Fans of Friends have a rare chance to bid on original scripts from the Season 4 finale, giving them ownership of a piece of the show’s past. The script was found in a garbage bin at the London location of Fountain Studios, where “The One with Ross’ Wedding” was shot, in 1998. First, a staff member saved the found scripts, which included the unforgettable wedding of Ross Geller and Emily Waltham, from destruction. The anonymous seller discovered them while cleaning up after years of storage in a nightstand drawer. To avoid spoilers, Amanda Butler, who is in charge of the auction, disclosed that the actors and staff were told to burn their copies. This script is now put up for auction by the unidentified vendor, who was hoping for offers between £600 and £800 (about Rs 63,000 and Rs 84,000).
Amanda told Hanson Auctioneers, “Bidders went crazy for these scripts. We’ve all been flabbergasted, including the seller. She brought the scripts along to our salesroom 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. Friends’ final show aired 20 years ago in 2004 but it’s still watched and enjoyed by millions.”
How the Londoner found the script
The retired Londoner told how, while working as administrative assistance at Fountain Studios during the Friends production, she came across the scripts. She didn’t meet the cast directly, but the vibe was lively and vibrant. The individual assisted in ticket distribution to the winners of a radio station competition in London who came to the filming as studio audience members. She claimed to have discovered the scripts a few weeks after filming wrapped up when she was looking through a pile and discovered a ticket inside one of the screenplays from the dumpster. Unsure about their origin, the scripts ended up in her office drawer.
When she hurriedly packed her things to leave Fountain Studios in 1999, she didn’t realize she had forgotten the scripts. But a few months later, she was checking the box when she discovered the scripts. Putting them in a drawer by the bed, they stayed there until a recent house clean-out in preparation for a move. After seeing relatives in Hertfordshire, the owner decided to have them appraised at Hanson Ross. She didn’t watch Friends, but she understood the scripts’ cultural significance and thought they should be in the collection of a dedicated fan of the show.
Friends, which was developed by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, ran for ten seasons on NBC successfully from 1994 and 2004. A remarkable ensemble of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer appeared in the sitcom. On May 6, 2004, the series finale was broadcast, drawing a record-breaking 52.5 million viewers. Friends won the Outstanding Comedy Series prize in 2002 for its eighth season, earning 62 Emmy Award nominations.
By: Gursharan Kaur