IT’S back to work and back to reality for most us today, but there’s no need to despair.
This year promises to bring all sorts of great treats – across music, TV, film, sport and travel.
So if you’ve got the January blues, get out your diary and make a note of all the things to look forward to.
From the return of some of the world’s biggest pop stars to partying at Glastonbury and new blockbuster movies at the cinema, Hayley Minn brings you the A-Z of the most exciting things happening in 2022.
A is for Adele: After six years away, our biggest pop export finally released her long-awaited fourth album, 30, in 2021. She sang it to Emma Thompson and other lucky A-listers for her TV Audience With . . . and we regular folk will finally get to see her live this year. She’s playing two sold-out concerts at London’s Hyde Park in July, plus she has a residency in Las Vegas from January 21 to April 16.
B is for Bridgerton: The racy period drama was an instant hit for Netflix when it first steamed up our TV screens at the end of 2020, and now we finally know it will romp back into action in March with a second series. While many fans are devastated dashing Rege-Jean Page won’t return as the Duke of Hastings, there’s sure to be lots of drama and gossip from Lady Whistledown and the Bridgerton girls.
C is for Celine Dion: While Adele has wangled herself a Vegas residency, Canadian diva Celine has ended hers to go on a world tour. And she’s coming to the UK this summer. We can’t wait to belt out My Heart Will Go On.
D is for drag queens: RuPaul barely gives fans time to breathe, what with new series and franchises of Drag Race. But this year we’re more excited than ever — about RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Vs The World, as drag queens from over here go head to head with some of the best internationally. If that wasn’t enough, fans can see Drag Race series one runner-up Divina de Campo in hit musical Chicago when it goes on tour in the UK, and her co-star Baga Chipz in the upcoming series of Channel 4’s school comedy-drama Ackley Bridge.
E is for Elvis Presley: Get your Blue Suede Shoes on in June. US actor Austin Butler — who dates Cindy Crawford’s model daughter Kaia Gerber — may well be gyrating his way toward an Oscar nod in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis, as the rock ’n’ roll legend himself.
F is for Fat Friends: The musical stage version of Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends — the TV series that launched the careers of James Corden and Ruth Jones — returns for a second UK tour, from February until July. Following on from the massive success of its first UK run in 2017, it stars West End and Holby City actor Lee Mead, former Coronation Street and Benidorm actress Sherrie Hewson, ex-Hollyoaks star Jessica Ellis and Family Fortunes and Corrie funnyman Les Dennis.
G is for Glastonbury: The pandemic put paid to one music festival after another in 2020 — and while many returned last year, Glasto did not. But this summer we’ll finally get to dance again in the mud down on the farm — and better still, Diana Ross has been announced as headliner of the coveted Legends slot.
H is for holidays: We all thought trips abroad would be a dead cert as the Covid jabs started to be rolled out. Alas, the virus wasn’t done just yet. While many did get to holiday in Europe, longer-haul was far more complicated. But now that many countries including the US have started to reopen, there’s no stopping us snapping up flights to warmer climes.
I is for Imelda Staunton: Another of Netflix’s biggest hits, The Crown, returns this year. Series five sees Harry Potter veteran Imelda Staunton take over from Olivia Colman as the Queen, portraying her from the early to mid-1990s. Boozy, chain-smoking Princess Margaret is played by Lesley Manville, of Mike Leigh movie fame. The Affair heart-throb Dominic West — infamous for his alleged fling with Lily James, his co-star in BBC drama The Pursuit Of Love — plays Prince Charles, while West’s real-life son Senan plays Prince William.
J is for James Bond: Daniel Craig has stepped down as 007 after last year’s No Time To Die — so the hunt is on for his replacement. Peaky Blinder Tom Hardy and Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page are the frontrunners to land the coolest — and best-paid — job in Tinseltown.
K is for kids: Every year now, we can count on one of the Kardashian-Jenner clan to be expecting a baby — and in 2022 it’s Kylie Jenner who is due to give birth, to her second child with US rapper Travis Scott. But she’s not the only pregnant celeb. Others mums-to-be this year include model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hollywood’s Jennifer Lawrence and reality stars Sam Faiers, Lucy Mecklenburgh and Vogue Williams — expecting her third child with former Made In Chelsea ladies’ man Spencer Matthews.
L is for long-awaited movie: Many films’ release dates have been delayed over the past two years, owing to the pandemic, but none more so than Kenneth Branagh’s Death On The Nile. The mystery thriller, based on Agatha Christie’s 1937 detective novel, was originally due out for Christmas 2019. But due to Covid, and sexual abuse allegations against cast member Arnie Hammer, it’s been pushed back several times, and is finally set to hit cinemas next month. The cast also includes movie beauty Gal Gadot, star of Wonder Woman and last year’s Netflix action comedy Red Notice, as well as funny-man Russell Brand and comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.
M is for milestone birthdays: The Duchess of Cambridge turns 40 this Sunday, while Hollywood major players Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner and her ex Ben Affleck all hit 50 this year.
N is for new Doctor: She’s played Doctor Who since 2017 but Jodie Whittaker is now handing over to a new Time Lord. While we’re still none the wiser as to who that will be, the favourites include Years & Years singer and It’s A Sin actor Olly Alexander, I May Destroy You telly writer and star Michaela Cole and IT Crowd comic Richard Ayoade.
O is for Olympics: The world went crazy for Tokyo 2020 as the delayed Games were finally held last summer — and now it’s not long until next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. Britain’s most successful winter sport, with 15 medals, is figure-skating. But we haven’t had a podium spot since Torvill and Dean’s bronze in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway, ten years after their gold-medal Bolero in Sarajevo
P is for parties: Covid has been one big party pooper. But, Omicron allowing, there are high hopes for plenty of revels in 2022 — with birthday, anniversary, baby shower and wedding bashes all back on and everyone making up for lost time.
Q is for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Is there anything better than a bank holiday?
Yes: TWO of ’em at once. Thanks to Her Maj celebrating 70 years on the throne this year, we get an extra day off on Friday, June 3, and the May Day bank holiday moves to Thursday, June 2 — so we get a four-day weekend. Events include Trooping the Colour, a concert at Buckingham Palace — and lots of epic light displays.
R is for Rooney: Football fans will be extremely excited for the highly anticipated release of Rooney on Amazon Prime on February 11. The documentary will give unprecedented access to one of football’s greatest strikers as Wayne himself recounts stories from some of the most important moments of his life. There will also be testimonies from the people closest to him, including England teammates David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand, Rooney’s first England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson — and forever put-upon wife Coleen.
S is for Sequels: It seems 2022 is the year of the movie sequels, and we’re not complaining one bit. This month sees Courteney Cox and David Arquette returning for horror film Scream 5. But there’s much more coming out later in the year. In March, the Crawley family will be getting their second cinematic outing in Downton Abbey: A New Era. Meanwhile, Avatar’s first sequel is released in December, 13 years after James Cameron’s 3D sci-fi adventure hit cinemas and smashed box-office records. But what we’re sure families will be most excited about is Lightyear — a spin-off film all about Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear, out in June.
T is for tennis: The world’s best have arrived Down Under for the Australia Open later this month, the first of the year’s four grand slams. And that’s just the start of what awaits in 2022, as young guns such as Russian Daniil Medvedev and German Alexander Zverev, and even younger guns like Italy’s Jannik Sinner and Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz, look to unsettle the old guard led by Serbia’s Novak Djokovic. New balls, please, for the French Open in May, Wimbledon in June and US Open in August. In the ladies’ game, British hero Emma Raducanu made history at last year’s US Open as the first qualifier to win a grand slam. So let’s see what the new BBC Sports Personality of the Year does next.
U is for ultra-lavish weddings: We all love celebrity nuptials and there are some huge ones afoot this year. Kourtney Kardashian and fiance Travis Barker — drummer with US rockers Blink-182, and he of the tattooed head and most other body parts — got engaged in October after less than a year of dating. He popped the question with an elaborate flower- and-candle display on the beach at the Rosewood Miramar resort in California, getting down on one knee at sunset — and we’re sure their wedding will be dialled up right to the max, too. She is a Kardashian, after all.
V is for Voulez-Vous: Abba stunned the world last year when the Swedish supergroup announced their return — after years of insisting it would never happen. Voulez-Vous stars Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad won’t in fact be on stage — instead they’ll appear as “Abbatars”. But their series of shows from May this year, at a purpose-build Abba Arena in London’s Olympic Park, sold out immediately
W is for World Cup: England suffered heartbreak as we lost out to Italy in the Euros final this summer — but the Three Lions have another chance to bring football home this year as the big one, the World Cup, takes place in Qatar from November 11 until December 18. Now, that would be an early Christmas present to get the nation in a festive mood.
X is for X-cellent TV: As well as period dramas, there’s plenty more TV treats this year. Pam & Tommy — about Baywatch bomb-shell Pamela Anderson’s Nineties shenanigans with her Motley Crue rocker first husband Tommy Lee — stars Lily James looking far bustier than usual. The series lands on Disney+ next month. Meanwhile BBC2 brings us a TV adaptation of Adam Kay’s book This Is Going To Hurt — his hit memoir about being an NHS junior doctor. There will also be the sixth and final series of the BBC’s Birmingham-based gangster drama Peaky Blinders — with Stephen Graham an exciting new addition to the cast.
Y is for Y2K slebs: It seems 2022 will be the year Noughties celebs are all over the news. Free of her conservatorship, Britney Spears has claimed she’s getting wed and trying for a baby. Mean-while her former party pals Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are back on the scene. Paris, having recently wed, is also trying for a baby, and LiLo is back with an as-yet- untitled Netflix Christmas rom-com.
Z is for Z-list relationships: Whatever 2022 holds, we can count on Love Island for cringey moments, outrageously fit young men and women and relationships that end up fizzling out after five minutes of fame. Bring it on!
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