Almost 30 years ago, Friends appeared on our screens. It was the TV series that brilliantly captured the zeitgeist with its hilarious stories about a bunch of young single people setting out together in 1990s New York.
It was about youth, love, confusion, bad dates, bad hair, regrets, cafes, hangovers – but mostly about the glue of friendship that held them together.
We all deal with it; We’re still singing to the theme tune, “I’ll Be There For You,” which became an upbeat anthem for young dreamers.
It was about youth, love, confusion, bad dates, bad hair, regrets, cafes, hangovers – but mostly about the glue of friendship that held them together
If only I could get back the hours I spent taming my frizzy hair into a sleek “Rachel” cut; or the afternoons we spent on the sofa watching episode after episode as Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry kept making us laugh about the ups and downs of life.
It’s innocent, wonderful stuff that was soaked up by the next generation and went on to become one of the most successful shows of all time.
But now, we’re told, the series isn’t so innocent after all — on authority no less than its co-writer Marta Kauffman.
She says she suffers from “guilt” and shame because all of the cast are white. It hurts to look in the mirror, she adds, because of the show’s lack of diversity.
If only I could get back the hours I spent taming my frizzy hair into a sleek “Rachel” cut; or the afternoons we spent on the sofa watching episode after episode as Jennifer Aniston (above), Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry kept making us laugh about the ups and downs of life
To make amends, she has donated around £3.3million (out of her £330million fortune) to the African American department at her old university.
“Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy,” she says, “I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know any better 25 years ago.”
Can’t we just enjoy a popular TV show without burdening ourselves with the cares of the world? writes Amanda Platell
Oh, for heaven’s sake! Can’t we just enjoy a popular TV show without having to burden ourselves with the worries of the world?
Do we no longer have to watch because of the “diversity” problem?
Because by flaunting her embarrassment at the series, Kauffman suggests viewers should feel uncomfortable, too.
Can I be the only one sick to death of this politically correct revisionism?
Yes, if Friends were commissioned today, it would be more diverse, but times are changing and we cannot eradicate the past.
I love Friends the way it is – and no one will ever make me feel bad about watching it.
Well done Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden who has said at 51 and as a mother of two she still loves being booed by builders. I know the feeling — or thought I did, until recently when I was whistled at by a passing white van man who yelled out his window, “Dawn French, I love you!” You look slimmer in real life.”
A special graduation day
The way bowel babe Deborah James, 40, ended her life is nothing short of inspirational. She fought to the end to raise £7million and more for cancer research.
But for many it remains just an ordinary departure, like that of my brother Michael, who died of cancer at home at the same age.
No cameras, no podcast, just him in bed, surrounded by his wife Hellene and their two young children, his mother and father and me. His last words to me were, ‘See you Mandy.’
And you know, when times are tough, he comes to me.
Katie is a real diamond
Little-known tennis ace Katie Boulter has replaced Emma Raducanu, who fell in the second round of Wimbledon, as our golden girl by progressing to the third round.
How did Katie come out of nowhere to defeat 2021 finalist Karolina Pliskova? It would have helped not to be encumbered by £30,000 worth of Tiffany jewellery.
Even Wimbledon has fallen for the gender-neutral Loos trend. While I’m against it, I’ve discovered an advantage that women don’t have to queue as long and men have to wait longer.
Little-known tennis ace Katie Boulter has replaced Emma Raducanu, who fell in the second round of Wimbledon, as our golden girl by progressing to the third round
Fiery singer Adele posted pictures ahead of her performances in London’s Hyde Park this weekend with the caption: ‘Who’s ready for tomorrow!?’ Well, hello, that was us – and so were you.
Fortunately, with ticket prices starting at £90, she didn’t cancel like she did in Las Vegas because we wouldn’t have made it easy for her to paraphrase her hit.
When Meghan told her “feminist” husband Harry about the US Supreme Court’s abortion ruling, she said his response was “guttural” — a strange word considering it means a throaty sound. Maybe he just choked on his mung bean salad.
Few photos of them have surfaced in the five years multi-millionaire singer Taylor Swift has been dating British actor Joe Alwyn. The couple has been quietly engaged and she only ever wears her engagement ring at home. A simple message to all the media-seeking celebrities who are whining about press intrusion that if you really want to keep your private life private, you can.
JK is magician for Warner
Well done that Warner Bros. is proud to be associated with JK Rowling, who has been accused of being transphobic for her sane views on what it means to be a woman.
A spokesman for the film giant said: “She is one of the most accomplished storytellers in the world and we are proud to be the studio bringing her vision, characters and stories to life now and for decades to come.”
The fact that the Harry Potter franchise is worth billions might also have put lead in his corporate pen, on the principle that if you wake up, you’ll be broke.
No thanks Branson
Virgin CEO Richard Branson paid a surprise (but well-publicized) visit to Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy to offer his support for what is feared is unfortunately becoming a media circus.
Zoolander actor Ben Stiller and Hollywood actor Sean Penn both went to Kyiv. What can billionaire Branson offer Ukraine? Flights in first class?
As Zelenskyy said when President Biden offered him and his family safe exit from Ukraine, “I need ammo, not a ride.”
The Queen couldn’t muster the strength to watch Ed Sheeran and Diana Ross serenade at their diamond jubilee, but was fit enough to meet the over-the-top little haggis Nicola Sturgeon after announcing another vote on Scottish independence. Her Maj is the greatest symbol of the British Union and our secret weapon. So I hope that, like the monarchs of old, she has a sample on hand when she opens the old bottle of whiskey Sturgeon gave her – to make sure it’s not poisoned.
Putin hits back after being accused of having ‘Kleinmann Syndrome’, saying our shirtless prime minister would be ‘a disgusting sight’. It is suspected that Boris’ former lover’s army might have a different opinion.
Despite repeated warnings, around 30,000 Britons contracted HIV or hepatitis C through contaminated blood in the 1970s and 1980s.
Former Prime Minister John Major, who appeared before the inquest into infected blood, said: “What happened to them was unbelievable bad luck.” A dismissal so callous it freezes the blood in your veins.
Full of admiration for Boris taking the lead at the Nato summit and committing £1bn to Ukraine, why does he always have to look such a mess?
With his ill-fitting suits and open shirts, he’s less a leader of the free world and more Worzel Gummidge.
When Prince Charles becomes king, he is wisely prepared to slim down the monarchy and make it fit for the 21st century.
Perhaps he could start paying for his own private flights – around 20 in the last year to avoid traffic on the roads – including a £32,000 trip to the premiere of Bond film No Time To Die.