Rare scripts from sitcom classic Friends sold for thousands at Hertfordshire auction after being found in a bin

They should have been destroyed but were recovered
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Two extremely rare scripts from the beloved 90s sitcom Friends have been sold for thousands at a Hertfordshire auction after being found in a bin.

Today (12 January), Saleroom Hanson Ross has confirmed the scripts were sold after a flurry of international interest.

Friends scripts were supposed to be destroyed by the cast and crew after filming, but one buyer has got their hands on scripts for Ross’s Wedding Part I and Part II.

Amanda Butler, head of Hanson Ross Auctioneers, with the Friends scriptsAmanda Butler, head of Hanson Ross Auctioneers, with the Friends scripts
Amanda Butler, head of Hanson Ross Auctioneers, with the Friends scripts

After the filming of the two-part finale for season four in 1998, the scripts should have been destroyed. Instead, they were found by chance at London’s Fountain Studios in Wembley, by a former staff member who then kept them in her bedside drawer for 20 years.

Hanson Ross set an estimate of £600-£800 for the scripts, but that price was quickly blown out the water. A total of 219 advance bids were registered from all across the world including the USA, Germany, Spain, Australia, Ukraine, Dubai and Switzerland. An online bidder, whose identity has not been revealed, ended up paying £28,864 for the rare memorabilia.

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Amanda Butler, head of operations at Hanson Ross, Royston, Hertfordshire, 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. I was inundated with interview requests and stories appeared on multiple news networks including CNN, Fox, BBC and ITV. We’ve all been flabbergasted - including the seller. She came to the saleroom to watch the drama unfold and she was shell-shocked!

The Friends scripts and a ticket for the studio audience in 1998 - photo from Hanson RossThe Friends scripts and a ticket for the studio audience in 1998 - photo from Hanson Ross
The Friends scripts and a ticket for the studio audience in 1998 - photo from Hanson Ross

“The interest - and result - underlines the fact that Friends is one of the biggest TV shows of all time.”

Friends remains one of the most-streamed shows on Netflix and has endured since finishing in 2004.

The seller, a 60-year-old retired Londoner, 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. 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 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.

“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. They deserved to go to a big Friends fan so this is a perfecting ending.”