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Matthew Perry not joining cast mates for Friends reunion

The Friends reunion is a man down as Matthew Perry will not be joining his former cast mates.

Perry, who played Chandler Bing in the hit comedy series about a group of six pals, said it is "not the reunion everyone is hoping for", adding that he is unable to be there in person.

US broadcaster NBC had said the cast will reunite for a two-hour special to be broadcast as a tribute to director James Burrows.

But Perry said his five co-stars - Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer - will feature on the special, while he will introduce them from London where he is doing a play.

Asked if the rumours of a Friends reunion were true, Perry told The Graham Norton Show: "It's not true. It's not the reunion everyone is hoping for - they are celebrating Jim Burrows who was a director of Friends.

"The other five (Friends) are going to be on this special and I am going to introduce them from London. I'm doing the play here so I can't be there."

Efforts to bring all six cast members together on television have proved difficult in the past, and that appears to still be the case.

NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt suggested earlier this week that the reunion may not feature the six actors together, saying he was not sure if they could pull it off "logistically".

Multi award-winning Friends premiered in 1994 and ran for 10 seasons, making its cast of little-known actors international stars.

Since the series finale in 2004, there have been frequent reports and rumours of a reunion.

Asked if he knew the show would be such a hit, Perry said: "I knew it would be a success and that we had something special, but I didn't know the giant hit it would become."

Meanwhile, talking about his play, The End Of Longing, which he both wrote and stars in, Perry told Norton: "It's a good play for a Friends generation but it is a darker version of Friends."

Asked if it is semi-autobiographical, he said: "I play a drunk so it's a slightly exaggerated form of myself but it's not really me."

Miriam Margolyes, who is also a guest on the show, asked Perry: "Were you an alcoholic?" To which he replies: "I am. I'm a recovering alcoholic. I'm glad we're talking about this!"

:: The Graham Norton Show is on BBC One tonight at 10.35pm.

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