Why can't Friends organise a proper reunion?

The cast of Friends
Marie Louise McConville

Oh dear, and we were so close too.

After waiting more than a decade (12 years to be exact), finally, we thought we were going to have the reunion we had all dreamed about, talked about and tweeted about - and then it all fell apart, AGAIN.

My emotions have been all over the place this week because some people just can’t decide what is actually happening.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who was a massive fan of US sitcom, Friends.

It was addictive Friday night viewing and something about it just made everything ok.

No matter what was going on in your life, 30 minutes with Monica, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Rachel, provided the perfect escape.

It really was like being part of the best gang of mates ever.

There was Monica, who was the great cook and always made nice nibbles.

There was Chandler, who always provided plenty of laughs.

There was Rachel, who always had a drama going on which brought plenty of entertainment.

Then, there was Ross, the caring one, who was ready with plenty of hugs when your day had been particularly woeful.

Then there was Phoebe and her guitar and her constant renditions of `Smelly Cat’, which always brought a smile.

And, then of course, there was Joey, who would keep us on tenterhooks with unbelievable tales of his latest bedroom antics.

Of course, they always gathered at the coollest coffee shop `Central Perk’ and no matter what, there was always laughs, tears, emotions, drama and love on offer in every episode.

Then, to the horror of fans, after 10 years the series came to an end, leaving us all abandoned.

Like many of my age group, I grew up with Friends, so it was always among the topics of discussion whenever I would get together with my real life pals.

Apart from anything else, it was educational (just like Sex and The City), teaching us fans (especially us gals) all about men and giving us helpful dating tips. I learned a lot from it.

Of course, the characters had to grow up, some got married, had babies, changed jobs and generally lived their lives but then in September 1994, they signed off permanently.

I'm sure I wasn't the only who missed the gang.

However, time passed and we all moved on but then, over the years, every now and then, us fans were teased by rumours of a Friends reunion but it never happened.

Then just days ago, 12 years after that famous New York apartment door closed for the final time, it seemed it was actually happening.

Oh yes, much to our joy, we were told that our favourite pals would be reuniting for a two-hour TV special on NBC - or so we thought.

Finally, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer were said to be coming together but only for a special broadcast on February 21 in tribute to comedy director James Burrows.

Ok, so it wasn't an actual two-hour Friends reunion but it was close enough and I was over the moon.

However, my celebration was short lived when Matthew Perry, who was my favourite, revealed he would not be attending the event because he will be in London on February 21, although he will introduce his former cast mates.

Darn you Chandler Bing, I mean Matthew or whatever your name is. Why are you doing this to us?

Did the time we spend together mean nothing? Did all the gallons of ice-cream I ate while snuggled up in bed while watching you every Friday night mean nothing?

I'm so disappointed.

Why is it so difficult for these guys to get together for a little while for the sake of the fans?

Selfish, that's all it is.

So much for all the promises you made to us.

Ok, so my job is not a joke, I'm not broke (well, not completely) and my love life's not DOA but still, you have no intention of being there for us at all, it would seem.


If the January Blues have taken hold and you’ve found yourself in a rut, how about some fabulous new make-up for 2016?

Paddy McGurgan has transformed some of the most recognised faces on television, including Yasmin Le Bon and the girls from The Saturdays and as well as having worked behind the scenes at Paris Fashion Week, he has also picked up a plethora of coveted awards, including the title of All Ireland Bridal Make-up Artist.

And with three Paddy McGurgan Make Up Pro Stores now open around Northern Ireland, at Royal Avenue in Belfast, Hill Street in Newry and most recently, Pump Street in Derry, you can now also feel fabulous.

The stores offer make-up applications perfect for a night out with the girls or that all important awards bash.

Also on offer are hour-long make-up lessons, one-day courses and a nine-week make-up academy with Paddy at the helm.

Or if you simply want to pick up a few new items for your make-up bag, you can choose products from an array of well-known brands, including Illamasqua, Make up Studio and Make up Atelier.

I have three £50 vouchers to give away for Paddy McGurgan’s Make Up Pro Stores.

If you fancy winning a voucher, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is Tuesday, January 26 at 12 Noon.


(Q) Name the three cities where Paddy McGurgan’s stores are located in Northern Ireland.

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


What's Hot?

Return - Ross Kemp is to return to EastEnders to reprise his role as Grant Mitchell after nine years. The 51-year-old actor will return in the coming months as his on-screen mum, Peggy Mitchell, played by Barbara Windsor, loses her battle with cancer.

Pitter Patter - Actress Keri Russell is expecting a baby with boyfriend and co-star, Matthew Rhys. The couple, who have been together since 2013, star together in the popular FX series, The Americans. Lovely news.

Remake - Steve Coogan and John C Reilly are to star in a new BBC film called Stan & Ollie. Written by Jeff Pope, the movie will tell the story of Laurel and Hardy's final tour in 1953. Could be fun.

So Not!

Bad Decision - Former Westlife star Nicky Byrne is to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden in May. The 37-year-old will perform Sunlight, a song he has co-written, in the hope of securing a win for Ireland. Terrible decision Nicky.

Outrage - There was outrage this week after it was revealed that Kraft Foods, the owner of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, has reportedly changed the recipe and instead of using Cadbury’s Dairy Milk for the shell, is now using a "standard cocoa mix chocolate". Oh dear, chocoholics are not happy.

Lazy - Finally, research has confirmed that men are at their laziest on a Sunday. Scientists found that men spend 64 per cent of their time sitting on a Saturday while they spend two thirds of their time sitting or reclining on a Sunday.



The winners of the Try Not To Breathe competition are Mary White, from Derry; Pauline McCurdy, from Belfast; Rosemary Brown, from Killinchy;

Anne McCann, from Coleraine; and Jennie Marie Fitzsimons, from Downpatrick


Easy Peasy Recipe

This week’s Easy Peasy Recipe is Cauliflower, Paneer and Pea Curry

You will need:

2 tbsp sunflower oil

225g paneer, cut into cubes

1 head of cauliflower broken up

2 onions sliced thickly

2 crushed garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp tikka masala paste

200g frozen peas

small handful of chopped coriander

naan bread

To Make:

In a pan, heat one tbsp of oil and fry the paneer until crispy. Remove and set aside.

In the pan, add the remaining oil and the cauliflower, cook until brown. Add the onions and cook for another five minutes.

Stir in the garlic and curry paste. Add 250ml of water.

Cover and cook for 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Add the frozen peas and crispy paneer to the pan and cook for five minutes.

Stir through the coriander.

Serve with naan bread

Do you have an Easy Peasy recipe you would like to share?

You can send your name, address, contact number and recipe (plus photo if possible) to:

Easy Peasy Recipes,

Marie Louise McConville,

Irish News

113-117 Donegall Street,




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