's Head in Wales to Carnsore Point in Ireland; the Irish Sea has undergone a series of dramatic changes over the last 20,000 years as the last glacial period ended and was replaced by warmer conditions. At the height of the glaciation, the central part of the modern sea was a long freshwater lake.
As the ice retreated 10,000 years ago, the lake reconnected to the sea. Ireland has no bridge connection to Great Britain. Northern Ireland ports handle 10 million tonnes of goods trade with the rest of the United Kingdom annually; the Port of Liverpool handles 734 thousand passengers a year. Holyhead port handles most of the passenger traffic from Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ports, as well as 3.3 million tonnes of freight. Ports in the Republic handle 3,600,000 travellers crossing the sea each year, amounting to 92% of all Irish Sea travel. Ferry connections from Wales to Ireland across the Irish Sea include Fishguard Harbour and Pembroke to Rosslare, Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire and Holyhead to Dublin. From Scotland, Cairnryan connects with both Larne. There is a connection between Liverpool and Belfast via the Isle of Man or direct from Birkenhead; the world's largest car ferry, Ulysses, is operated by Irish Ferries on the Dublin Port–Holyhead route. "Irish Sea" is the name of one of the BBC's Shipping Forecast areas defined by the coordinates: 54°50′N 05°05′W 54°45′N 05°45′W 52°30′N 06°15′W 52°00′N 05°05′WTransport for Wales Rail, Iarnród Éireann, Irish Ferries, Stena Line, Northern Ireland Railways, Stena Line and Abellio ScotRail promote SailRail with through rail tickets for the train and the ferry.
The Caernarfon Bay basin contains up to 7 cubic kilometres of Permian and Triassic syn-rift sediments in an asymmetrical graben, bounded to the north and south by Lower Paleozoic massifs. Only two exploration wells have been drilled so far, there remain numerous undrilled targets in tilted fault block plays; as in the East Irish Sea Basin, the principal target reservoir is the Lower Triassic, Sherwood Sandstone, top-sealed by younger Triassic mudstones and evaporites. Wells in the Irish Sector to the west have demonstrated that pre-rift, Westphalian coal measures are excellent hydrocarbon source rocks, are at peak maturity for gas generation. Seismic profiles image these strata continuing beneath a basal Permian unconformity into at least the western part of the Caernarfon Bay Basin; the timing of gas generation presents the greatest exploration risk. Maximum burial of, primary gas migration from, the source rocks could have terminated as early as the Jurassic, whereas many of the tilted fault blocks were reactivated or created during Paleogene inversion of the basin.
However, it is possible that a secondary gas charge occurred during regional heating associated with intrusion of Paleogene dykes, such as those that crop out nearby on the coastline of north Wales. (Floodpage et al
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, it employs over 20,950 staff in total. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed-contract staff are included; the BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, charged to all British households and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up; the fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has funded the BBC World Service, which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. From its inception, through the Second World War, to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture, it is known colloquially as "The Beeb", "Auntie", or a combination of both. Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920, it was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast; the company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform and entertain"; the financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.
The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired; the BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now, the BBC, under Reith's leadership, had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise.
The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis; the crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently; the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives in a manner of its own choosing; the resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting from 1967 until his death in 2004, he was one of the first broadcasters to play psychedelic rock and progressive rock records on British radio, he is acknowledged for promoting artists working in a multitude of genres including pop, dub reggae, punk rock and post-punk, electronic music and dance music, indie rock, extreme metal, British hip hop. Fellow DJ Paul Gambaccini described Peel as "the most important man in music for about a dozen years". In 2012 he was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. Peel's Radio 1 shows were notable for the regular "Peel sessions", which consisted of four songs recorded by an artist live in the BBC's studios, which provided the first major national coverage to bands that would achieve great fame.
Another popular feature of his shows was the annual Festive Fifty countdown of his listeners' favourite records of the year. Peel appeared on British television as one of the presenters of Top of the Pops in the 1980s, he provided voice-over commentary for a number of BBC programmes, he became popular with the audience of BBC Radio 4 for his Home Truths programme, which ran from the 1990s, featuring unusual stories from listeners' domestic lives. John Peel was born in Heswall Cottage Hospital in Heswall near Liverpool, his father was an upper middle-class cotton merchant, he grew up in the nearby village of Burton. He was educated as a boarder at Shrewsbury School, where one of his contemporaries was future Monty Python member Michael Palin; the solitary Peel was an avid radio listener and record collector from an early age, cutting his teeth on fare offered by the American Forces Network and Radio Luxembourg. He recalled an early desire to host a radio programme of his own "so that I could play music that I heard and wanted others to hear."His housemaster, R. H. J. Brooke, whom Peel described as "extraordinarily eccentric" and "amazingly perceptive", wrote on one of his school reports, "Perhaps it's possible that John can form some kind of nightmarish career out of his enthusiasm for unlistenable records and his delight in writing long and facetious essays."In his posthumously published autobiography, Peel said that he had been raped by an older pupil while at Shrewsbury.
After finishing his National Service in 1959 in the Royal Artillery as a B2 radar operator, he worked as a mill operative at Townhead Mill in Rochdale and travelled home each weekend to Heswall on a scooter borrowed from his sister. Whilst in Rochdale during the week, he stayed in a bed-and-breakfast in the area of Milkstone Road and Drake Street and would develop long-term associations with the town as the years progressed. In 1960, aged 21, he went to the United States to work for a cotton producer who had business dealings with his father. Once this job finished, he took a number of others, including working as a travelling insurance salesman. While in Dallas, where the insurance company he worked for was based, he conversed with the presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, his running mate Lyndon B. Johnson, who were touring the city during the 1960 election campaign, took photographs of them. Following Kennedy's assassination in November 1963, Peel passed himself off as a reporter for the Liverpool Echo in order to attend the arraignment of Lee Harvey Oswald, he and a friend can be seen in the footage of the 22/23 November midnight press conference at Dallas Police Department when Oswald was paraded before the media.
He phoned in the story to the Liverpool Echo. While working for the insurance company, Peel wrote programs for punched card entry for an IBM 1410 computer, he got his first radio job, albeit unpaid, working for WRR in Dallas. There, he presented the second hour of the Monday night programme Kat's Karavan, hosted by the American singer and radio personality Jim Lowe. Following this, as Beatlemania hit the United States, Peel got a job with the Dallas radio station KLIF as the official Beatles correspondent on the strength of his connection to Liverpool, he worked for KOMA in Oklahoma City, until 1965 when he moved to KMEN in San Bernardino, using the name John Ravencroft to present the breakfast show. While in Dallas, in 1965, he married his first wife, Shirley Anne Milburn aged 15, in what Peel described as a "mutual defence pact"; the marriage was never happy and although she accompanied Peel back to Britain in 1967, they were soon separated. The divorce became final in 1973. Milburn took her own life.
Peel returned to England in early 1967 and found work with the offshore pirate radio station Radio London. He was offered the midnight-to-two shift, which developed into a programme called The Perfumed Garden, it was on "Big L" that he first adopted the name "John Peel" and established himself as a distinctive radio voice. Peel's show was an outlet for the music of the UK underground scene, he played classic blues, folk music and psychedelic rock, with an emphasis on the new music emerging from Los Angeles and San Francisco. As important as the musical content of the programme was the personal – sometimes confessional – tone of Peel's pres