top of page


Stephen Fry's 21st Century Firsts is coming soon to ITV.

Stephen explores an era that has seen huge tech advances that have affected all our lives, from the first iphone in 2007 to the smart speaker in 2018. He reflects on a social media revolution that saw everyone amassing Facebook friends from 2004 and communicating in less than 140 characters via a Tweet from 2006.

Airbnb launched in 2008, changing the way we holidayed, and the Tinder app in 2012 shook up the world of dating with a swipe to left or the right. The first high street flat white was poured in 2010 and the first lab grown burger was eaten in 2013.

Stephen starts his nostalgic journey in 2000, examining the impact of the first accurate Sat Navs, and tracks down one of the first women to voice one. A nationwide smoking ban came into force in 2007 and smoking in pubs was forbidden for the first time. But not everyone was happy and we hear from the landlord who went to prison for deliberately flouting the ban.

Stephen examines the huge cultural and political firsts that occurred over the last 20 years. Same sex marriage was only legalised 2014 and Stormzy became the first solo British black man to headline Glastonbury in 2019. 15-year-old school girl Greta Thunberg started striking to fight climate change for the first time in 2018 and at the other end of the age scale, Captain Tom Moore became the first 99-year-old to have a number one record in 2020, with all proceeds going to The NHS to help fight the global coronavirus pandemic.

Through interviews with experts and well-known faces, as well as ordinary people involved in some of the breakthroughs, the programme highlights some of the great advancements we’ve seen for the first time in the 21st century. Illustrated with a rich mix of archive, we turn the clock back 20 years and witness the great pace of change and ponder what the next 20 years will bring.


bottom of page