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Popular Music on British Television

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TFI FRIDAY

C4 / Ginger Prods
9th February 1996 - 22nd December 2000

Intended as an ITV vehicle for Jonathan Ross it ended up as the ideal showcase for TV and radio presenter Chris Evans. According to Evans the title is Thank Fuck It’s Friday, while Channel Four preferred their own interpretation Thank Four It’s Friday.

It was originally broadcast live from 6.00 - 7.00 pm from the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, although it would occasionally go on location, like Dublin and on one occasion the hosts' own home.

Among the comedy, the celebrity interviews and stunts bands played live in the studio with the interview setting upstairs by the bar. After four letter profanities from Shaun Ryder and Ewan McGregor Channel Four threatened to instigate a twenty second delay, They then suggested a recording an hour before transmission. This pre-recorded initiative was put into action with their Easter 1996 show and for the second half of the first run.

The second series followed the course of the first, but adding, Fat Look-a-likes, Freak or Unique, Ugly Bloke (occasionally With A Talent) and dispensing with the student-led question of the week in the bar. One of the writers was ex-NME journalist and DJ Danny Baker, while Evans’ cast of production staff from his radio shows would be carried over to the TV show John Revell and Will MacDonald.

The main theme was Ron Gainer's Man In A Suitcase, while Ocean Colour Scene's The Riverboat Song would be the guests' intro music. The show co-insided with the Britpop explosion and practically all the relevant bands appeared live.

As soon as Channel 4 announced that the winter 2000 series would be the last Evans quit presenting the show, allowing guest presenters including The Spice Girls and Elton John to host before selling his Production company Ginger Television to Scottish TV.

A sort-of sequel OFI Sunday played on ITV in 2005, but was axed, while a proper revival appeared on Channel 4 in 2015 and lasted for one series.