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Two Tribes - The Threat of Nuclear War

57 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 09 January 2013

Following the end of WW2 there came a longer and a colder kind of war. The two global superpowers had gone from allies to sworn enemies, each armed to the teeth with weapons that could destroy the world many times over.

Although the two nations had already come close to war over the botched invasion at the Bay Of Pigs in 1961, it was during the 1980s that the Cold War reached its chilly apex. Under the respective reigns of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, nuclear paranoia was omnipresent.

Capturing the mood of the times, films like Mad Max, Threads and The Day After all portrayed the threat of global apocalypse with varying degrees of horror. And musically, acts as diverse as from Kate Bush, Sting, Iron Maiden, Prince and Ultravox all recorded anti-nuclear tracks. Almost literally, the threat of nuclear war was in the air.

This mood of rampant paranoia was even apparent in this episode's epic dancefloor filler, a colossal number one single about global destruction and political insanity. And like the nuclear threat itself, Frankie Goes To Hollywood seemed to be everywhere one looked in 1984. Their music, their controversial videos and their "Frankie Say" t-shirts were ubiquitous.

We want to hear from people who served in the nuclear-armed forces and those who protested against their weaponry. We'd also like to hear from those people who remember receiving the terrifying Protect & Survive leaflet through their letterbox or who sat nervously before Threads or The Day After.

Music Played

13 items
  • Share your comments and stories

    Your contributions will play a key part in this episode, take a look at the questions below and send us your thoughts:

    • Did you or your friends buy a Frankie Says T-shirt?
    • Do you remember getting the Protect and Survive leaflets through the letterbox?
    • Do you remember watching the Threads TV series?
    • Did you march or protest against nuclear weapons, or join CND?

    You can send us an email now

    or read about other ways to contribute 


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