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The cast of the hit sitcom Friends are to reunite for a two-hour special, according to US broadcaster NBC.

The actors behind Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross have all signed up for the special, a tribute to director James Burrows.

Burrows helmed numerous episodes of the programme and has just celebrated directing his 1,000th TV programme.

But NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt suggested the six Friends may not appear together.

“I’m hoping all six will be in same room at the same time,” he told reporters. But he added: “I’m not sure we can logistically can pull it off.”

Fans of the show have been hoping for more than a decade to see Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer back on screen together, but previous attempts have fallen short.

The programme ended in 2004, 10 series and a decade after it premiered on US screens. It made international stars of its little-known cast, winning a slew of awards and a huge audience in the process.

As well as Friends, Burrows was behind the camera for several of America’s much-loved sitcoms, including Cheers, Frasier, and The Bob Newhart Show.

The two-hour show is expected to feature cameos, sketches and appearances connected to the various series the 75-year-old has worked on over the years.

The special is scheduled to be broadcast on 21 February on NBC. (BBC)