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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 January, 2004, 20:06 GMT
Secrecy surrounds Friends finale
The Friends cast
LeBlanc (top left) will star in a spin-off show, Joey
The final episode of US sitcom Friends has been filmed with measures taken to stop the ending from being revealed.

The audience for the hour-long show consisted only of specially invited guests, while some scenes were filmed beforehand to maintain secrecy.

Peter Roth, president of Warner International Television, said he was "enormously satisfied" with the finale, which will be screened in the US in May

The show has been the most-watched sitcom on US TV for the past six years.

It has also transformed the show's close-knit cast of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer into global celebrities.

Before filming the show's end on Friday, Aniston told reporters the cast felt they were "speeding towards a brick wall".

Co-star Kudrow added: "Looking back on all the fun is not going to help me leave. I mean, that's exactly what I can't be thinking about because that's the saddest part for me."

The cast marked the end of the series with a party in a secret Los Angeles venue on Saturday night.

The final episode will air on NBC on 6 May, with the cost of placing a 30-second advertisement during the show reportedly reaching $2m (1.1m).

A spin off on LeBlanc's character, called Joey, is currently being developed by NBC.

NBC tones down praise of Friends
23 Jan 04  |  TV and Radio
LeBlanc signs for Friends spin-off
25 Jul 03  |  TV and Radio

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