AMANDA PLATELL: No one will make me feel guilty because I love Friends

PLATELL’S PEOPLE: No one will make me feel guilty because I love Friends

Nearly 30 years ago, Friends appeared on our screens. It was the TV series that brilliantly captured the zeitgeist with its hilarious tales of a bunch of young, single folk setting out together in 1990s New York.

It was about youth, love, confusion, bad dates, bad hair, regrets, coffee shops, hangovers — but most of all, the glue of friendship that held them together.

We all related to it; we still sing along 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, coffee shops, hangovers — but most of all, the glue of friendship that held them together

It was about youth, love, confusion, bad dates, bad hair, regrets, coffee shops, hangovers — but most of all, the glue of friendship that held them together

If only I could get back the hours I spent trying to tame my frizzy hair into a sleek ‘Rachel’ cut; or the afternoons spent on the sofa watching episode after episode as Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry, made us laugh again and again over life’s ups and downs.

It is innocent, wonderful stuff that has been lapped up by the next generation and become one of the most successful shows of all time.

But now, we’re told, the series isn’t so innocent after all — by no less an authority than its co-writer Marta Kauffman.

She says she is suffering ‘guilt’ and embarrassment because all of the cast were white. It’s painful 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 trying to tame my frizzy hair into a sleek 'Rachel' cut; or the afternoons spent on the sofa watching episode after episode as Jennifer Aniston, above, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry, made us laugh again and again over life's ups and downs

If only I could get back the hours I spent trying to tame my frizzy hair into a sleek ‘Rachel’ cut; or the afternoons spent on the sofa watching episode after episode as Jennifer Aniston, above, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry, made us laugh again and again over life’s ups and downs

To make amends, she’s given around £3.3 million (of her £330 million fortune) to the African American department of her old university.

‘Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy,’ she says, ‘I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago.’

Can't we simply enjoy a popular TV show without having to burden ourselves with the woes of the world?, writes Amanda Platell

Can’t we simply enjoy a popular TV show without having to burden ourselves with the woes of the world?, writes Amanda Platell

Oh, for heaven’s sake! Can’t we simply enjoy a popular TV show without having to burden ourselves with the woes of the world? 

Must we all now refrain from watching due to its ‘diversity’ issues?

Because, by flaunting her embarrassment about the series, Kauffman is suggesting viewers should feel uneasy about it, 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 change and we cannot eradicate the past.

I love Friends as it is — and no one is ever going to make me feel guilty about watching it.

 

Well done Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden for saying, at 51 and as a mum-of-two, she still loves being wolf-whistled at by builders. I know the feeling — or thought I did until I was whistled at recently by a passing white van man who shouted out of his window: ‘Dawn French, I love you! You look slimmer in real life.’  

 

A special final day

The way Bowelbabe Deborah James, 40, exited her life is nothing short of inspirational, campaigning to the end to raise £7 million and more for cancer research.

Yet for many there is just an ordinary exit, 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 mum and dad, and me. His last words to me were: ‘See ya, Mandy.’

And, you know, in times of trouble, he does come to me.

 

Katie is a genuine diamond

The little-known tennis ace Katie Boulter has replaced Emma Raducanu, who crashed out in Wimbledon’s second round, as our golden girl by getting into the third round.

How did Katie come from nowhere to defeat 2021 finalist Karolina Pliskova? Not being weighed down by £30,000 worth of Tiffany jewellery would’ve helped.

Even Wimbledon has fallen foul of the gender-neutral loos trend. While being opposed to them, one advantage I have discovered is that women don’t have to queue for so long and men must wait longer.

The little-known tennis ace Katie Boulter has replaced Emma Raducanu, who crashed out in Wimbledon’s second round, as our golden girl by getting into the third round

The little-known tennis ace Katie Boulter has replaced Emma Raducanu, who crashed out in Wimbledon’s second round, as our golden girl by getting into the third round

 

Temperamental singer Adele posted pictures ahead of her gigs this weekend at London’s Hyde Park with the caption: ‘Who’s ready for tomorrow!?’ Well, Hello, we were — and so was she. 

Given ticket prices started at £90, thankfully she didn’t cancel like she did in Las Vegas because we would not have gone Easy On Her, to paraphrase her hit song. 

When Meghan told her ‘feminist’ husband Harry about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortions, she said his response was ‘guttural’ — an odd word given it means a throaty noise. Perhaps he was simply choking on his mung-bean salad.

During the five years multi-millionairess singer Taylor Swift has been dating British actor Joe Alwyn, few photographs have appeared of them. The couple have become quietly engaged and she only ever wears her engagement ring at home. A simple message to all media-seeking celebrities whining about Press intrusion that if you really want to keep your personal life private, you can. 

 

J.K. is wizard for Warner 

Well done Warner Bros for saying it’s proud to be associated with J. K. Rowling, who’s accused of being transphobic for her sensible views on what it means to be a woman.

A spokesman for the film giant said: ‘She is one of the world’s most accomplished storytellers and we are proud to be the studio to bring her vision, characters and stories to life now — and for decades to come.’

The fact the Harry Potter franchise is worth billions might also have put lead in its corporate pencil, on the principle that if you go woke, you go broke.

 

No thanks, Branson

Virgin boss Richard Branson made a surprise (but well-publicised) visit to Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy to offer his support in what one fears is sadly becoming a media circus.

Zoolander actor Ben Stiller and Hollywood has-been Sean Penn have both gone to Kyiv. What can billionaire Branson offer Ukraine? Flights out in First Class?

As Zelenskyy said when President Biden offered him and his family safe passage out of Ukraine: ‘I need ammunition, not a ride.’

The Queen couldn’t muster the strength to turn up to watch Ed Sheeran and Diana Ross’s serenading at her Diamond Jubilee yet was fit enough to meet that over-stuffed little haggis Nicola Sturgeon after she announced another vote on independence for Scotland. Her Maj is the greatest symbol of British union and our secret weapon. So I hope, like the monarchs of old, she has a taster on hand when she opens that aged bottle of whisky Sturgeon gave her — to make sure it’s not poisoned.

 

Westminster wars 

Putin hits back after being accused of having ‘small man syndrome’, saying our PM with his shirt off would be ‘a disgusting sight’. One suspects Boris’s army of former paramours might disagree.

Despite repeated warnings, around 30,000 Brits were infected with HIV or hepatitis C in the 1970s and 1980s from contaminated blood.

Appearing before the Infected Blood Inquiry, former PM John Major said: ‘What happened to them was incredibly bad luck.’ A dismissal so callous it makes your blood run cold.

 

While full of admiration for Boris taking the lead and committing £1 billion to Ukraine at the Nato summit, why does he always have to look like such a slob?

With his ill-fitting suits and untucked shirts, he’s less leader of the free world, more Worzel Gummidge.

 

When Prince Charles becomes King, he is wisely set to slim down the monarchy, making it fit for purpose in the 21st century.

Perhaps he could start with paying for his own private flights — some 20 last year, to avoid traffic on the roads — including a £32,000 trip to the premiere of the Bond film No Time To Die.

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