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Friends TV scripts – found in a bin decades ago – set to be auctioned in Royston

Fans of American TV comedy Friends have the chance to bid on original scripts from the popular show – found in a bin 25 years ago.

Two Friends scripts, The One with Ross’s Wedding Part I and Part II, which should have been destroyed straight after filming in London decades ago, have been discovered by Hertfordshire auction house Hanson Ross.

Amanda Butler, head of operations at the Royston-based firm, said: “They were bought along to our saleroom for valuation and we were amazed.

Friends fans will absolutely love these. They sweep us back to 1998 when Ross, Monica, Joey, Chandler and Rachel travelled to England to see Ross (David Schwimmer) marry his fiancée Emily (Helen Baxendale) in London.

“The two scripts were found at a TV studio which is no longer there. Apparently, the cast and crew were ordered to destroy their copies so the ending wouldn’t be leaked.

“However, these two slipped through the net. We’re guiding them at £600-£800 but thanks to the show’s huge global appeal who knows where the hammer may fall.

Friends’ final show aired 20 years ago in 2004 but it’s still watched and enjoyed by millions.”

The scripts were discovered by chance in 1998 by a former staff member at Fountain Studios, Wembley, the place where the two Friends episodes were filmed.

The 60-year-old retired Londoner said: “I used to work in admin support at the studios. I never saw any of the Friends cast but I remember it was madly busy.

“There was a real buzz about the place and I did my best to help. They needed a studio audience and I helped to distribute tickets to people who won a London radio station competition to watch Friends being filmed.

“Only recently I discovered a ticket inside one of the scripts. I found them in a bin a couple of week’s after filming had finished.

“It was part of my job to ensure everything was tidy and no rubbish was left around. I wasn’t sure what to do with them so just put them in my office drawer.

“I remember wondering which member of the cast they might have belonged to.

“I left Fountain Studios in 1999 and when I came to clear my desk I just swept everything into a big cardboard box. I forget the scripts were there. They were mixed up in a pile of paperwork.

“It wasn’t until I checked through the box a few months later that I found them. They ended up in a bedside drawer and they’ve been there ever since.

“I could have quite easily have thrown them out. Recently I’ve been clearing my house ahead of a move and I came across them again.

“I was visiting family in Hertfordshire and decided to take them for valuation at Hanson Ross. It will be exciting to see what they make at auction.

“Funnily enough, I’m not a big Friends fan. I don’t dislike the show but I only recently watched the episodes I have the scripts for.

“American humour is different to ours. These scripts deserve to be owned by a big Friends fan.”

American sitcom Friends, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, was shown on NBC from 1994 to 2004 and lasted for 10 series.

Starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, it is one of the most popular TV shows of all time.

The series finale, which aired on May 6, 2004, was watched by 52.5 million American viewers. The series was nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards and won the Outstanding Comedy Series award in 2002 for its eighth season. The show is ranked number 21 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

The scripts are being offered tomorrow (January 12) by Hanson Ross (Lot 272). View the catalogue at hansonslive.hansonsauctioneers.co.uk/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/466.

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