Edwina Currie badgers northerners and Ron Atkinson gets the sack: A look back at 1986. By Chris Hall

The North/South divide becomes an abyss and the Man Utd manager makes way for Alex Ferguson

For its final issue of 1986, the Observer Magazine looked back at ‘The Good, the Bad, the Ugly… and the boring’ of the previous 12 months.

It was the year, we said, when ‘the North/South divide became an abyss’ as junior health minister Edwina Currie badgered northerners about their drinking and smoking, saying they would die of ‘ignorance and chips’. The Jeffrey Archer book she’s brandishing on the cover, First Among Equals, was made into a TV series in 1986, and ‘Archer resigns again. Shock, horror, yawn,’ was our line on him quitting as Tory deputy chairman.

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