My Top 5 T.F.I. Friday Moments by Martyn Taylor

For those of you who were in a coma… or living in a monastery… or indeed not born in the late 90’s, here is a quick history lesson for you.

T.F.I Friday was a pop culture entertainment programme on Channel 4 that ran from 1996 until the year 2000. It was broadcast at 6 o’clock but was re-run later the same night for the last orders punters to see it. It was presented by Chris Evans, who was kind of the 90’s version of Piers Morgan, but, lets be honest, he wasn’t half as annoying and had a tad more charisma. Anyways, the programme was a combination of live music, interviews and comedy.

I’ve been watching a lot of clips on YouTube just lately, and its brought back a lot of memories for me, so for those that have carried on reading this far, or for them that actually give a toss, here are my top 5 moments that I remember.

5. The Regular Features.

The show ran many regular segments which covered all areas of the comedy spectrum. My personal favourites were ‘Fat Look-a-likes’ which is self explanatory (this spawned the much more controversial ‘Asian Look-a-likes’). ‘Freak or Unique’, which was a hidden (useless) talent show were the audience would decide if you were freak or unique. Cue the ‘Incredibly Tall Old Lady’

However my personal number 1 from the regulars was ‘Ugly Blokes’, were an unattractive gentleman would get the opportunity to turn down the advances of supermodel Catalina Guirado.

4. Sharleen Spiteri Beautiful?

I’ve been unable to find a clip of this on YouTube, but I think I can remember it like it was yesterday. I had never heard of Sharleen or her band Texas, but they were going to both perform and be interviewed on this particular show.

Chris Evans announced her onto the set as the “…most beautiful women he’d ever met…” (or some other form of admiration) and my ears pricked up!

Who was me out? A six foot, blonde, big boobed, Swedish supermodel?


An average looking, average height, average size ( . ) ( . ), plain looking women with a broken nose turned up on set. I thought “she’s nothing special” but when she spoke, she had a rare thing, a Scottish accent. She then sung Al Green in acapella style, she had drawn me in and I was in love!

3. The best question ever asked?

While interviewing a relatively unknown, young Scottish actor (Yes, it’s Ewan McGregor) about his upcoming movie ‘Trainspotting’, Mr Evans asked one of the best questions and well timed comedy queries from the show.

Trainspotting is well known for being a film about heroine abuse, so Chris asked “…doesn’t it worry you slightly a little bit that young kids, they may be tempted to get…into acting…”

Now, reading it doesn’t do it justice, but just watch it in this clip. Its about 3 minutes in.

2. Shaun’s Shop.

Shaun Ryder was the top wild man of the 90’s music scene, and regularly showed up many an interviewer on British T.V.

T.F.I Friday set up a sitcom style segment for him to show off his personality at its best. ‘Shaun’s Shop’ was it, I reckon that if he hadn’t made it as a celebrity hell raiser, he would have been raising hell up and down the high streets of the U.K.

1. Slipknot’s arrival.

In 2000 had you heard of ‘Thrash metal’?… Me neither. When Slipknot were announced on the show, I was eating my tea, and I guarantee you, my knife and fork didn’t move for the whole of their performance.

It takes something special to stop me from eating, and they did it with their performance of ‘Wait and Bleed’. I don’t even like ‘Thrash Metal’ (as you know, I’m all about the Britpop) but I was mesmerized. I don’t think any performance on T.V had captured my attention like before and since like Slipknot did that day which is why it has made it as my number 1.

“…Rock ‘N’ Roll, the kids love it…”


mart questionsMartyn Taylor is a 31 year-old father of three and lives in Hull. His pastimes include watching 80s action films over and over again and and debating the all-time Premiership XI with Mr Miles. His knowledge of American sitcoms of the 90s stands second to none. He once walked into a men’s public lavatory absent-mindedly singing the theme tune from Two And A Half Men. You can find him on but he never tweets, so just follow him on here.


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