Friday Night Dinner’s Tamsin Greig reveals how the late Paul Ritter cemented her role in the show as she pays tribute

Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter passed away on Monday aged 54.

Friday Night Dinner

Friday Night Dinner star Tamsin Greig has paid tribute to her late co-star Paul Ritter, revealing that she joined the Channel 4 sitcom after hearing he’d been cast.

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Writing in The Guardian today following the death of Ritter, who passed away on Monday aged 54, Greig said that he “will be remembered as a brilliantly inventive chameleon of an actor”.

“When I was told that they wanted him to play Martin Goodman in the pilot episode of Friday Night Dinner, I said: ‘You get him and I’m in.’

“Not only did Paul deliver in the role, he far surpassed everyone’s expectations – surprising, versatile, oddball, rooted in the clearest truth and always utterly, heart-stoppingly hilarious.”

She added: “The world is a less brilliant place without Paul in it. Go lightly, my friend. You are deeply beloved.”

The Green Wing and Episodes star played Ritter’s TV wife, Jackie Goodman, in Robert Popper’s comedy Friday Night Dinner, which began in 2011 and last aired its sixth series in May 2020.

The series is returning with a documentary, celebrating Friday Night Dinner’s 10th anniversary, which will feature all the cast and pay tribute to Ritter.

Yesterday, Popper led tributes to the Chernobyl and Belgravia star, who passed away as a result of a brain tumour, writing: “Devastated at this terribly sad news. Paul was a lovely, wonderful human being.

“Kind, funny, super caring and the greatest actor I ever worked with. My heart goes out to Paul’s wonderful family at this tragic time.”

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Ritter’s family wish for any tribute donations to be made to the Old Vic Impact Fund.

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