They’re the events that had office workers throughout the UK talking during the past 12 months. Now a team of experts have defined the top ten water cooler moments of 2017.
Chris Meredith, CEO of Business relocation firm LondonOffices.com came up with a list after talking to companies across the UK about the events which triggered the most workplace discussion during the year.
And it seems office workers were captivated by moments such as Theresa May’s humiliating general election result, the announcement of a new royal baby and the sad death of TV legend Sir Bruce Forsyth.
Yet nothing seemed to resonate more with the British public than this year’s series of the Great British Bake Off, or indeed when the country’s sweetheart, Prince Harry, announced his engagement to Meghan Markle in November.
The team focussed on celebrity-driven, uplifting and feel-good moments which united the nation and generated the most chit-chat in UK offices.
“We’ve picked out a variety of pop culture, sporting and political events which seemed to spark the most conversations over the office water cooler this year – and nothing seems to get the British public going more than GBBO, or indeed anything Royal Family related,” CEO Chris Meredith said. Here are his top ten ‘water cooler moments’ of 2017, most recent first.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement
It came towards the end of the year, but of course blew everything else out the water in comparison.
Within mere hours our TV screens and social media feeds were filled with everything Royal Wedding related – from predictions about the dress, to valuations on the ring, and what Lady Diana would have thought about it.
The Great British Bake Off
The Great British Bake Off has become a quintessential part of British culture with the start of each series being something the entire nation looks forward to, and this series will undoubtedly go down in history.
This year, the British public sat with baited breath to see whether the Channel 4 programme would live up to the show’s former gig at the BBC, and surprisingly enough the majority of people seemed to be pleasantly surprised.
Liam Charles stole the nation’s hearts, before judge Prue Leith proceeded to break them when she let the name of the winner slip on Twitter, hours before the finale was due to air.
The Snap Election
2017 hosted the third post-war snap election called unexpectedly before a party’s term of office had come to an end, and many will agree that the results shook the nation.
The Conservatives lost their Commons majority, Labour gained 30 seats, and calls for Theresa May to quit were rife.
Tonnes of politicians quit and it seemed at first as though the country was in a state of disrepair. Despite this, the Tories went on to form an unexpected coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party, after leader Theresa May visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko
Widely regarded as the most exciting heavyweight fight since its last glamour era of the 1990s, the AJ/Klitschko fight was very much the talk of the town running up to the event.
Joshua was heavily dropped for the first time in his professional career, before going on to secure victory against the Ukrainian in the 11th round of the exhilarating bout.
Whether you follow boxing or not, it was hard to escape the excitement and magic surrounding this momentous sporting event.
La La Land/Moonlight Best Picture mix up
While the majority of the 89th Academy Awards took place without a hitch, the final announcement of the evening – the coveted Best Picture award – was an unprecedented disaster.
Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the overall winner when, actually, Moonlight had scooped the top prize.
What ensued was nothing short of chaos, with the blame being passed from pillar to post and theories as to what happened being speculated left, right and centre.
Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement
In February, Beyoncé broke the internet (again) when she revealed that she and husband Jay-Z were pregnant with twins.
The singer delivered the news on Instagram with a photo that only she could have gotten away with. It showed her theatrically kneeling in front of a wreath of flowers with a long green veil over her face and her hands tenderly placed on her baby bump.
Predictably, the Twitter-verse exploded with responses to the news and it was a firm talking point for weeks after.
Pippa Middleton wedding
The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister married her millionaire beau James Matthews in May, in a star-studded ceremony where one of the world’s most famous bridesmaids finally became the bride.
The couple wed in front of a plethora of royal and celebrity guests, who enjoyed a flyby from a World War Two Spitfire before heading to the reception held at the Middleton’s garden in a stunning 150ft glass marquee specially shipped in from Belgium.
Royal baby #3
In September, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced they were expecting their third baby, and naturally, the UK went into meltdown.
Not too long after the arrival of son George and daughter Charlotte, baby number three is expected to arrive in April 2018.
Sir Bruce Forsyth’s death
When Sir Bruce Forsyth, one of Britain’s most beloved entertainers who boasted a fabulous career that spanned decades, died at his home in August at the age of 89, reams of heartfelt messages from former colleagues, friends and fans flooded the internet.
Brucey was one of the most quintessential characters of modern British pop culture, and well regarded as the King of UK gameshows after delighting millions of people and defining Saturday night television.
Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance
Although we were technically blessed with Carey’s NYE mishap in the very last moments of 2016, the aftermath of it served as a great conversation starter and possibly the first real viral moment of 2017. The notorious diva took to the stage for a special performance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, but faced severe criticism and ridicule after awkwardly lip-syncing through the entire thing following an audio equipment mishap, as it made for extremely uncomfortable viewing.
“These moments become the perfect opportunity for friends and work colleagues to bond over mutual thoughts, or indeed clash over disagreements,” Meredith adds. “The main thing though, is that they spark conversation and get people talking.” Here’s to more memorable office chat in 2018!