Friends?

This is a sad week for Friends fans - no, not fans of your friends. Friends, the hit US comedy series has been on our screens for years. The original shows finished so long ago that the cast are permanently immortalised as being 30-somethings - even though they have grey hair and boobs are sagging - and that's just the guys.

E4 have been repeating the programme on a loop since it finished, but now it's come to an end. Before we mourn our loss, let me try and work out what made it such a success.

Here's my take on the highs of reliable and innovative writing.

The big story throughout is Ross and Rachel - will they, won't they, did they? But that's a simplification. The big question over their future is answered in the final episode. However, for my money there's an even better relationship that ran through the series - Chandler and Monica.

Both had been unlucky with love for a long, long time. Monica finished with the love of her life - Richard - because he would only agree to father children again, 'if he had to'.

Eventually she and Chandler fell in love, moved in together and then married.

The bitter irony is that they were unable to have children - and it didn't matter. What had killed the Monica/Richard relationship strengthened the Monica/Chandler marriage.

How else could the writers tell us that Monica and Chandler were made for each other?

There's so much more to Friends than can be covered in five minutes. As the repeats rolled I would dip in and out - especially on nights when my brain had melted from the day's challenges. But thank you E4 for pulling the plug. Being able to mouth the lines before they're said is never good - even for a fan like me.