Hit & Run: Saviours of Friday TV?

Perhaps it's the beard wot done it. Adrian Chiles's controversial face fur arguably doesn't cut it on Friday nights when, it was confirmed this week, Chris Evans (pictured, top), will occupy The One Show sofa alongside the sufficiently glamorous Christine Bleakley. BBC bosses expect Evans, the clean-cut (well, clean-shaven) new star of mainstream BBC programming, to sprinkle the 7pm magazine show with a bit of stardust in a new-look end-of-week edition. Expect sharper suits and more purple – a house band, perhaps.

And that's Friday night telly, isn't it. In a tradition that reaches back to the Eighties and Channel 4's ground-breaking music show, The Tube, broadcasters (and advertisers desperate for young eyes) have raced to kick off the weekend with a bang. Evans has already scored a hit with TFI Friday, which offered big-name guests and self-consciously wacky features in the late Nineties. There was more to choose from later on back then, when sometimes it was actually worth leaving the pub early (or pretending you could, because you were only 13) to watch The Word or Eurotrash.

But that was when pubs closed at 11pm, when content was allowed to be daring, and when you couldn't fire up iPlayer on Saturday morning and fast-forward to the bits where Jonathan Ross interviews somebody interesting. "Broadcasters are still obsessed with the idea everyone's going to cast off their work clothes, open a beer and celebrate the weekend with the BBC or Channel 4," says Peter Bazalgette, the TV exec who brought Big Brother to British screens, "But I can see no reason why a young demographic would do that anymore when there are so many other things to do and channels to watch."

Not that dwindling audience figures and a fragmenting TV landscape, which has seen the once lucrative end-of-week schedule branded the "Friday night death slot" in America, has stopped programmers trying new things. Jonathan Ross is on his way out but he'll meet other stars in Friday night's revolving door. Frank Skinner's Opinionated, a new talk show, starts on 10pm on Friday on BBC2, while Ricky Gervais (middle) gets a new show starting the following week on Channel 4.

The trouble is, says Boyd Hilton, TV editor at Heat, the quality isn't always there: "When Channel 4 shows Embarrassing Bodies: Back to the Clinic it's hardly a showcase for Friday night TV." But the Friday fixation won't be dimmed. Peter Andre (bottom) has reportedly been given his own chat show on Channel 4. It remains to be seen whether he can save the once-golden slot – or if Chris Evans can attract millions more viewers to The One Show. You can be sure Adrian Chiles won't be among them.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam