After ten years of being there for us, Friends left our screens in 2004 – leaving a Central Perk shaped hole in our hearts – and we’re still not over it.
Yes, it may have been 15 years since Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Phoebe and Joey made their last appearances but it still feels like it was just yesterday.
We’re still deeply invested in Rachel and Ross’ tumultuous relationship, we’ve never given up hope on Parker (Alec Baldwin) coming back into our lives, and we can’t believe how quickly the Friends children have grown up. Are we the only ones confused by our feelings for Ben now that he’s grown up and starring in Riverdale?
But it’s not Cole Sprouse or the Friends reunion that became a conversation topic this week. Instead it was the characters, Rachel and Joey, that made news as it emerged that both actors strongly objected to their most famous storyline.
Yes, Matt LeBlanc and Jennifer Aniston were reportedly uncomfortable with the storyline where Joey and Rachel date.
In a recent interview with Express.co.uk, Dr Simone Cox, one of the brains behind Friends: A Reading of the Sitcom, explained how Matt LeBlanc in particular was heavily against the storyline.
Recalling her conversation with one of the Executive Producers, Kevin S. Bright, Dr Simone Cox explained: ‘He told us when they first started floating the idea of a storyline involving Joey developing feelings for Rachel that Matt LeBlanc was very uncomfortable with this.
‘He said these actors were so invested in their characterisations, and Matt LeBlanc’s objection was: “Joey wouldn’t do that.”’
Cox continued: ‘Joey is many things: He’s a womaniser; he is into his food; but he’s also a very loyal friend. So Joey would never go for Rachel because that would be devastating for Ross. But in this case they went for it because, I guess, they thought they would get some interesting storylines.’
And Matt LeBlanc wasn’t alone, with Jennifer Aniston reported to also be against the storyline.
‘It had to be a crush, and it had to be more funny than emotional, otherwise, this arc would go from risky to unwatchable,’ Kelsey Miller, author of I’ll Be There for You: The One About Friends, has previously explained of Jennifer Aniston’s opinions of the season 9 relationship.
Jen reportedly insisted that Rachel’s attraction for Joey could not be love and had to be purely physical, with it always being about Rachel and Ross.
Christmas is the time for giving, and James Corden gave us the best gift of all when he posted a new full-length trailer for the Gavin and StaceyChristmas special to his Twitter page on Saturday.
Alongside the sneak peak, Corden finally confirmed that the hour-long episode would be airing at 8.30pm on BBC1 Christmas day.
The clip was a welcome sight for fans of the cult series who’ve been speculating what’s been occurrin’ in the Shipman and Wests’ lives in the ten years since we last saw them.
The one-minute clip opens with Smithy and Gavin’s famous dance – though it’s Christmas songs, not football chants that they’re singing this time round – with Pam and Mick joining in.
Fans might be disappointed that Gwen’s famous omelettes aren’t on the menu, as the plot seems to focus around a Christmas in Barry Island, with Bryn in charge of catering for the 13 guests who will be journeying up, with what appears to be disastrous results.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all, Pete and Dawn look to still be married and will make a welcome appearance. Though, of course, spend the whole episode arguing.
Ruth Jones’ Nessa will also be joining in the family’s celebrations and, as reported by the BBC’s Entertainment Correspondent, Colin Paterson, will be uttering her iconic ‘what’s occurring’ at least twice during the hour.
But it’s a new face that’s got everyone talking. In one clip Pam is spotted embracing a young boy, leaving fans split on whether it’s a grown-up baby Neil or Gavin and Stacey’s child, who wasn’t even born in the last episode.
While Corden has us hooked with the trailer, we’re pretty certain he’s left a few secrets to be revealed on the 25th December. We can’t wait to tune in and can already predict it’s going to be a real highlight of Christmas day for most of the British public.
If you love Downton Abbey, have re-watched the show again and again and then fell in love with the movie earlier this year, guess what? We’ve got some good news. Another film is already in the works.
The first movie, which was released in September, made £23 million on its opening weekend and £143 million worldwide and it seems that its popularity has spurred on producers to act quickly and start working on another feature length instalment.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning television producer and executive Gareth Neame said: ‘We started vaguely thinking about it [a sequel] before the release of the movie. But we were kind of holding our breath.
‘The reaction to the film, the press tour in the U.S. and the buildup to release were so strong that we’d been thinking about it.
‘And then it was clear from the first weekend that this was worth taking very seriously.’
He continued: ‘We’re working on what the story is, and when we might be able to make it. But it’s the same as the first time around: We have to try to get everyone back together again. And that was very challenging.’
Neame also added that he believes another movie would be a success, considering that it had already moved from TV screen to movie screen seamlessly.
‘It’s not one of those shows that came from TV and then flopped in the cinema, so I think that will give everyone comfort that, yes, we know it works. But the challenge will be, is everyone available at the same time? Can we make deals with them? That will be the challenge,’
Not everybody was happy with the Game of Thrones season eight finale. While the Starks got their happy endings, fans were less than impressed with Cersei’s death by rubble and Bran swooping in to take the throne over Jon. It angered viewers so much that a petition was started to film the entire season again, and it amassed over 1.8 million signatures.
Oh, and then there was the fact that a coffee cup was spotted in shot during a scene in Winterfell and later, a bottle of water during the discussion between the leaders of Westeros. Oops, indeed.
However, actor Kristofer Hivju – who played Tormund Giantsbane on the hit show – has revealed that an alternative ending was actually filmed. Gasp.
In the version of events that were broadcast to the world earlier this year, the White Walkers were defeated, Daenerys was murdered by Jon and Sansa successfully managed to nab herself the crown in the North.
But what could have happened? Could Dany have escaped death? Would Jaime have stayed with Brienne?
Talking to Metro, Kristofer said that things could have tied up very differently.
‘Well, we shot an alternative ending,’ he told the publication.
‘That was mostly for fun but I don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you about that.’
However, he didn’t give away anything about what might have been for the remaining families in Westeros.
We’ll have to just wait for and see if George R. R. Martin decides to do his own thing when it comes to his own telling of the Game of Thrones ending.
Since gracing our screens earlier this year, You has accumulated a worldwide fanbase. Bookshop manager Joe Goldberg was the stalker protagonist, going to great lengths to creep into customer Guinevere Beck’s life – from hacking into her social media accounts and following her around, touching himself in bushes outside her flat, and murdering her ex, best friend and therapist before killing her.
Yeah, it’s intense.
And the Netflix series left us with a lot of questions after the season on finale – did the very sweet Karen find love with someone less psychopathic? What actually happened to Candace? And will Joe continue his murderous streak?
‘Joe is new to Los Angeles fully intending to start over a new leaf and never being forced to do bad things again. Joe is always trying to be a good guy but yet somehow he’s finding himself in these thriller, horror kind of situations. It’s terrible for him but I think it’s going to be so much fun for the audience.’
Now, Netflix has released a first look at the upcoming second season, sharing a photo of Joe and Candace on Instagram. Dun dun dun.
Gamble also told EW that Joe is ‘a different guy’ now. Right.
She said: ‘It’s not that simple love-at-first-sight [Joe] might’ve been looking for a couple of years ago. He’s a different guy. He’s been through more.’
Another new picture shows Joe stalking around in the background behind new girl Love Quinn (actress Victoria Pedretti, who you might recognise from The Haunting of Hill House).
So has Joe really changed or is he back to his old creepy tricks?
If you fancy getting a Christmas movie session in, we have some great Netflix-related news that’ll make finding films a whole lot easier. The streaming platform has a bunch of secret codes for hidden festive categories. Hurrah!
So where do you find these all-important codes, we hear you ask? Fortunately for you, we have the lot of them right here. Simply log in to Netflix, paste the URL www.netflix.com/browse/genre/ and paste one of the codes below at the end of the link after the last forward slash.
We’ve been obsessed with The Crown since it came to our screens, and with the highly anticipated third season airing this week (yes, really!), we’re rewatching all the old episodes to make sure we’re up to date.
While the show boasts a band of loyal followers, there are just two people that everyone wants to be regular viewers – the Queen and Prince Philip – the focus of the TV series.
According to the cast of The Crown however, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
While it’s nice to imagine Queen Liz and Philip tucked up in their monogrammed HRH PJs watching the Netflix series, Matt Smith broke the news that Philip doesn’t seem to be a fan.
In a past interview with The Observer, ahead of The Crown season two’s release, Matt Smith sat down to talk about his character, Prince Philip, describing him as ‘a bit of a cool cat’ and explaining that he doesn’t think he watches the show.
Smith revealed how a close friend who he described as prominent in the film industry was at a dinner with the royals when Prince Philip asked him, ‘What do you do? Are you involved in this Crown thing?’
At the end of the meal the friend in question supposedly asked, ‘Philip, I’m just wondering, because I have some friends who made The Crown, have you watched any?’ To which the Duke of Edinburgh is rumoured to have stopped, glowered and replied, ‘Don’t be ridiculous.’
This hasn’t fazed Matt Smith, with the actor explaining, ‘Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know, but I just think he’s a bit of a cool cat.’
The Queen on the other hand has reportedly watched The Crown on Netflix and ‘loves it’, giving it the royal stamp of approval.
‘Edward and Sophie love The Crown,’ a senior royal source has explained of the Earl and Countess of Wessex. ‘It has been a longstanding arrangement that they drive to Windsor at the weekend to join the Queen for an informal supper while watching TV or a film. They have a Netflix account and urged her to watch it with them.’
The source continued: ‘Happily, she really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatised.’
We wonder if they will be tuning in for season three!
Few things make us feel more festive than the annual John Lewis Christmas advert, and no matter how many times we watch The Holiday or eat a Yule Log, Christmas hasn’t started till the shop’s advert drops.
We’ve been through it all – the snowman who travelled miles to get his snowwife a scarf, the little boy who’s pet penguin was desperate to find love, the bear who just couldn’t stay awake long enough to see Christmas without his friend the hare, and of course the man on the moon. Last year even saw Elton John as the star, with the 2018 advert seeing a young Elton given a piano – something that changed his entire life.
Yes, the winning formula for the John Lewis Christmas advert is simple – a heart-melting storyline, a cool cover song as a soundtrack and an adorable character as the focus.
It’s safe to say 2019 is a win.
Accompanied to a cover of ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’ by Dan Smith from Bastille, this year’s ad is all about Excitable Edgar, a dragon who just cannot wait for Christmas. But like all good John Lewis ad characters, Edgar has an adorable weakness – when he gets overexcited he breathes fire – ruining Christmas for everyone else from melting ice rinks to setting wreathes alight, making his friends scared of him and stopping him from enjoying the yuletide.
We told you it was a tearjerker. Luckily for Edgar, he turns it into a party trick, coming in at the end and setting a Christmas pudding alight for everyone.
Emilia Clarke is one of the most talked-about women in the world, returning to our screens this week in the festive flick of 2019, Last Christmas.
With an all-star cast (we’re talking Emma Thompson, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh) and a George Michael soundtrack, this is set to be the Christmas film of the year, but there’s more to it than festive fluff – this film has a much deeper message.
Following a heart transplant, protagonist Kate is stuck in a downward spiral, lost and disillusioned with life. That is until she meets Tom, a (very) handsome stranger who encourages her to look up and realise how lucky she is to be alive.
Digital Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Emilia to talk Last Christmas, the horrors of filming the ice skating scene and what we should all take away from the Christmas film of the year…
Last Christmas. Credit: Universal Pictures
Did your life-threatening aneurysms give you a deeper connection to your character Kate?
Yeah definitely, because we had it at the same time. It’s all well and good having a character you’re playing that’s had something wrong with them and so have you, but getting an illness when you’re four or when you’re 40 is very different from getting an illness when you’re 22. And it was that singular fact that made it even more relatable for me. You’re at such a crossroads in your life at that point, especially as a woman, and the world can seem unbearably confusing anyway. Throw your own mortality in the mix and it starts to get really sticky and confusing and so that was absolutely something I could relate to and feel on behalf of her.
Most millennials probably need a Kate transformation right now…
If you’re looking at a millennial audience which I think this film should speak to, what Kate does to transform her life for the better is so small. She does not want fame. She does not want fortune. She is not getting those things in this script. Nobody is going to Hollywood. Nobody has won the lottery. It’s really small things that require consideration and space and self-care and all that means is just taking a step back and taking a breath and it’s not even about [puts on American accent] ‘appreciating what you have and being super grateful’ – it’s just breathing. Look up means breathe – that’s all it means. You take a deep breath in and you put your phone down and you take a deep breath out and you keep doing that day after day and you keep making those moments in a day to breathe.
Last Christmas. Credit: Universal Pictures
What message do you hope people will take from the film?
The fame, fortune, high achievement stakes that everyone strives after – that’s not the end of the rainbow. That’s not it. That’s so not it, it’s unreal. I’ve lost my anonymity, but people who haven’t can chat to someone who’s homeless on the street, you can chat to someone who works in the pub, to your cabby, to your bus driver, whoever it is. You can have those human interactions every day and as soon as you do – by saying ‘you alright mate?’ and making eye contact with someone, you realise that there’s someone else in the world aside from you and your phone and whatever twittersphere is going on. I think for certain generations, that would be my takeaway message.
Talk me through filming…
We shot this at Christmas time so it was perfect. We couldn’t put the lights up in Regent Street in July so we had no choice – we literally shot Last Christmas, last Christmas. This is a love letter to London and a lot of it is about acceptance – acceptance of those around us in society. London is cosmopolitan and it’s rich and it’s multicultural and that’s what makes it beautiful. That’s what makes it magical. Accepting yourself and others within it – that is what’s really important.
Last Christmas. Credit: Universal Pictures
Can we talk about your insanely good singing?
I really like singing – I have always sung. When I was 13 there was a moment when I thought I should try and pursue singing over acting but then acting won. Now, as I’ve got older the fear of singing in public is blinding. You could stick me in front of a thousand people speaking Dothraki and it would be nothing but getting me to sing in front of that many people – I genuinely couldn’t handle how nervous I got.
Was singing in public the scariest part of filming?
No, the scariest part of filming was me doing ice skating. I’m not built to go on ice. It’s horrific. Why would anyone choose to do that? It’s 100% the worst thing about Christmas. Date on an ice rink? You’re already dumped.
Last Christmas. Credit: Universal Pictures
What made the Last Christmas project jump out at you?
Well, Emma Thompson wrote the script. As soon as I heard that Emma had written a script, I was like ‘I have to read that script because I love her beyond all reason’. So I did, and then I heard that Paul was attached to direct it and he is a genius comedian and pioneers female leads. The things that draw me to a project are creators and then the character itself and that’s it – anything else is just a cherry on top. So it was Emma and Paul, those two as a combination was pretty winning.
What was it like filming with Emma Thompson?
It was just amazing. We’re sort of pals for life now which is kind of the greatest Christmas gift I could have asked for. We all got on so well. That was Emma and Paul – they’re just really good people at bringing everyone together. They just cast well and we all just got on – there was no reason not to. There were no divas, there was no ego, it was just nice people working together.
Last Christmas. Credit: Universal Pictures
What was your most memorable scene to film?
Emma and I did this scene where she is singing me to sleep – I think it’s called scene 47 – and I looked at the blooper reel and I think we did like 80 takes because we could not stop laughing. She asked to replace me with a pillow because we could not stop laughing. I mean, I was in pain, she was crying, we were like messes – we could not get it done. Corpsing is a massive thing! And there’s lots of people in the room watching you and then the crew get annoyed obviously because they’re like ‘fuck you guys we’ve got lunch – you’re eating into our time’. Basically any scene that Emma and I have together are my most memorable. We would just keep riffing and Paul would be like ‘OK I called cut 10 minutes ago’.
What have you got planned for this Christmas?
In the run up to Christmas you can run but you can’t hide, I’m going to find you and we’re going to have a fucking glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. Your friends and family are around you and everyone gets time off together so that’s why I like Christmas. I’m really looking forward to this Christmas because I won’t be working like I was last Christmas. This Christmas starts December 1st baby!
Last Christmas comes to UK cinemas 0n November 15.
There are three things that absolutely must be watched over the Christmas period every year – every single one of the Harry Potter movies, The Muppet Christmas Carol (yes it’s a classic), and Love Actually.
The latter has been a festive favourite since it was released in 2003, and stars some Brit legends including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Colin Firth.
And if you’re planning to watch it every hungover Sunday from now until Christmas day, good for you. But there is something coming that will shake things up a little bit and get you off your couch and into the big wide wintery world.
Love Actually In Concert is the opportunity to watch the film on a big screen with a full orchestra performing the score. Lovely.
It’ll be touring, too, so cities across the UK will be able to enjoy the fun.
BAFTA winner Craig Armstrong is behind the original score, which features bangers like Sugababes Too Lost In You, Dido Here With Me and the iconic Girls Aloud cover of Jump.
Plus, let’s not forget the ‘Billy Mack’ version of Christmas is All Around.
The tour has been a success since 2017 and is expected to be just as much of a hit in 2019. It’ll start in Exeter before heading to Dublin, Liverpool, Cardiff, Leicester, Manchester, Brighton, Bath, Poole, London, Glasgow, Edinburgh before finishing at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on 16th December.