12 January 2024

Friends scripts found in bin from Ross’s UK wedding episodes sell at auction

12 January 2024

A pair of TV scripts from hit US sitcom Friends, which were found in a bin 25 years ago, have sold at a UK auction for £22,000.

The scripts, from The One With Ross’s Wedding Part I and Part II, were estimated to sell for between £600 and £800 before “crazy” global interest descended.

A total of 219 bids were made from all over the world including the US, Germany, Spain, Australia, Ukraine, Dubai and Switzerland – while the eventual owner was an online international bidder.

Auctioneers at Hanson Ross in Hertfordshire said they were “flabbergasted” by the “phenomenal global interest” in the scripts – which should have been destroyed straight after filming in 1998.

The scripts were found by chance at London’s Fountain Studios in Wembley Park by a former staff member and laid in her bedside drawer for more than 20 years, the auction house said.

“I used to work in admin support at Fountain Studios. I never saw any of the Friends cast but I remember it was madly busy,” the 60-year-old retired seller, who lives in London, said.

“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.”

The seller said she left Fountain Studios in 1999 and cleared her desk – including the scripts – into a big cardboard box mixed up with paperwork.

She added: “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.”

The scripts are from season four episode 23 and 24, where Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courteney Cox), Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Joey (Matt Le Blanc) travel to London where Ross (David Schwimmer) marry’s Emily (Helen Baxendale).

The episode sees Joey meet Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, while Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) stays in the US where she is a surrogate for her brother’s triplets.

Amanda Butler, head of operations at Hanson Ross, said: “I just can’t believe the result and the impact this find has had. Bidders went crazy for these scripts. The global interest was phenomenal.

“(The seller) bought the scripts along to our saleroom for valuation. I’m a huge Friends fan so I was really excited to see them.

“…They 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. The interest – and result – underlines the fact that Friends is one of the biggest TV shows of all time.

“The final show aired 20 years ago in 2004 but millions still watch it and love it,” Ms Butler added.

It comes after the death of cast member Perry in October last year, whose death was ruled an accident from the “acute effects of ketamine”.

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