10 things we never expected to see on TV 10 years ago

The world is a funny old place




It literally never occured to us that Matt Le Blanc, the star of the ridiculously successful US sitcom, would be in lil’ old England fronting our BBC1 car show with radio presenter Chris Evans…


Ten years ago the James Corden on our screens was teenager Jamie Rymer in Fat Friends and then Gavlar’s BFF Smithy on Gavin and Stacey. He played ordinary Brits – and was one, too. Who’d have thought that he’d be the darling of America, cruising around LA interviewing George Clooney and Julia Roberts on a big US chat show?


So one of the Premiere League’s top strikers, who in 2006 was scoring goals for Norwich City, is now presenting daytime TV show Homes Under the Hammer, spreading his love for property to the masses. It’s a beautiful, surreal state of affairs.


Sure, James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch played people with impressive brain power in Starter for Ten – but they were deeply uncool characters. Now, they’ve transformed into superheroes starring in blockbuster movies, wearing all sorts of kick-ass, magical outfits. Oh and they’re also two of the biggest actors on the planet. Who knew knowing about carbon bonds or 14th century romantic ballets was the key to stardom?


From The Thick of It’s Malcom Tucker, who yelled and ranted phrases like ****** and **************** and **** and ****** and ***** and that sort of thing to… Doctor Who. Travelling around in his Tardis on Saturday evenings, he now enchants kids and their parents across the world. Awwww, so ****** heart-warming.


The Disney Channel princess who said things like “pink isn’t just a colour, it’s an attitude!” came in on a wrecking ball ten years later and smashed everyone’s ideas of innocence to smithereens before twerking in a barely-there bikini with singer Robin Thicke and a massive foam finger. What happened to all those butterflies and unicorns, eh?


So 18 years after Alan Partridge pitched it, it finally happened: Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank is an actual thing. Amused by the fact that Chris Eubank didn’t get Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank, a little company called Hostelworld made it happen. So to sum up; a joke by a fictional radio presenter becomes an advert with someone who doesn’t really understand the joke. Oh, modern world.


The 90s children’s TV duo who spent their time carrying ladders back and forth suddenly released a single with cool young rapper Tinchy Stryder. Their sensible catchphrase “To Me, To You (Bruv)” is now part of new pop culture, with a whole generation of kids learning how to carry awkward objects like ’90s kids did. Sure, the single was for charity – but it was us who really benefited from the glory.


How did Donald Trump go from a shouty US Apprentice star to someone who wants to run the WHOLE of America? It’s all quite confusing. And apart from all the bigotry, he comes out with stuff like, “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” YAY! 


That’s remained exactly the same.