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Who’s in and who’s out so far: Friends cast break their silence on upcoming reunion

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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On Friday we heard the hearts of millions of Friends fans all over the world shatter as Matthew Perry confirmed he will not be present for the recently-announced and eagerly anticipated cast reunion this year.

But we finally have more details from a cast member who will be there.

David Schwimmer says the plans have been kept discreet - “I have no idea of what’s expected of us — I honestly don’t” - and that he's flying in on the day of filming.

"From what I’ve been told from Sean Hayes [Will & Grace actor], we’re all going to come up on stage and talk about Jim [director James Burrows] and give him a hug.”

If you think that sounds disappointing, wait until you read the next part. Schwimmer also told FX's Television Critics Association panel that he's not calling it a reunion: "I mean, in no way is it a Friends reunion when one member is out of the country. But look, it's a great event. We all love James Burrows and I'm sure Matthew Perry would be there if he could, but he's working in London. Maybe one day there will be [a reunion], but this will not be it." 

However, it could be that there's more to the one-off, two hour episode than Schwimmer has been privy to. Hayes has reassured TV fans that it is worth getting excited for: "It's the reunion of all reunion shows. It's going to be unlike anything everyone's ever seen."

Matthew Perry with Courteney Cox in the final episode of Friends

Matthew Perry with Courteney Cox in the final episode of Friends

The special programme, which is a tribute to American sitcom director James Burrows who directed 15 episodes of Friends back in the day, will be filmed on 24 January and is set to hit screens on 21 February.

During a press tour in Pasadena, California, on Wednesday, NBC chief Robert Greenblatt told fans he was "hoping all six will be in the same room at the same time" but that he wasn't "sure we can logistically can pull it off".

Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing in the popular sitcom, is currently in London rehearsing for his West End debut in The End of Longing - a play written by the actor himself - and will be unable to make a trip across the pond for filming. 

“Regarding Matthew Perry and the James Burrows tribute, Matthew will not be attending, as he is in London in rehearsals for his play,” Perry’s representative Lisa Kastelar told US Weekly.

“NBC executives were aware of this prior to their TCA announcement yesterday. Matthew may tape something for the tribute. In other words, this is not the reunion people have been hoping for.”

However, it seems Jennifer Aniston (who played Rachel Green), Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani) and Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay) are all taking part in the one-off show. 

"I'm just thrilled that so many people will be there," said Schwimmer.

Matt LeBlanc (who played Joey Tribbiani) tweeted, "Should be a good time!" in response to the news of reuniting with his former co-stars which (almost) confirms his involvement.

Meanwhile, Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay) retweeted LeBlanc which hopefully means she's also taking part in the one-off special. Fingers crossed for a group rendition of smelly cat.

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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