The long-awaited Friends reunion will be broadcast later this month with the original six protagonists along with numerous celebrity guests, including Malala Yousafzai and David Beckham.
Streaming service HBO Max said it will show the unscripted, one-off special on May 27th following frequent delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. A date for it to be shown on this side of the Atlantic has yet to be announced.
HBO said along with Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry, more than 15 celebrity guests would make cameo appearances.
These include former cast members Tom Selleck, who played Monica's former boyfriend Richard, and Maggie Wheeler who played Janice, Chandler's former partner known for her shrill laughter.
From the music industry, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and K-pop band BTS will also feature in "Friends: The Reunion" along with Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington.
A teaser video shared on social media showed the six original cast members walking arm-in-arm across a studio lot.
The video was accompanied by a down-tempo version of the US sitcom’s theme tune I’ll Be There for You by The Rembrandts. A caption described the special as “The One Where We Get to See Our Favourites Back Together Again”.
Cox wrote on Instagram: “This kind of thing doesn’t happen every year, or even every 10, or 15 years. I feel so blessed to have had a chance to reunite with my Friends ... and it was better than ever.”
Aniston, referencing a line from an early episode of the show, said: “Could we BE any more excited?!”
The cast will not be in character and will appear as themselves in the special, which was filmed earlier this year on Stage 24 of the Warner Bros lot in Burbank, Los Angeles, the same sound stage as the original comedy.
Friends ended its 10 year-run on NBC television in 2004 and became one of the most popular television shows synonymous with 90s culture.
The idea of a Friends reunion was originally met with mixed reactions from critics and fans.
When rumours of the reunion first surfaced in November 2019, the Guardian's Stuart Heritage wrote: "Another shot, even for a truckload of cash, would only further diminish what Friends once was. In the still very recent words of Jennifer Aniston, a reunion won't be even close to as good as what it was, so why do it?" –Guardian