Friends star Matthew Perry honoured at Bafta awards as fans left in tears

The late and much-loved Friends actor Matthew Perry was remembered at the 2024 Bafta Awards on Sunday (12 May), leaving many fans in tears.

Stars of the small screen – including hosts Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett as well as comedian Joe Lycett, who was dressed as Queen Elizabeth after losing a bet – gathered at the Royal Festival Hall to discover this year’s victors, with a truncated version of the event broadcast on BBC One after a delay, 24 hours after this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Happy Valley and Top Boy were among the ceremony’s major winners, with the latter taking home Best Drama and Best Supporting Actress, and Happy Valley’s Sarah Lancashire winning Leading Actress.

Perry, who shot to fame with his portrayal of Chandler Bing on the hit NBC sitcom, was found dead in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home on 28 October in 2022, aged 54. His cause of death was listed as “acute effects of ketamine” and ruled an accident.

Bafta was forced to issue a response after the star was left out of last year’s In Memoriam segment, as they confirmed he would be honoured at the TV awards instead.

Rangathan introduced the segment honouring actors, comedians, presenters and dancers who had passed away as he said, “Tonight has been an incredible celebration of everything that is special about our industry...”

Co-host Beckett added: “So, now let’s take a moment to remember those people who are no longer with us, who played their part.”

Perry’s was the last name to appear in the montage which featured clips from the show including from the episode “The One with Ross’s Tan”.

Fans were left in tears at the segment (Getty Images/ BBC/ NBC)
Fans were left in tears at the segment (Getty Images/ BBC/ NBC)

“I went to that tanning place your wife suggested,” Ross (David Schwimmer) says.

“Was that place, the Sun?” Chandler responds in his characteristic sarcastic tone.

Other images included a clip of Chandler and his best friend Joey (Matt LeBlanc) sharing an enthusiastic hug.

Ranganathan rounded off the segment as he said, “So many legends in front of and behind the camera, gone but not forgotten.”

The tribute showed clips including of Joey and Chandler hugging (BBC/NBC)
The tribute showed clips including of Joey and Chandler hugging (BBC/NBC)

Fans were left in tears as one said, “Cried my eyes out when I saw Ewen Macintosh and Matthew Perry on the ‘In Memoriam’ segment”.

BBC veteran presenter Michael Parkinson, The Office star Ewen MacIntosh, Gen V actor Chance Perdomo, Lord of the Rings legend Bernard Hill, Strictly dancer and choreographer Robin Windsor, TV chef Dave Myers, journalist John Pilger, BBC newsreader George Alagiah and poet and Peaky Blinders star Benjamin Zephaniah were also remembered.

The Bafta TV Awards are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.