Derry Girls helped us time-travel to that bygone era. Here, local celebrities look back at what was an important decade for them all
It was the decade of Byker Grove and the Spice Girls, ‘curtain’ haircuts and Nasa jackets.
And with Derry Girls dominating our screens in recent weeks, memories from the 1990s have come flooding back for many.
Northern Ireland celebs are among those indulging in some Nineties nostalgia
BBC Radio Ulster’s Connor Phillips is among the legion of fans who have been praising Derry Girls’ creators for capturing the essence of the decade perfectly, especially with its soundtrack stacked full of era-defining bangers.
“I was in the same class as Lisa McGee, who obviously wrote the show; Claire Rafferty, who played Miss Mooney; and Cathy Prior, who did the costumes,” the Queen’s University drama graduate revealed.
“They’ve done an amazing job. I loved the Nineties, it was an amazing time.
“For me it was all about the music, which took a bit of a nose-dive in the Noughties.
“I was actually chatting to Sharon Corr recently and she has a brand new batch of fans because of Derry Girls.”
During his own formative years, the Coolio fan was blasting out hits such as Gangsta’s Paradise, but loved anything by The Spice Girls, Hanson and Ace Of Base.
“It was a class decade for music. I loved a good boy band, still do. Backstreet Boys was the big one back then,” he added.
The DJ, who confessed to playing as many Nineties songs as he can get away with on air, swears he is over the disappointment of failing to lay his hands on a ‘Nasa’ jacket, which was once a must-have wardrobe accessory.
“It stood for Nice And Safe Attitude,” he explained.
“But I was a country boy with my boot cut jeans — not too flared — and a nice pair of brown boots.
“But I remember having the Adidas popper tracksuit bottoms.”
The new father, who welcomed baby boy Fionn with wife Holly Hamilton last year, reminisced about getting lost in his favourite TV soaps 10 years before he would have the chance to visit Summer Bay and Ramsay Street.
“I watched Home And Away long enough to remember two different actresses playing Pippa from the caravan park. I once tried to chase Alf Stewart down when he visited Belfast.
“Scott and Charlene from Neighbours were a big deal, but the big question from back then was how did Harold Bishop disappear — and how did he come back five years later?” Connor’s two worlds collided when Natalie Imbruglia left Neighbours to embrace the pop scene. Her version of Torn reached number two in the UK chart.
“I could also tell you everything Gail Platt got up to in Coronation Street,” he added.
“Then, of course, there was Ken and Deirdre.”
He says the ‘Free Deirdre’ campaign would be trending on Twitter if the infamous storyline played out today.
“I remember people standing at roundabouts with ‘Free the Weatherfield One’ printed on T-shirts,” he said.
He doesn’t miss everything, though, in particular his old PJ and Duncan-inspired hairdo — middle-parted curtains complemented by an undercut.
“It was desperate,” he admitted.
Meanwhile, former Big Brother contestant Orlaith McAllister remembers a simpler, more innocent time, where life revolved around family.
“Byker Grove with Ant And Dec was a must-watch in our house,” she recalled.
“We sat down and had dinner together every night and that was our show.
“Sure, you only had four TV channels, which is mad to think of now.”
The Belfast beauty queen was only discovering Madonna in the Nineties when The Spice Girls burst onto the scene.
“I was just like, wow,” she said. “At the end of sixth year we did a school performance of Wannabe and I was Victoria Beckham — I really thought I was her. I’m so glad there were no mobile phones with videos back then.
“That’s another thing, film cameras.
“You had to leave it in to the chemist and wait for days to get the prints depending on how much you were willing to spend.”
With Max Factor dominating the make-up scene, the aspiring model had to wait until she was 15 before being allowed to buy it.
“I saved up my pocket money for the orange bronzer and I’m sure the way I applied it was awful,” she said.
“And Charlie Red was my favourite body spray.”
When it came to denim, Orlaith says Levis was the must-have brand, but nothing surpassed her favourite boots — equipped with a massive heel — inspired by pop rapper Betty Boo.
When she wasn’t standing in the queue at Tammy Girl, the fashion lover spent Saturdays flicking through the pages of National Enquirer while visiting her granny.
“It was an American magazine and I loved seeing Cindy Crawford and all the supermodels.
“Sometimes my granny allowed me to take it home if she’d already read it.”
Orlaith blushed as memories of kissing the lifesize prints of members of Bros on her bedroom mirror came flooding back.
Some of Cool FM DJ Pete Snodden’s defining memories of the decade are tinged by the Troubles.
He recalled passing soldiers on the streets as he made his way to school at Belfast Institute from his home town of Bangor.
“I remember the Europa being bombed and the windows coming in. We had bomb training in class,” he said.
“The Nineties, of course, was also when the Good Friday Agreement was signed and I remember all my friends voting for it. But I was slightly younger and missed out on the chance to vote.
“That really annoyed me at the time.”
Despite the shadow of the conflict, the breakfast show presenter said life went on as normal most of the time.
“McDonald’s in Belfast was the place to be, and Dundonald Ice Bowl before I was old enough to start going out,” he said.
“The Crescent Bar near Sandy Row was my favourite night scene, it was ‘studentville’.”
The trendy teen was always eyeing up Diesel jeans, hoping his parents would fork out on his favourite denim.
“Apache clothing was my favourite shop,” he said.
“I saved my money for music magazines and remember Bassline, which had everything about NI dance.
“Underground records was where I went to spend a few quid as well.”
BBC NI weatherman Barra Best recalled clowning around in the Nineties after becoming infatuated with the circus following a visit with his dad.
He explained: “Basically, straight afterwards I signed up at Belfast Community Circus School with my sister.
“I did unicycling, stilts, trapeze... I tried my hand at most things.
“The only thing I couldn’t master was juggling. I never had good hand/eye coordination.”
He revealed some people still know him better as the guy who used to have a bike with one wheel, rather than for his presenting on TV.
“Growing up in the Nineties was all about getting out there and creating your own adventures,” he added.
“I was up climbing Divis Mountain and Black Mountain before it was popular. Crawling through the ‘hatchet field’ before going home and nearly getting murdered by my parents for being covered in muck.”
After surviving homecoming, he spent time playing his favourite computer games including his Nintendo, Sega and Commodore 64 “that you put the cassettes into and waited over half-an-hour for the game to load”.
Summer holidays to his granny’s caravan in Ballycastle provided the backdrop to his idyllic childhood spent watching TV shows including Friends and The Golden Girls and popular local talk show Kelly, which aired on Friday nights.
For former Miss Great Britain Gemma Garrett, her teenage years were defined by The Spice Girls with Geri Halliwell influencing her interest in make-up, which she admits would be too scary these days.
“It was absolutely terrifying in hindsight,” she laughed.
“I looked like I headbutted a blusher pallet. Max Factor’s Pan Stik was all the rage and it was really thick and greasy and it broke my Daddy’s heart. I wish I listened to him.”
The make-up artist said she’s learnt her lessons and wouldn’t want many of the beauty trends to make a comeback.
She’s also happy about the decline of trashy magazines that she use to love but now believes are outdated.