TFI Friday, the flagship Channel 4 youth series, is regarded as
’naff TV’, according to new qualitative research carried out for
The verdict comes as the late showing of the Chris Evans-fronted
programme recorded its lowest ever ratings, 17 per cent down on
Universal McCann’s Cognito research revealed that consumer groups
segmented TFI Friday alongside ’naff’ shows such as Blind Date and
Noel’s House Party, which they deemed as passive, ’get your ironing
The disenchantment that the qualitative groups felt with Chris Evans is
evident from comments such as ’the show has just become a vehicle for
his ego’ and it’s ’the same old stuff he was doing two years ago’.
At the same time, qualitative statements - such as ’my dad watches it’ -
are reflected by a rise in the audience’s age: while 63 per cent of
viewers were aged 16 to 34 years in 1996, only 58 per cent now fall into
the same category.
Fiona Smedley, joint managing director of Universal McCann, said that
although TFI Friday is still a strong part of Channel 4’s youth
schedule, its popularity is waning. ’In the same way that Blind Date
went from ’must see’ to ’naff’, TFI has gone through that curve. But
shows move through the pattern much faster than they used to,’ she
Ratings also indicate a competitive threat from BBC2, where The Simpsons
is drawing viewers from Channel 4. During the early evening TFI Friday
show, BBC2 has more than doubled its 16- to 34-year-old share of viewing
year on year to 37 per cent, while Channel 4’s share dropped from 26 per
cent to 17 per cent (BARB).
Universal McCann handles media planning and buying for BSkyB.