If you’d have walked through the doors of FHM HQ on an uncomfortably hot day in June, you’d have witnessed a team divided.
On one side of the office, writers were rubbing their eyes in disbelief next to slack-jawed section editors staring down coffee cups in shock.
On the other side, social media mangers were spitting out apologies as interns crawled under their desks to seek shelter. All this, because of a TV show.
This was the week that TFI Friday made a one-off comeback: the iconic, anarchic ’90s telly series that once aired Geri Halliwell and Kylie Minogue snogging (YouTube it), Shaun Ryder F-bombing (YouTube it), Slipknot scaring (YouTube it), and a whole load of assorted offending at the dangerously early time of 6pm.
But the team were firmly split in half over it. No matter how many times the guys in the office who were born pre-1989 squealed ‘Wiiiiiiiiiill’ or sang It’s Your Letters, there was no convincing the babies of the mid-’90s that seeing a 49-year-old ginger and his nerdy pal was a shit-hot show you should just bleeding well know about, never mind one you should bother staying in on a Friday evening for.
Throwbacks to the ’90s haven’t just been occurring on your TV screens, though. Stick on the radio and you’ll hear rappers such as A$AP Rocky spinning up hip-hop good enough to stand out in the golden year of ’94, and look on the high street and you’ll see powerhouse brands Calvin Klein, Ellesse and Fila once again on our sweatshirts.
You could even head down to your local park and watch pretty ladies stroll by in dungarees, crop tops and high-waisted jeans as they channel your girl crushes of two decades ago. Or, if a park is out of reach, just take a look at the incredible Miss Amy Willerton – ’90s child, ex-Miss Universe Great Britain and former Pokémon collector – over the following pages, and try telling us we’re wrong. The ’90s are back, and here’s your sexy proof.
Hi Amy! You know, there’s only one way to truly tell if you’re a child of the ’90s.
Oh yeah? Go on.
It’s a major test…
A big one…
Finish these lyrics: “In West Philadelphia, born and raised…”
On the playground was where I spent most of my days! Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool… The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air! Ah, it would have been terrible if I didn’t know that, especially as I was in I’m A Celebrity... with Alfonso Ribeiro [who played Carlton]. That’s got to be the most legit Fresh Prince experience ever, right?
Yes! What was your biggest ’90s playground craze?
It had to be Pokémon cards. I still have my massive folder filled with them. I collected hundreds and hundreds, but I stopped when I got
hold of an Ancient Mew card. When I got that, I sorta became a Pokémon playground legend and retired.
What was the first single you bought in the ’90s ?
Hmm. The first album was obviously Spiceworld…
OK then: Baby, Scary, Posh, Ginger or Sporty?
It was all about Baby Spice. I was obsessed and always had my hair in bunches. At the end of last year I was at a Peter Andre concert and Emma Bunton sat down right next to me. I actually let out a scream, so I had to leave the room because I was so embarrassed. It’s weird – I’ve met a lot of famous people, but when it’s someone from your childhood, no matter how cool you are, you just become a kid again. You freak out.
What about: Billy, Barry, G-Funk, Noo-Noo or Titzzz?
You don’t know?
They were in a band called The Fibs? Had a number one called We’re Only Pulling Your Leg, Amy?
Never heard of it.
Why do you think girls are looking like they’ve just jumped out of the ’90s? Sexy ladies are loving dungarees and high-waisted jeans again, right?
Well, I’m thinking, “Thank the Lord!”. I’ve always dressed like it’s still 1999, and now wearing clothes like that is cool, people think I’m cool! Everything’s cyclical though, isn’t it. In another 20 years, crop tops will be cool again.
Looking at these shots, it’s actually spooky how much you look like ’90s supermodel Cindy Crawford…
I always seem to get compared to models from the ’90s. Cindy mainly, and a young Janice Dickinson I get a lot, too. Obviously, I’m extremely flattered to get comparisons to such incredible women!
Flash forward to 2015, and you’ve had a bloody brilliant year.
I have! I’ve finally moved out to America after wanting to do it for ages. I just thought, “Let’s go for it!”. It’s been a total life changer. I’ve become a proper Californian girl and gone blonde again. I used to spend about 80% of my time indoors, and now I’m in the US it’s the other way around. I’m outside all of the time – surfing, doing yoga, running, riding horses and fishing.
We saw you channeling your inner Robson Green and hooking whoppers on your Instagram…
Yep! I was catching Bluegills in Indiana. I mean, I used to camp a lot with my parents when I was young, but I never actually went fishing. When I was last in Bristol I told my Grandad that I’d been out fishing and actually caught fish, and he was so proud.
Would you ever go ‘noodling’?
What is that?
It’s fishing for giant catfish with your bare hands. You ram your hand into a catfish hole, grab it by the mouth and then pull it out.
Well, it sounds lovely. If someone asked me, then yeah, why not. I’m not really a squeamish sort of girl so I’d be up for it. Although, the first worm I threaded on to the hook when I was fishing definitely wanted to live. I felt sorta bad doing it, but it worked because within five minutes I’d hooked a big one.
What other awesome skills have you learned since living like an American?
I’m still learning about all the sports out there. When I went to see the LA Clippers play basketball, the guys I was with played a trick on me, so every time the Clippers scored I screamed, “Yay, touchdown!”. That was pretty embarrassing. Seeing the Dodgers playing baseball was awesome, too, but the most ridiculous thing so far was being at that UFC Ronda Rousey fight that lasted 14 seconds. She’s incredible.
Didn’t you hit up the Indy 500 too?
That. Was. So. Cool. The atmosphere is mega. If you sit right at the top of the stands, you see the whole circular lap, and even way up there you get deafened by the noise and feel the tension.
What sorta stuff would you be willing to do to get some airtime on the big sports screen?
Oh, like crowd cam? Well, there’s the obvious thing a girl can do to grab attention, but would I do it? Hmm… I don’t know.
Which sporting venue do you reckon has the best eats?
It’s gotta be Dodger Stadium. You get hotdogs and chicken wings there, instead of just one or the other, so I was really impressed. The beer is pretty standard everywhere though. It’s not great.
Are there any other American eats that blow you away?
Everyone needs to try pretzel cheddar beer. It is honestly amazing. It’s a pretzel that comes with a huge bowl of cheesy beer sauce. I’d never even heard of it before I came to the States, but it’s so, so good. Oh God, this definitely isn’t a health and fitness interview, is it?
It sounds like you’re on a permanent holiday, Amy.
Ha ha, it does, doesn’t it? But actually, I’ve got some amazing work coming up, too. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to tell you, though…
Well, I’ve been working with Jack Osbourne and his production company on something so cool. They’ve commissioned a pilot episode around me, and we started filming in July. It’s so exciting, but that’s all you’re getting!
We haven’t totally lost you to the Americans though, have we?
No way! You can take the Brit out of Britain and all that… no, I’m still in love with home. Like, I went to Stonehenge the other day! You can’t do that in America. I’m really a closet wizard geek.
No, really! I actually believe I was a dragon slayer in a previous life.
I love everything to do with fantasy. I love getting lost in video games like Fable or Dragon Age. I’ve got an amazing plan for when I’m old and retire, actually. Instead of going into a home I’m gonna buy myself a La-Z-Boy and plug myself into an Xbox or PlayStation. I’m basically gonna be a dragon-slaying OAP. That’s a bloody good way to spend your final days.