TFI Friday • Friday, June 27, 1997

TV ShowBy Paul McCartney
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United Kingdom
Riverside Studios

Master release

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From Wikipedia:

TFI Friday is an entertainment show that was broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. It was produced by Ginger Productions, written by Danny Baker and hosted by Chris Evans, for the first five series. The sixth series was hosted by a number of guest presenters. The show was broadcast on Fridays at 6pm from 9 February 1996 to 22 December 2000, with a repeat later that night. Its theme tune was Ron Grainer’s theme from Man in a Suitcase, in keeping with Evans’ frequent use of 1960s television themes in his work.

From The Beatles Monthly Book, N°256, August 1997:

Paul McCartney appeared on Channel 4’s TFI Friday show on June 27. Beatles Book contributor Pete Nash was asked by Ginger Television, who produce the show, to supply a few McCartney/Beatles items to decorate the set. That meant Pete had to hang around the studio all day while Paul rehearsed. lt’s a hard life! Here,s his report:

“For more than a year, Chris Evans had been trying to persuade Paul to appear on his show. He finally got his approval after sending him a fax, which said: ‘You would – (a) have a great time; (b) have a great time; (c) have a f****** great time’.

Paul had spent the previous day at the Riverside Studios recording the guitar, drums and bass parts that would back him on three TV monitors when he played live on the Friday.

The morning of the show was taken up with rehearsals of the other people who were appearing, and with Chris Evans going through the questions he’d be asking Paul. One item, ‘My Life Has Been Changed By The Beatles’, featuring people with names like George Harrington and Lucy Diamond (who works for Sky!), was dropped from the actual broadcast.

Paul himself arrived just after lunchtime, and his PR man Geoff Baker said that he was feeling ‘a bit stressed out at the moment’. But as soon as he was seated onstage at the piano, Paul seemed totally relaxed.

During the afternoon, Paul did two rehearsals of the songs he would be performing on the show, ‘Flaming Pie’ and ‘Young Boy’. The run-throughs were great, with Paul in top form, hamming it up and doing numerous Elvis impersonations. The effect of him singing live, backed up by videos of himself playing the other instruments, was something he’d thought up himself, and it actually worked very well. As Paul put it, “basically the viewer will see
me playing with myself on live TV!”.

After the first rehearsal, Geoff Wonfor said, “That was a dream , man!” , which is a pretty accurate description, but my own comment of “the drummer was a bit iffy but I don’t think this group will split up due to musical differences”. I had tried to persuade Paul to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, but he seemed a bit reluctant. Maybe he couldn’t remember the

Between his own two rehearsals, Paul was on the set in the upstairs bar, watching the ‘Freak or Unique’ people practising their party pieces. He seemed to find most of these quite amusing, although he was noticeably cringing when he was watching ‘the girl who cries milk’!

I spoke with Paul earlier in the afternoon, and one of the things I wanted to know was if he knew what questions he was going to be asked during the interview. He said, “lt’s better not to know, so I don’t have time to think about it and have prepared answers”. I felt like warning him about the rather tasteless question sent in by Delia Smith about the ‘pork with crackling’, but decided not to.

The audience for TFI Friday were finally allowed inside from the pouring rain at about 4.30. Most headed straight for the stage where Paul’s psychedelic piano stood. This of course meant that the two stages for the opening acts, Michelle Cayle and Sharleen Spiteri, had little or no audience. The studio floor manager had great difficulty herding people around to fill the empty gaps. Most of the audience were clearly there for Macca!

Paul McCartney was on the show from the second half of Part Two, which was the interview segment. He remained there for the whole of Part Three, continuing with the interview and then performing the two songs he’d rehearsed earlier. The show ended with Paul and Chris Evans running out the back of the studio and into a waiting speedboat,
seemingly roaring off down the Thames. ln fact, the speedboat merely went out into the middle bf the river and back to the studio, where the afier-show party was just beginning in the upstairs bar.

This was actually the ‘end of series’ party, with invited guests only – among them Stella and Mary McCartney. This was the highlight of the entire day, since the booze was free! The bar was absolutely packed, but Paul did not get hassled too much and seemed perfectly at ease drinking wine with Geoff Wonfor, Chris Evans and Danny Baker.

He left after about half an hour, which left little else to do but head back to the bar for yet another complimentary beer. As the title goes, TFI Friday!”

Last updated on August 6, 2020

Riverside Studios

This was the 1st and only concert played at Riverside Studios.


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