After its one-off special earlier this month, TFI Friday will returning for eight shows, commissioned for later this year, to be hosted by Chris Evans. Evans is having a major comeback this year, the outspoken, wonderfully weird, advocate for ginger folk has just been announced as the new presenter for Top Gear (BBC), replacing Jeremy Clarkson as the main presenter of one of the most popular shows in the world. His controversial 90’s variety show TFI Friday had a one-off anniversary episode on the 12th of June, and due to 4.2 million viewers tuning in, Channel 4 are hedging their bets with another eight episodes which could no doubt lead to more, if proved successful.
Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s creative officer has stated about the revival, “Chris is the best of the best of live broadcasters and I never doubted for a moment that this TFI would live up to expectations… Confirming a series was a no-brainer“. Evans himself has discussed the project with glee: “I might actually spontaneously explode on live television due to over excited-ness. Does that still count as unpredictable cos [sic] I’ve said it now“.
TFI Friday had an extremely successful formula of live music, celebrity interviews that took place in a custom built bar serving booze to the intimate and riotous studio audience, mischievous pranks involving willful destruction of expensive goods and bizarre segments featuring volunteers from our great British public. The show often got into trouble for exceeding the level of suitability for its early evening time slot, above all for when Sean Ryder of Black Grape famously said the F-word (not Friday, the other one!) several times on more than one show and during a Black Grape performance.
This controversy was all part of the appeal and I hope will be playfully encouraged in our current, more lenient decade. I hope that the show continues to be aired at a later, less restrictive time so Evans, although older and wiser can get up to his usual mayhem. Evans publicly showcased BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw as his choice for presenter if the show was to be reworked, going as far as to state it on the anniversary episode.
Despite this, he remained the popular choice beating out other presenters offered for an NME readers poll featuring Lauren Laverne, Grimshaw, Charlie Brooker, Frankie Boyle, Annie Mack and Kieth Lemon.