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The creators of Friends have revealed that parts of the script for the final episode were leaked by an insider ahead of the show airing.

Simply titled The Last One, millions tuned in as the episode brought the hit comedy to a close 20 years ago, on 6 May 2004, finally resolving the decade-long “will they, won’t they?” romance between Ross and Rachel.

It was the end of an era for its stars – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer – and fans around the world.

Friends: The Reunion sees the cast back together on screen for the first time in 17 years. Pic: Sky/ Warner Media/ HBO
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The six Friends stars got together on screen for the first time in 17 years for a reunion in 2021. Pic: Sky/Warner Media/HBO

Looking back at the final shows in an interview with NBC’s Today show in the US, Friends creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane revealed details of the leak.

“Oh my god, we tried so hard to keep it a secret!” Kauffman said. “We were desperate to keep it a secret and it got out. And it was an inside job.”

Scripts sent out ahead of the premiere of the final episode were numbered, Crane explained.

“We knew how many people knew what it was going to be,” he said. “So it did, through an element of… it became a behind-the-scenes detective show.

“It was frustrating, but at the end of the day, what are you gonna do?”

FILE - Matthew Perry arrives at the premiere of "The Invention of Lying" in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 21, 2009. Perry, who starred as Chandler Bing in the hit series ...Friends,... has died. He was 54. The Emmy-nominated actor was found dead of an apparent drowning at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times and celebrity website TMZ, which was the first to report the news. Both outlets cited unnamed sources confirming Perry...s death. His publicists and other representatives did not immediately return messages seeking comment. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
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Matthew Perry, who died in 2023, was given the final line of the series. Pic: AP

Part of the script that leaked included the details of Ross and Rachel finally getting back together, Kauffman said.

But when asked if the mystery of who released the information was solved, she replied with a smile: “Ish.”

“Ish,” Crane repeated.

After 10 series and 236 episodes, as well as Ross and Rachel’s reunion, the final instalment saw Monica and Chandler leaving their famous Manhattan apartment and moving to the suburbs as new parents to adopted twins.

Perry, who died last year, aged 54, wrote about the finale in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, And The Big Terrible Thing.

Read more from Sky News:
Matthew Perry obituary: The one who made everyone laugh
The Friends reunion: The one where they got back together

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“Before that final episode, I’d taken Marta Kauffman to one side,” he wrote. “‘Nobody else will care about this except me’, I said. ‘So may I please have the last line?'”

His character Chandler did indeed have the last line. As the Friends decide to go for one last coffee before the move, he simply asks, “Where?”, in a trademark sarcastic but poignant joke about the fact that so much of their time on screen has been spent in the Central Perk coffee shop.

“It’s incredibly poignant. It’s a legacy for him, one of his many legacies,” Kauffman said.

Friends has found a new generation of fans in recent years after being picked up by streaming sites.

Earlier this year, two scripts for The One With Ross’s Wedding, season four’s famous two-part finale filmed in London, sold at auction for £22,000 after being found in a bin.

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GB News show with Rishi Sunak broke broadcasting rules, Ofcom finds

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GB News show with Rishi Sunak broke broadcasting rules, Ofcom finds

GB News could face punishment after a programme with Rishi Sunak broke broadcasting rules.

Regulator Ofcom said it was considering a “statutory sanction” after finding ‘People’s Forum: The Prime Minister’ breached impartiality guidelines.

GB News called it “an alarming development” that “strikes at the heart of democracy”.

The hour-long show, which aired on 12 February, saw members of the public put questions to the prime minister. However, it received 547 complaints.

Ofcom said in March that five other GB News programmes featuring politicians acting as presenters – including two hosted by Jacob Rees-Mogg – also broke impartiality rules.

The watchdog said the show featuring Mr Sunak was fine in principle, but “due weight” should have been given to an “appropriately wide range of significant views” other than the Tories’.

These should have happened during the programme itself or “in other clearly linked and timely programmes”.

It said Mr Sunak “had a mostly uncontested platform to promote the policies and performance of his Government in a period preceding a UK General Election”.

“We have therefore recorded a breach of rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code against GB News,” it added.

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The channel was quick to hit back at the ruling and denied breaking the impartiality rules.

“The regulator’s threat to punish a news organisation with sanctions for enabling people to challenge their own prime minister strikes at the heart of democracy at a time when it could not be more vital,” it said.

“Our live programme gave an independently selected group of undecided voters the freedom to challenge the Prime Minister without interference,” added the channel.

It said neither producers nor the prime minister had seen the questions beforehand and Mr Sunak was kept “under constant pressure and covered a clearly diverse range of topics”.

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P Diddy: Rapper Sean Combs says video of him assaulting singer Cassie is ‘inexcusable’

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P Diddy: Rapper Sean Combs says video of him assaulting singer Cassie is 'inexcusable'

Sean “Diddy” Combs has said CCTV footage showing him attacking singer Cassie in a hotel hallway in 2016 is “inexcusable” and that he is “disgusted”.

Warning: This story includes images readers may find distressing

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that,” the rapper said in a video on Instagram.

“I was f***** up – I mean I hit rock bottom – but l make no excuses. My behaviour on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I was disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it. I’m disgusted now.

“I went and I sought out professional help. I got into going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I’m so sorry. But I’m committed to be a better man each and every day. I’m not asking for forgiveness. I’m truly sorry.”

Pic: CNN via AP
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Pic: CNN via AP

Pic: CNN via AP
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Pic: CNN via AP

The 54-year-old, whose homes in Los Angeles and Miami were raided by Homeland Security Investigations agents in March, has faced a series of public allegations of physical and sexual violence.

Footage obtained by CNN this week shows Combs also known as P Diddy and Puff Daddy – wearing only a white towel as he punches and kicks Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel hallway on 5 March 2016.

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The footage also shows Combs shoving and dragging Cassie and throwing a vase in her direction.

Pic: CNN via AP
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Pic: CNN via AP

Cassie, an R&B singer whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, was his protege and girlfriend at the time.

The 37-year-old sued Combs in November with the lawsuit accusing him of rape and violent behaviour during their decade-long relationship.

The suit was settled the next day, but it lead to intense scrutiny of Combs, who has since been named as a defendant in several sexual abuse lawsuits, along with a federal criminal sex-trafficking investigation that led authorities to the raid in March.

Sean Combs and Cassie in 2017. Pic: PA
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Sean Combs and Cassie in 2017. Pic: PA

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Diddy’s homes raided

He denied the allegations in the lawsuits, but neither he nor his representatives had responded to the newly emerged video until Sunday.

After the footage emerged, Douglas H Wigdor, lawyer for Ms Ventura, said in a statement in response: “The gut-wrenching video has only further confirmed the disturbing and predatory behaviour of Mr Combs.

“Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light.”

Combs’ Instagram apology is the hip-hop mogul’s most direct response after six months of allegations that have threatened his reputation and career.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs. Pic: AP
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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. Pic: AP

Previous statements have been released through his lawyers.

The security camera video, dated 5 March 2016, closely resembles the description of an incident at an InterContinental Hotel in the Century City area of Los Angeles described in Ms Ventura’s November lawsuit.

The suit alleges that Combs paid the hotel $50,000 (around £39,000) for the security video immediately after the incident.

Neither he or his representatives have addressed that specific allegation.

CNN did not say how it obtained the footage.

Combs is not in danger of being criminally prosecuted for the beating.

The statutes of limitations for the assault and battery charges he would be likely to face expired years ago.

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Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice denies claims of ‘abusive or threatening behaviour’ on show

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Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice denies claims of 'abusive or threatening behaviour' on show

Strictly Come Dancing star Giovanni Pernice has rejected allegations that he displayed “abusive or threatening behaviour” while working as a professional dancer on the show.

The 33-year-old Italian dancer said he was “surprised” amid reports the BBC is looking into complaints about his conduct.

A legal firm acting on behalf of the complainants said the broadcaster is “evidence gathering” – but the BBC has not confirmed that any probe has been launched.

In the statement shared on Instagram, Pernice wrote: “To my dear fans, you will be as surprised as I am that allegations have been made about my dance teaching methods in the media this week.

“Of course, I reject any suggestion of abusive or threatening behaviour, and I look forward to clearing my name.”

He added: “Those who have followed my journey on Strictly Come Dancing over the last decade will know that I am passionate and competitive.

“No one is more ambitious for my dance partners than me.

“I have always striven to help them be the very best dancers they can be.

“This has always come from a place of love and wanting to win – for me and my dance partners.”

Pernice signed off the message by writing: “Thank you all once again for your continued love and support! Giovanni.”

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A statement from law firm Carter-Ruck to the PA news agency said: “There have been numerous serious complaints made to the BBC who are now in the process of evidence gathering.

“As it is still an ongoing matter no further comment can be made at this stage.”

The Sun, which first reported suggestions that an investigation was underway, also claimed Pernice had quit the show.

Neither the BBC nor Pernice has confirmed his departure.

Sicily-born Pernice has been on the BBC One celebrity dancing show since 2015.

In 2021, he lifted the Strictly glitterball trophy for the first time alongside EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, who was the first deaf contestant to win. He had appeared in three show finals previously.

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He also holds the Guinness World Record for most jive kick and flicks in 30 seconds, which he achieved on the BBC’s Strictly It Takes Two show in 2016.

The BBC was approached by Sky News but declined to comment.

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