Friday Night Dinner's Paul Ritter celebrates character in final TV appearance

·4-min read
Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images

Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter made his final TV appearance tonight (May 28) as part of a ten-year celebration of the hugely popular sitcom, following his tragic death in April.

Airing on Channel 4, the anniversary special opened with an introduction from Ritter's co-star Tamsin Greig, who played Jackie, the wife of his character Martin Goodman.

In it, she recalled how he'd insisted on being interviewed and sharing his experiences with the fans, despite his former colleagues suggesting otherwise.

Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

Related: Friday Night Dinner creator confirms fate of show after series 6

"I'm sure you know that very recently, we lost our dear and most cherished friend," Greig said. "We all miss him terribly. Incredible actor, and a lovely human being.

"Sadly, at the time of making the documentary, Paul was pretty unwell and to be honest – don't tell the producers this – but I did try and persuade him not to do the interview. But it is testament to Paul's courage, generosity and dignity, and complete lack of vanity, that he wanted to participate.

"So I know Paul would want us to all sit back, laugh and enjoy this celebration of the FND universe and say, as we do, in his memory... shalom."

Later on in the programme, Ritter joined the cast to discuss why Martin was so beloved and how much the role meant to him.

Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

Related: Friday Night Dinner star Simon Bird announces next project

"People like Martin. There's something about him that reminds them of their half-dressed dad, possibly with a hanky over his head and Eric Morecambe specs," he said.

"I'd be nothing without him. No, seriously, it was a great career gift. In terms of interesting parts, he's been absolutely everything to me and I have loved playing him. I've loved all of the extraordinary scenes we do," he continued, before laughing: "I think he's immune to hygiene."

"The man's gross. He's a barnyard animal," Simon Bird, who plays Martin's son Adam on the show, added.

During the special, viewers took to Twitter to pay their respects to Ritter, thanking him "for all of the laughs".

Check out some tributes below...

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Friday Night Dinner: 10 Years and a Lovely Bit of Squirrel is available to catch up on on All 4.

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