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Will & Grace stars respond to show’s finale

The groundbreaking comedy aired its final episode in the US on Thursday.

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Will and Grace stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing have thanked fans following the revived sitcom’s final episode (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Will and Grace stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing have thanked fans following the revived sitcom’s final episode (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Will and Grace stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing have thanked fans following the revived sitcom’s final episode (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Will & Grace stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing thanked fans as they waved goodbye to the revived sitcom following its final episode.

The groundbreaking comedy, praised for its portrayal of the LGBTQ community, originally aired from 1998 to 2006, before the rebooted version returned in 2017.

It starred McCormack as gay lawyer Will Truman and Messing as straight interior designer Grace Adler, with Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally appearing as friends Jack and Karen.

The final episode of what was overall the 11th series aired in the US on Thursday, with the friends preparing for Grace to give birth.

Following the finale, Messing, 51, shared a short clip on Twitter, showing her seated on a couch with her co-stars.

She said: “The time has come! Thank you all for making these #WillandGrace years the most memorable ones. The Fab Four and all of you will always have a special place in my heart.”

McCormack also shared his gratitude with fans.

He tweeted: “Final bows… thank you to every single fan who’s been there from day one and those who joined us for the reunion. We love you all… Stay tuned for the farewell retrospective special.”

Will & Grace, created by  Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, was a huge hit with viewers and critics during its original run, winning 16 Primetime Emmy Awards from 88 nominations.

It was the first prime-time TV series to feature openly gay lead characters on American terrestrial television and has been credited with shifting attitudes towards the LGBTQ community in the US.

Speaking in 2012 during a debate on the issue of same-sex marriage, which would be legalised in all 50 states three years later, vice president Joe Biden praised the show’s impact.

He said: “I think Will & Grace did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has ever done.”

Will & Grace airs on Channel 5 in the UK.

PA