TV BAFTAs Honour Matthew Perry In Touching Friends Tribute

The actor passed away in October.

Matthew Perry TV BAFTAs tribute

by Millie Payne |
Published on

The TV BAFTAs paid tribute to the late Matthew Perry on Sunday night during the ceremony's In Memoriam section. The actor - best known for playing cheeky chappy Chandler Bing in Friends - was found unresponsive in his home hot tub last October and later pronounced dead, aged 54.

The entirety of the In Memoriam segment was soundtracked to a piano version of the beloved Friends theme tune - I'll Be There for You, by The Rembrandts - and concluded with Matthew's tribute. It was accompanied by two clips from Friends, including Chandler's reaction to Ross's infamous spray tan and a sweet moment of Joey and Chandler hugging.

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry ©Mike Pont/WireImage

Among the other names honoured include writer Benjamin Zephaniah, who passed away in December eight weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, and actor Richard Franklin, who also died in December following a long illness. Sir Michael Parkinson, Bernard Hill and George Alagiah were also honoured.

The world was rocked by the news of Matthew's passing last year, in particular his Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow.

Jennifer's tribute read, 'Oh boy this one has cut deep… Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before. We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love. Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep. And we loved him deeply. He was such a part of our DNA. We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be. For Matty, he KNEW he loved to make people laugh. As he said himself, if he didn't hear the ‘laugh’ he thought he was going to die. His life literally depended on it. And boy did he succeed in doing just that. He made all of us laugh. And laugh hard. In the last couple weeks, I’ve been poring over our texts to one another. Laughing and crying then laughing again. I’ll keep them forever and ever. I found one text that he sent me out of nowhere one day. It says it all. (See the second slide…)

'Matty, I love you so much and I know you are now completely at peace and out of any pain. I talk to you every day… sometimes I can almost hear you saying “could you BE any crazier?”'

Meanwhile, Matt wrote, 'Matthew. It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favourite times of my life.  It was an honour to share the stage with you and to call you my friend. I will always smile when I think of you and I’ll never forget you. Never.  Spread your wings and fly brother you’re finally free. Much love.  And I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.'

Millie Payne is a News and Entertainment Writer for Grazia. She has specialised in showbiz interviews, features, articles and roundups for over three years and loves combining her love for writing, talking and all things popular culture.

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