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10 brilliant things you'd forgotten about TFI Friday


The 90s revival reaches fever pitch tomorrow as TFI Friday takes to the airwaves for the first time since the year 2000 and, yet, it's easy to wonder what all the fuss is about.

There's comebacks happening all over the place: Blur's first new album in years, The Crystal Maze coming back, All Saints making what we reckon to be their fourth attempt at a reunion - is TFI simply jumping on the bandwagon like everyone else?

Well, this was something we were tempted to think. Until we started watching back old footage of the show, and it all came flooding back. This was, perhaps, the most inclusive 'exclusive' show ever made. It featured the best and most manic host around in the form of Chris Evans, it had a cool-looking audience hanging out with a bar, it had the hottest new bands on every single week, it caused outrage whenever Shaun Ryder appeared and - written by Danny Baker at his best - it was relentlessly clever, edgy and inventive...and yet - it was a show that was for everyone. It was on at 6pm on a Friday night and you could happily watch it with your mum and dad. At no point was anyone trying to be ironic. At no point did it feel like it was looking down on normal people - in fact, it embraced them.

Everyone watched it, whether you were staying in or going out, and everyone loved it.

It returns to our screens for a one-off, 90-minute special tomorrow (Friday 12 June), with the possibility of a full new series to come. The special looks to be a solid nostalgia-fest, with Liam Gallagher, Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds, The Stone Roses, Blur and Roger Daltrey all featuring.

To get you in the mood, here's 10 brilliant things that you've probably forgotten about TFI Friday.

The Theme Tune

Officially announcing the start of the weekend every Friday night at 6pm was the theme from Man In A Suitcase - originally the intro music for a British television series about a private detective and bounty hunter. It was composed by Ron Grainer - who also wrote the theme music for Doctor Who.

It's Your Letters

It's scientific fact that, even though Reef, rather unfairly, are now seen as a pretty uncool band (even though if Royal Blood did this song, they'd be lauded as the saviours of all mankind), if you hear that riff from Place Your Hands, you will up on the dancefloor faster than Usain Bolt. And we will always arrive on said dancefloor and scream 'It's your letters' at the top of our voice, because of TFI. And, they got Roger Taylor to do a version too, and he's rock royalty.

Fat Lookalikes

A truly brilliant idea, but who would have the guts to suggest this feature now and get away with it? Never mocked, but celebrated, our only regret is that the show ended too soon for John O'Shea to launch a 'Thin Lookalikes' franchise, starring as Peter Kay.

Peter Kay John O'Shea

Freak or Unique

TFI Friday: constantly ahead of the game. Every week saw a parade of amazing people eager to show off their party trick. Essentially it predated Britain's Got Talent by about a decade, and it didn't have Amanda Holden on it. What more could you want?

Amazing Bands

It wasn't just the Britpop staples who thrilled the crowds every week: watch this performance of Stupid Girl by Garbage and tell us that's not the coolest live performance you've seen this year. Shirley Manson: what a woman.

Chris Evans Constantly Banging a Miniature Drumkit

Given the choice, who wouldn't have a small drumkit that they could constantly play while presenting a show? To be honest, we can't believe Jeremy Paxman never got one for Newsnight.

Shaun Ryder

Shaun Ryder: the UK's finest poet since Keats according to the much-missed Mancunian record label mogul Tony Wilson. But one whose language was often of the rather base variety. Following an initial first interview in which he swore, he went back on again, swore some more, and then performed with Black Grape for a Sex Pistols cover, where, to everyone's surprise, he swore again. He was since barred from appearing live on any Channel 4 show: the only person listed by name in the Channel 4 transmission guidebook. But he was always funny and - as his I'm a Celebrity... win showed, thoroughly endearing. Though not to the TV authorities. Oh no.

They got Slipknot on for their first-ever UK TV appearance

Just how terrified must parents across the land have been when these guys played? Even more amazing was when they cut to 'footage' of their dressing room post-performance, which showed none other than Lionel Blair as the main man. Who'd have thought?

Oh and they got Napalm Death Too

...who played a song lasting 5 seconds. You wouldn't get that on Jools Holland would you.

All of the supporting cast

Cedric TFI Friday

Producer Will McDonald, Cedric from the cafe, Andrew the barman, Wurthers the cue card man - they all became stars, with their 'normalness' celebrated. Who will Evans have manning the decks for the comeback? We shall have to wait and see.

(Images: Getty)



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