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Blur, The Fresh Prince and Christian the lion: London’s top ten reunions

Posted at 10:30 am, June 22, 2014 in Fun London, Top 5

Led Zeppelin

1. Led Zeppelin
Musical reunions have become so de rigueur that new bands probably start planning their comebacks before they’ve broken up. Of the many rock reformations to choose from, the legendary 2007 concert at The O2 by the surviving members of Led Zeppelin is top of the list. Unfortunately, Robert Plant keeps stonewalling his bandmates’ suggestions of more gigs, so let’s hope he changes his mind before they all climb that stairway to heaven.

Jose Mourinho

2. José Mourinho and Chelsea
Short of either Becks or Fergie coming out of retirement to boost Man U’s ailing fortunes, there are few footballing reunions that could beat the return of Portuguese manager José Mourinho to Chelsea last year. His first season back might have ended trophy-less, but the Blues are still delighted to have the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ at the helm, if only for his trademark humility.

3. The cast of ‘Star Wars’
A long time ago in a studio not very far away, a beardy American bloke made a sci-fi trilogy that you may have heard of. That’s right, the ‘Star Wars’ movies were all filmed at Elstree Studios. Now, more than 35 years later, the main cast are reuniting: once again in our fair city. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and the other one have all signed up for JJ Abrams’s sequels (the first one, at least), currently filming at Pinewood Studios. It’s no surprise then that people refer to west London as the dark side.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 11.47.11

4. Monty Python
After 30 years of near-reunions, the comedy pioneers finally agreed last year to get back together this summer. Whether it will be a joyous reworking of timeless comedy moments or a tired, legacy-smearing rehash remains to be seen. At the very least, it should be funny watching John Cleese do the ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ sketch after two hip replacements.

Blur

5. Blur
They hadn’t been away for very long, and never officially split up, but Blur were welcomed back in 2009 with rapturous excitement. The band’s reunion gigs were deliriously fun occasions, and proof that you can pogo well into your forties. That’s how you cut down on your porklife, mate – get some exercise!

6. Wills and Kate
University sweethearts they might have been, but the fairytale union that has charmed the world nearly didn’t happen. The soon-to-be royal couple split for a period in 2007, but quickly realised the error of their ways and were reunited by the end of the year. Kate then became the first ‘commoner’ to marry a prince. ‘Commoner’ in the public-school-educated, millionaire-family-with-landedgentry- ancestry sense of the word.

7. The ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ cast
When Will Smith appeared on ‘The Graham Norton Show’ last year, he tried to top his previous visit to the London studio by performing the Fresh Prince rap with longstanding DJ collaborator Jazzy Jeff. Then, delivering the kind of money shot that only a Big Willy can, he brought on Alfonso Ribeiro (aka Carlton) to perform his famous arm-twirling dance. If the moment had been topped off with one of Uncle Phil’s motivational speeches, our lives really would have been flippedturned upside down.

8. Christian the lion and his owners
Believe it or not, Harrods used to sell both cocaine and exotic pets, including a lion cub bought by two Australians in the late ’60s, which they then raised in their Chelsea home. Within a couple of years, the amusingly named Christian outgrew their pad (who’d have thought?) and had to be rehomed in Kenya. But the Aussie duo went looking for him two years later, and the film of their reunion – in which Christian gives them huge lion hugs – became a documentary that will almost certainly melt your heart… once you’re sure he isn’t going to tear their faces off.

9. The Spice Girls
The girl-power gang decided to spice up their lives with a reunion tour in 2007: it was a big moment – they sold out an astonishing 17 nights at The O2. But, after a few months on the road, they cancelled the rest of the tour, sparking fury among fans in Australia, Asia, South Africa and South America. They reformed again (for about three minutes) at the Olympic Closing Ceremony, but have dismissed rumours of another tour. So much for ‘Viva Forever’.

10. Only Fools and Horses
When Del and Rodney finally struck it rich and said goodbye to Peckham in 1996, they left a Reliant Regal-sized hole in British comedy. Little surprise, then, that the hapless wheeler-dealers were welcomed back with open arms for a cushty Christmas reunion in 2001 (and again in 2002 and 2003). Show creator and writer John Sullivan passed away in 2011, but the duo reunited again this year for a Sport Relief special. Hopefully we’ll see them again before they say a final ‘bonjour’.

FInd more great London top tens.

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