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Old men terrified of the internet and their own mortality bring back TFI Friday

Old men terrified of the internet and their own mortality bring back TFI Friday
In what can only be described as an act similar to firing a starter pistol into the gaping maw of infinite blackness, Channel 4 has commissioned a new series of TFI Friday after a gap of 15 years that will once again be presented by Chris Evans.

The new series will begin broadcasting from 12 June with a 90 minute special and the first guests booked to appear include Liam Gallagher, Blur, Ian Broudie from The Lightning Seeds, Mani from Stone Roses and ex-Oasis drummer Zak Starkey.

The motivation behind this move is to reassure everyone over the age of 40 that everything is just the way it has always been, Radio One is still as influential as ever, the music industry is perfectly stable, guitar music is still the best music genre of all time, computers are only used by nerds, Carling tastes great, cocaine is plentiful and Melanie Sykes will definitely have sex with you one day.

I'm sure a lot of readers will have a few questions about this, so I'll answer them for you now as best as I can...

Why?

Because until at least three generations of music and television executives finally crumble into dust, we're doomed to a cycle of Britpop revivalism and lazy, desperate nostalgia that temporarily makes them feel not quite so hopelessly irrelevant.

Will Ocean Colour Scene still be providing the theme?

I do hope so. That was the best bit.

Will the new series of TFI Friday bring back the same old features, or will they have spent some of the last 15 years thinking up new ideas?

In the words of Chris Evans: "I can't believe it’s been almost 20 years since the first episode of TFI and I'm thrilled to be bringing the show to a whole new generation who have never experienced the wonders of Baby Left Baby Right or It's Your Letters."

So no, it looks like it will be business as usual. However just in case you need reminding of its regular segments, here's a handy guide to three of the best:

'It's Your Letters' consisted of Evans reading out letters sent to TFI Friday by the viewers at home, who back in 1995 had readily available access to post offices and stamps. Happily this segment will remain almost identical as it did 15 years ago as of course Email and Twitter will not be acknowledged. Also letters were still being received long past TFI Friday's final ever episode so there's plenty of pre-internet missives to be read-out live on air. These will mainly consist of Dodgy's lead singer asking to be invited back on for a solo acoustic set and a few stray cries for help from the uglier Razorlight members who claim they're being bullied by Johnny Borrell.

Glastonbury based indie-rock band Reef performing the theme to 'It's Your Letters'.
The theme was released as a single in 1998 and stayed at the top of the charts for 19 weeks.


'Baby Left Baby Right' featured a baby from a Labour supporting family being swapped at birth with a baby from a Conservative family, unbeknownst to both sets of parents. The weekly segment showed hidden camera footage of each family coping with their respective new-born, the Conservatives confused as to why their baby stubbornly refuses private heathcare treatment to relieve its colic and the Labour family struggling to come to terms with the fact they've brought into the world a stone-hearted Thatcherite.

'The Weekly Swearing' was a regular feature where a celebrity guest would 'accidentally' say a word like "fuck" or "twat" and Chris Evans would pretend like he was dead shocked but was also sort of amused and glad because TFI Friday was on at tea-time and it made the show seem really naughty and anarchic, which was brilliant for ratings and made anyone who was a proper lad say "hey it's alright this programme, Ewan McGregor just said shit-knobs at 6pm, you don't get that on Ground Force". The winner of 'The Weekly Swearing' was the celebrity who managed to bring about the biggest fine from Ofcom, which Chris Evans would happily pay from his own loose change. The ultimate 'Champion of Champions' was declared in 2000 after Shaun Ryder swore so successfully that TFI Friday was taken off the air and Ryder was banned from ever appearing on another Channel 4 programme forever.

Will producer/sidekick Will MacDonald be returning?

Yes. Fresh from producing nine seasons of Made in Chelsea, MacDonald will be returning to our screens to remind everyone that if it wasn't for him, there wouldn't be a Comedy Dave or a Chappers or an Andy Davies, and that the 'talentless, perennially overlooked, giggling sidekick' niche is his alone. This will manifest itself by MacDonald routinely burning more and more elaborate and anatomically offensive effigies of his rivals inside a randomly selected audience member's car.

Do I have to watch it?

Good lord no. Despite what Ian Broudie from The Lightning Seeds will trick you into thinking, it's no longer the mid-90s and therefore you have a whole world of alternative viewing and listening choices across an infinite array of streaming services and channels.

Or you could just do what we all did while TFI Friday was on TV the first time around and go drink cider in the park with our friends instead.



Tags:  Tfi Friday  Chris Evans  Britpop  Blur  Oasis

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