Chris Evans is bringing back TFI Friday (opens in new tab) for a new 10-part series after a successful anniversary special earlier this year.
Fans of the Channel 4 show will have to make the most of it, however, because its host has already said he is unlikely to make any more due to his commitments on his new Top Gear presenting role.
U2 are on TFI Friday (Danny North/U2/PA)
Guests on the first show include U2, Take That and Steve Coogan.
Fair to say that TFi HQ has been in lock down since U2 playing live this Fri was announced. Team getting calls from many long lost relatives
— Chris Evans (@achrisevans) October 12, 2015
Chris scored a huge hit in the 1990s with the original TFI Friday.
The show, which included segments such as Ugly Bloke and Freak or Unique?, returned for a live special in June with guests including Chris’s old sidekick Will Macdonald.
It recalled its heyday almost 20 years ago with a line-up of guests including Shaun Ryder, who famously swore on teatime television while performing and prevented the programme from being broadcast live again.
— Channel 4 (@Channel4) October 14, 2015
There was also a performance by Britpop survivors Blur, a duet between Liam Gallagher and The Who’s Roger Daltrey, plus Rudimental and Years & Years.
They were joined by guests including Hollywood stars Amanda Seyfried and Ewan McGregor, singers Rita Ora and Ricky Wilson, Olympian Tom Daley, presenter Kirstie Allsopp and DJ Nick Grimshaw.
Chris Evans in his old TFI Friday presenting days (Channel 4)
Chris said of the new series: “Oh my goodness, are we really going to get to do this again? Looks like it – and leading into Christmas too.
“I might actually spontaneously explode on live television due to over excited-ness. Does that still count as unpredictable cos I’ve said it now?”
As we wait for the show’s return, here’s a trip down memory lane and some of the stand-out moments from the original series.
Shaun Ryder’s foul-mouthed interview
Shaun Ryder (Joel Ryan/Invision)
In 1996, Happy Mondays and Black Grape frontman Shaun Ryder dropped the F-bomb repeatedly during his live interview – despite Chris Evans offering to give him his own shoes if he kept it clean.
Next time Shaun appeared, he sung live instead – but swore copiously during that, too.
It meant that the show had to switch to pre-recording, and Shaun was banned from appearing live on any Channel 4 programme for several years – the only person listed by name in the station’s compliance manual.
Making a millionaire
Chris wanted to make one viewer rich (Michael Stephens/PA)
ITV game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? was all the rage in the late 90s, but after a year on-air, still nobody had won the jackpot.
TFI Friday decided to pip them to the post with a segment called Someone’s Going To Be A Millionaire! and became the first British TV show, 11 months ahead of the Chris Tarrant game show, to pay the enormous prize – to unemployed father-of-three Ian Woodley on Christmas Eve 1999.
The Spice Girls special
The Spice Girls (Neil Munns/PA)
In 1998, when they were the biggest names on the planet and shortly before Geri Halliwell quit, the girl group got their own dedicated episode.
They talked about their rivalry with Oasis, old audition tapes, and Victoria Adams’ upcoming wedding to David Beckham, as well as performing three of their hits.
John Cleese – the most expensive joke ever
John Cleese (Jimi Celeste/AP)
When Chris Evans decided to shoot a skit involving him hand-delivering a script to upcoming guest John Cleese in New York, it turned into a very expensive disaster.
Onboard a Concorde flight, Richard Branson joined Chris to poach him for Virgin Radio with a contract jotted on the back of a British Airways menu. But Chris missed John in New York, chased him to Paris where he missed him again, and returned to London.
At £56,000 plus expenses, Chris called it “the most expensive joke in the history of light entertainment television”.
Sharleen Spiteri, Chris Evans’ favourite-ever guest
When Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri filled in last minute for another guest, Chris Evans announced her as the most beautiful woman he’d ever met, flirted outrageously, and raved about their new album White On Blonde.
Sharleen sang Al Green’s Tired Of Being Alone and won over viewers as much as Chris, reviving the band’s success.
St Patrick’s Day stars
To celebrate St Patrick’s Day in 2000, the show decamped to Dublin for a special episode. The team stayed in U2’s hotel The Clarence, James Nesbitt and The Corrs joined them, cheering crowds crammed into the streets outside the venue and much Guinness was drunk.
Bono and The Edge also appeared as guests, sipping Black Velvet cocktails and playing an acoustic set at the desk.
Incurring the wrath of Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher (Matt Crossick/PA)
It’s a brave person who takes on the temper of Noel Gallagher, but Chris did exactly that when he deemed Oasis’ third album, Be Here Now, a bit of a stinker.
Show writer Danny Baker penned an opening sketch which saw Chris using a defibrillator to try and bring the CD back to life, before pronouncing it dead. Noel hasn’t spoken to Chris since.
Geri Halliwell and Kylie Minogue lock arms… and lips
In 1999, the newly-solo Geri Halliwell and Kylie Minogue had an arm wrestle across Chris’s desk, with a twist.
As Geri had told Chris before the show: “Have Kylie and I got something special for you.”
During the grapple, the pair gradually leaned in and locked lips in a kiss.
TFI Friday returns to Channel 4 at 8pm on October 16.
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