Final episode of 'Friends' to be shot behind closed doors

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The Independent US

The final episode of the decade-long American sitcom Friends is to be filmed partly behind closed doors over the next fortnight.

The audience will not be allowed to watch some sections of the recording in an attempt to prevent plot twists leaking out before the episode's scheduled screening in the United States on 29 April. The episode will be shown on Channel 4 on 28 May.

The six actors in the show - David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox Arquette, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry - said this week that they were sad the show was coming to an end.

LeBlanc will reprise his Friends role of Joey Tribbiani in a spinoff series called Joey which is scheduled for later this year. LeBlanc said Friends had taken "a third of my life".

Aniston, who plays Rachel Green, said: "We're like very delicate china right now." Kudrow, who plays Phoebe Bouffet, added: "And we're going to smash into a million pieces. It's a deeper loss than I was expecting."

Shooting on the final episode begins on Friday in Burbank, California, with only key personnel allowed in the studio for some scenes.

Friends is one of the top ten television shows in Britain, attracting nearly four million viewers per episode.

Schwimmer, who plays the character of Ross Geller in the show, said: "We will end up with a sense of a new beginning and the audience has a sense that it's a new chapter in all of their lives."

Cox Arquette, who plays Monica Geller Bing and is expecting her first child in July, said she was looking forward to motherhood to take her mind off the end of the show.

Aniston, who is married to the actor Brad Pitt, said she would "definitely love to have two" children. She said: "I've liked working right now, but I also feel that this'll be probably the most important job I'll ever do, having a baby. That deserves time like my career deserves time."

She added: "Friends was fantastic. I bet I'll be able to say it was the time of my life."