Sarah Millican: Why isn’t Friends still on TV?

"I’m sure the cast from Friends have the odd Nando’s together"

It really isn’t fair when your favourite programme ends, is it? Like why isn’t Thirtysomething still on as Fiftysomething with the same annoyingly catchy pan-pipesy theme tune? Or why aren’t we still watching Manimal (my absolute favourite show when I was eight) where the grandson of the original fella is solving crimes by turning into meerkats?


Sure, some programmes seem to never go away – Emmerdale; the news – while other just disappear. Do you know that there are people alive who think Magnum just made fancy choc ices? Poor buggers. In the 80s, a lot of women would have happily treated themselves to a Magnum. It was the ’tache and chest hair that did it. Why isn’t he still solving crimes (if indeed that’s what he did. I just remember the loud shirts and the hair)? We know he’s alive. We saw him kissing Monica a few years ago.

Which brings me to the reason for these thoughts. Why isn’t Friends still on?

When I watch the repeats, I am now older than most of them. I feel like the only one who can’t find the elixir of youth in John Lewis. It’s in the perfumey section, which always makes me flustered as I march straight through it to the toilets.

I saw Jennifer Aniston on The Ellen DeGeneres Show dismissing a Friends reunion even though the audience were giddy at the prospect. Apparently co-creator Marta Kauffman has put the final nail in the coffin by saying it’s never going to happen. Booo!

At first I thought that it was selfish considering how many people they could make happy if they did get back together for one last show. Then I remembered what reunions are. I’ve never been to a school reunion. Mainly because I’m still in touch with my two friends and after them, I only really liked the teachers. I’m pretty sure no one invites teachers to school reunions.

And yes, I do meet up with some of my old colleagues from when I worked on a till, on a popcorn stand, in a Job Centre, in an office and in a recording studio. We meet up. We talk about old times. We discuss the hideous uniforms and the time only two of us dressed up on Christmas Eve. Our theme was “bad taste” and no one noticed we were dressed up. CRAZY, CRAZY TIMES.

So yes, I do meet up with them. As I’m sure the cast from Friends have the odd Nando’s together. But it would take a lot more than a baying crowd at Ellen’s show to get me back behind that till in a ponytail and a nylon skirt that caused sparks as I walked. Or chipping the cheese off the walls in the cinema in a T-shirt that smelled of hot dogs.

Some things you just shouldn’t revisit. I’ve never done fancy dress since. Just in case no one notices.