Angela Scanlon sits down with a host of celebrity guests to revisit cultural highlights from the noughtiest decade, in a 10-part series for BBC Two.
It was the decade that brought us J.Lo’s green gown, Big Brother, The Da Vinci Code, Adele’s debut album and brand Beckham was born. We fell crazy in love with Beyoncé, got introduced to David Brent, discovered who shot Phil and learned how to keep dancing with Bruce and Tess.
In The Noughties, Angela will be joined by two celebrity guests each week, where they’ll discuss the films, music, dramas, comedies, fashion and entertainment highlights that shaped every year between 2000-2009. Audiences can expect lively discussion, funny observations and friendly disagreements about the best of noughties pop culture, year by year, show by show – with people who were there and in the know.
What appealed to you most about being part of The Noughties?
I love the Noughties! It was a glorious reason to leave the house off the back of lockdown and an opportunity to look back at some of those moments that myself and our guests had forgotten about and celebrate a time that was a little bit more innocent and hopeful!
How was that experience of filming with the new guidelines in place?
It was really weird and it was really hot! Everyone had masks on and we had a giant tent so our guests could sit two metres apart.
Like with all of these things, they get normal pretty quickly. The brilliant thing was that we had a great bunch of guests involved, all of whom had been at home for a number of months and were just delighted to get out of the house and be giddy whilst talking about these moments and remembering where they were twenty years ago.
You revisit some incredible moments from the noughties, can you tell us about a few that stuck out to you?
I think the significance of Big Brother as a kind of cultural barometer was one. We were looking at all of these people, somebody that you could identify with, that were completely unedited and completely unscripted in this little fishbowl, talking about things that usually you only talk about in secret. I think that was oddly liberating for people sitting at home. That was really significant and I think it’s only become apparent in hindsight just how big that was.
You know what was mad? The rise of the makeover show. There was Would Like To Meet and What Not To Wear with Trinny (Woodall) and Susannah (Constantine). When you look back at those clips they were absolutely brutal to people! Again it feels so quaint and odd that people would not know what to wear. I think we’ve got to a point where everybody feels like they have their own individual sense of style and not this kind of copy and paste formula which is what we were being fed then. So that feels really old school!
David Blaine is definitely stand out – it’s just such an odd weird thing, him dangling over the Thames for no real reason in in a glass box. Then we have that MTV moment with Christina, Britney and Madonna – is there a more iconic moment? Britney and Justin, maybe! The Beckhams were so prolific, and Victoria’s evolution all the way through. She came out through the Spice Girls, then the whole brand Beckham which she masterminded, there was the really wild scrutiny on her in that Parkinson interview. It was quite amazing to see a young woman deal with being under that spotlight.
What one piece of advice would you give to noughties Angela?
“Lay off the fake tan babe, honestly, or at least get some sort of colour match.” It was that sun shimmer, you know the one! I used to have a fringe which I can only describe as crispy. It was the kind of fringe that was straightened and then hair-sprayed so that it was crispy, which would mean that the front of it never moved, regardless of the weather or the conditions that I was in. But underneath it, the part close to my skin would become a little bit frizzy, and it was like its own climate under there. So I’d say, “Step away from the hairspray, step away from the fake tan.”
You mentioned the Spice Girls – who would make up your ideal noughties girl band if you could create one? You could be in there too!
Oh I’m 100% in there! I feel like Kylie has got to be in there. Sharon Osborne, because the Osbornes and that reality show were so weird and brilliant. Halle Berry, the first black actress to win a Best Actress Oscar, that Bond moment, and her generally. I’m going to have to put in Carrie Bradshaw, and I would put in Catherine Tate as Lauren.
What noughties fashion craze would you most want to bring back and which one do you hope never comes back?
I’m not going to lie, of late I have reacquainted myself with my UGG boots and I’m not ashamed to say it. At the time I would have thought, “Burn them and never return.”
However, there’s something to be said for a hug for the feet. I’m going to say the hipster jean which is starting to edge its way back needs to stay in the noughties. I’m talking about a hipster where there’d be a visible thong, remember that moment?
What do you hope audiences get from watching The Noughties?
I hope they just remember the innocence of us all. I think the whole show is quite nostalgic and it feels nostalgic to even do a show like this. So it brought me back to times when the most pressing thing on your to-do list was to read The Da Vinci Code and make sure that you were up to date. Or I think one of the most glorious things was Huw Edwards on the news, talking about what happened in EastEnders that night. To me in 2020 when the news is literally apocalyptic, the idea of sitting down and being like, “What’s on the soaps?” is like watching This Morning at ten o’clock at night. It feels quite joyful and innocent and lovely.
The Noughties starts on BBC Two on Wednesday 21 October at 10pm. Stream it via BBC iPlayer.