Friends scripts found in bin 25 years ago sell for £22,000

A pair of Friends scripts found in a bin 25 years ago have sold at auction for £22,000, despite their value previously estimated to stand at no more than £800.

Auctioneers at Hanson Ross in Hertfordshire said they were “flabbergasted” by the “phenomenal global interest” in the scripts of The One With Ross’ Wedding, season four’s famous two-part finale.

The saleroom’s head of operations, Amanda Butler, told Sky News their phonelines were swamped with bids far exceeding the initial valuation on Thursday, the day before the auction.

But bidders “went crazy” for the scripts – which were meant to be destroyed after filming for the episodes in 1998 – and went beyond expectations.

“I just can’t believe the result and the impact this find has had,” she said on Friday. “The global interest was phenomenal, we’ve all been flabbergasted.”

A total of 219 bids were made in advance of the sale on Friday afternoon, with interest from all over the world, including the US, Germany, Spain, Australia, Ukraine, Dubai and Switzerland.

While it is not clear who the scripts belonged to, they have the name John Lanzer on them, who was a British set designer.

Image: Part 2 of the script. Pic: Hanson Ross

Both episodes were filmed and set in London and the scripts were found a couple of weeks after all the scenes had been wrapped up at Fountain Studios in Wembley by a now-retired Londoner.

“It was part of my job to ensure everything was tidy and no rubbish was left around,” said the 60-year-old, who worked in admin support and helped to distribute tickets for the studio audience.

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“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 left her job in 1999 and “swept everything into a big cardboard box” when clearing her desk, admitting she forgot the scripts were among the pile of paperwork.

Part of the script. Pic: Hanson Ross
Image: Part of the script. Pic: Hanson Ross

They had remained in her bedside drawer ever since.

“I could have quite easily thrown them out,” she said.

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“Recently I’ve been clearing my house ahead of a move and I came across them again.”

The unnamed 60-year-old discoverer said the scripts “deserve to be owned by a huge Friends fan”, as she admitted she’s not crazy about the show as American humour is “different to ours”.

Source : Sky News