The last ever episode of The Big Bang Theory aired in the US last night and cast members have been reminiscing about their 12 years on the hit show. 

The programme was not renewed for further seasons after Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper, decided to quit. Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, he said: "It was the first time in my life of doing this show that it occurred to me that I might want to not do another contract after [season] 12 was up," 

"There was no situation that I was like 'well, I've had enough of that.' No. There was nothing like that. It was just…when you know, you know."

The show's creator Chuck Lorre said he did not want to keep "going on without the whole ensemble" and when Parsons told him that he was leaving he knew it was time to finish up.

Ahead of the last show, cast members have been sharing their thoughts on social media:

Johnny Galecki, who played Leonard, posted a touching scene of the cast and 150-strong crew watching the last show.

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Parsons said: "It was really hard to pick the right pic for this post, so here is a shot of us in a hug after we filmed the last group scene we would ever film for the series."

He added, "If you enjoy it even half as much as we’ve enjoyed (LOVED) creating this show for the past 12 years, then that’ll be a WHOLE WHOLE lot of enjoyment. All of us will miss seeing you in this format, but we will be around in all sorts of ways, I assure you... love love love ❤️❤️❤️"

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Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny, released an image that summed up how she after the last episode. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, she said: "I'm thrilled with [Penny's] ending, yet beginning. It's beautiful. 

"There's not anything catastrophic, it's just beautiful. And the characters are gonna live on in your minds and in your hearts, and I think that's what is so special about it. It's really touching." 

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