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FriendsFest 2017 has kicked off at Hylands Park and for the first time it includes original props used on the actual TV show.
Friday saw the start of the 10-day event in Chelmsford1 which is made up of set replicas, themed cafes and the chance to recreate that famous title sequence. As a new addition for this year, the festival included real costumes and props worn and used by the cast.
These included Joey’s Dr Drake Ramoray uniform, Rachel’s outfit from the final episode and Ross’ holiday armadillo costume.
Props on show included Joey’s white ceramic dog (called Pat), Monica and Ross’ Troll trophy and Ross’ Science Boy comic. The props are worth so much money that they are watched over by a security guard 24-hours-a-day while they’re at Hylands Park.
For example, Pat the dog is worth $10,000 ( 7,700), Phoebe’s guitar is valued at $15,000 ( 11,560) and a box of Smelly Cat litter is worth $8,000 ( 6,175). A member of staff at FriendsFest said they “dreaded to think” how much the entire props collection was worth, but they estimated it was more than $100,000 ( 77,000). READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the Street, Eats n Beats food festival in Chelmsford2
The Comedy Central UK FriendsFest Chelmsford sold out several weeks before the launch on Friday (September 1) and is designed to give Friends fans an interactive peek inside the world of the famous comedy series. The festival is brought to life by the Luna Cinema company and Comedy Central UK which broadcasts the show every day.
“The best thing about FriendsFest is seeing people’s reactions when they first see the sets and props,” said Quintin Young from the Luna Cinema company. “When they first set eyes on Joey and Chandler’s apartment you can actually hear the gasps and people saying ‘wow.’ FriendsFest is unique because it allows people to the sets and touch things. “If you are a big Friends fan, these are memories that will last a lifetime.” READ MORE: An extra date has been added to the Essex Prosecco Festival3
FriendsFest takes place at six venues around the UK, with Chelmsford being the penultimate venue, before the tour ends in London . And there are certainly some hardcore fans at the events .
So far on the tour, there have been seven marriage proposals (at the exact spot where Chandler proposed) and there have been visits from lots of tiny babies including four-day old tot Phoebe who was named after their mum’s favourite character. The main activities at FriendsFest are:
- Visiting exact replicas of Monica and Chandler’s apartment
- Posing in the corridor between the two apartments
- Recreating the titles sequence with replica sofas and umbrellas
- Having a coffee in a Central Perk replica
- Singing Smelly Cat
- Seeing original props and costumes worn by the cast
- Fancy dress photo opportunities at the Las Vegas wedding chapel and Monica and Ross’ high school prom
- Trying Friends-themed food and drinks
- Taking part in Friends’ quizzes and challenges
- Posing in Phoebe’s New York cab
As FriendsFest is only at a few venues around the UK, fans travel from far and wide to attend . At Chelmsford, there are visitors from Essex, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and even parts of Europe. Essex Live spoke to some hardcore fans who were at the first day of the event at Hylands Park.
“I’ve been a Friends fan forever,” said Leah from Dartford in Kent. “I came to FriendsFest last year too but this year is better . I loved seeing the memorabilia and the props, especially Rachel’s final outfit and Pat the dog . Rachel is my favourite character, I can relate to her.”
Friends Claire, Natalie and Carrie from Romford visited the event together. “We’ve just had a moist maker sandwich which was great,” said Carrie. “We’ve also sat on the sofa and recreated the titles which was fun . It’s actually a bit smaller than we thought it would be but it is good.” The friends disagree on the best Friends’ character Claire’s is Ross, Natalie’s is Chandler and Carrie’s is Phoebe. Colleagues Ana, Kendall, Alice and Mary all work together in Bishops Stortford. “I’ve wanted to come here for the last few years,” said Mary. “For us, we’ve grown up watching Friends . I remember laughing at it as a kid and then when you get older different things become funny . It’s nice coming here with a group, we’re all friends at FriendsFest.”
Laura, 31, from Stanford le Hope, said she was “the biggest” Friends fan . She even had a Friends themed 30th birthday with a Friends cake and invites. “I’ve watched Friends for years but even now I still watch it nearly every day,” she said. “It’s just such easy watching, it’s so funny and you can relate to the characters .
We all know people like that. “The writing is just impeccable and it’s still so relevant . I love FriendsFest so far, I’d recommend it to any fan of the show.”
FriendsFest is at Hylands Park in Chelmsford until September 10 . Unfortunately all 2017 dates are sold out but there are plans for FriendsFest to come back next year.
- ^ Chelmsford (www.essexlive.news)
- ^ Everything you need to know about the Street, Eats n Beats food festival in Chelmsford (www.essexlive.news)
- ^ An extra date has been added to the Essex Prosecco Festival (www.essexlive.news)
- ^ A gingerbread house Santa’s grotto is coming to Bond Streeet, Chelmsford this Christmas (www.essexlive.news)
- ^ FriendsFest website (friendsfest.co.uk)
Love Island couple Olivia Attwood and Chris Hughes have been hit with fresh claims that their romance is being tested. According to reports, the pair got into a fiery row with another one of their group on Saturday night while out a club in Birmingham.
A source reportedly said: Olivia was absolutely furious about something and stormed off to the toilets.
Chris ran to follow her to try and calm her down but nothing was working.”
Chris and Olivia locked tongues rather than lips as they presented a united front (Image: GC Images)
There was a bit of a tussle on the balcony between Olivia and another of their group before door staff stepped in to hold her back and she then was told to leave. However, a spokeswoman for Olivia insisted the star “left on her own accord”.
The latest drama comes after Chris said he wanted to marry his 26-year-old girlfriend. But not only does Chris want to wed Olivia – he wants to start having real children too after the pair ‘raised’ a doll together on the hit ITV2 reality show.
Chris said he wants to marry Olivia (Image: oliviajade_attwood/Instagram)
Despite both being relatively young, Chris says he cannot wait to swap vows with his lover.
“That s how messed up we are . We can t really get out heads around it .
I don t think either of us expected to find love on the show, but we did, he said. Chris hails from Essex while Olivia is from Surrey – but the reality hunk says they are making things work despite the distance.
We assume the night didn’t go down like this (Image: Flynet Pictures)
“I ve been sleeping over at hers all the time but we will get a bigger place at some point . We ll need one for the kids, he said.
Chris and Olivia have seen their romance tested since Love Island ended in July.
Mirror Celebs has contacted a representative for Olivia for comment.