Friends’ Gunther now as James Michael Taylor loses blonde and rocks a beard

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He's the bleach-blonde coffee shop worker who only ever really attracted an admiring glance from Ross and Monica's excitable mum.

Friends fanatics all still loved Gunther, who was just as much a part of the show's furniture as the iconic Central Perk sofa.

Since he closed the house's doors for the last time, actor James Michael Taylor has undergone a real transformation.

He looks totally different to the character millions of us grew up watching standing behind the counter pining over oblivious Rachel.

These days he rocks a beard, and in place of his striking peroxide blonde locks is a darker, more sophisticated do.

Unlike on the show, he wears caps all the time – but doesn't look a whole lot older than when we first saw him on our screens.

David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry are of course starring in the big reunion.

Good news Gunther fans, he takes part too.

We will get to see him again after all these years, but it was so long ago that Brits heard from the star.

Back in 2019, he appeared on This Morning and we saw his new look for ourselves.

Speaking to Holly Willoughby and Phil Schofield, he let us in on some show secrets.

The star confessed he knew how to work a coffee machine as he was a barista at the time of his audition for the Central Perk manager's role.

We saw Gunther from an early stage on Friends, but his first word only happened on the 33rd episode.

He mumbled "yeah" – but it was a good enough line to bring him closer and closer to the viewers!

His acting was good enough to land him a pay check to "afford to buy groceries that week".

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Revealing the inside gossip, Phil asked James what happened with the jokes that didn't quite work.

If there wasn't enough pressure already, the show was performed in front of a live audience, and James confessed if the witty one liners didn't make the audience laugh, the team would "rewrite the whole thing".

He said: "If the jokes didn't get the right response, if they didn't land, they would cut the scene.

"The team were made up of extremely talented writers, and would always go after a better laugh."

So what would have become of Gunther 17 years on?

James has something quite big in mind.

He said: "Well hopefully he owns Central Perk by now, and he has some little kids running around with hair brighter than the sun."

  • Friends

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