Friday Night Dinner fans were left in tears as Tamsin Greig paid tribute to Paul Ritter on the show’s 10th anniversary special.
Friday Night Dinner: 10 Years and A Lovely Bit of Squirrel was filmed shortly before Paul tragically died from a brain tumour aged 54.
Speaking at the start of the show Tamsin, 54, – who played Paul’s onscreen wife Jackie Goodman – spoke about her ‘dear and most cherished’ late friend.
Sad: Friday Night Dinner fans were left in tears as Tamsin Greig paid tribute to Paul Ritter on the show’s 10th anniversary special
She said: ‘I’m sure you know that very recently we lost our dear and most cherished friend Paul Ritter, who plays Martin Goodman in Friday Night Dinner.
‘We all miss him terribly, incredible actor, a true friend 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 – I did try and persuade him not to do the interview.
‘But it is testament to Paul’s courage and generosity and dignity and complete lack of vanity that he wanted to participate in the documentary, do an interview and to really celebrate this little world that he’s been a part of and that he’s enjoyed so much over the years.
Cast: Friday Night Dinner: 10 Years and A Lovely Bit of Squirrel was filmed shortly before Paul (far right) tragically died from a brain tumour aged 54
‘So I know that Paul would want us to all sit back and laugh and enjoy this celebration of the FND universe. And say, as we do, in his memory: Shalom.’
Viewers were in tears at her opening speech and took to Twitter to share how they were feeling.
One wrote: ‘Cheers Tamsin, I’m in tears already #FridayNightDinner’, while another wrote: ‘Sobbing already #FridayNightDinner.’
A third added: ‘Already getting choked up. #FridayNightDinner,’ and a fourth person asked: ‘Anyone else already crying? #FridayNightDinner.’
Tribute: Speaking at the start of the show Tamsin, 54, – who played Paul’s onscreen wife Jackie Goodman – spoke about her ‘dear and most cherished’ late friend
Someone else Tweeted: ‘Makes me emotional to know that they’ll never work together again #FridayNightDinner.’
Friday Night Dinner, which focused on the middle-class Jewish family The Goodmans while they met for a weekly meal at their home in north London, first debuted on screens in 2011 and has won an army of fans over its six series run.
Much of the show’s cast including Paul, Tamsin, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal appeared in the special documentary.
Friday Night Dinner – 10 Years And A Lovely Bit Of Squirrel took a look back at some of the show funniest moments, and saw appearances from the comedy show’s most beloved catchphrases.
Upset: Viewers were in tears at her opening speech and took to Twitter to share how they were feeling
The show featured interviews with the show’s cast and crew, as well as the series’ creator Robert Popper.
Speaking ahead of the show, Robert said: ‘This one-off documentary celebrates the 10-year anniversary of Robert Popper’s iconic comedy, Friday Night Dinner, which gave us that infamous catchphrase, as well as the beloved Goodman family and their even more surreal neighbour Jim, who together have become the heart of one of Channel 4’s most popular sitcoms of all time.’
The special was first announced back in January after Friday Night Dinner aired its sixth, and final series last year.
Speaking about the exciting announcement, Robert said: ‘I’m delighted that the cast and crew’s amazing work is being recognised in this documentary – unless, of course, everything in it is entirely negative.’
Nostalgic: Friday Night Dinner – 10 Years And A Lovely Bit Of Squirrel took a look back at some of the show funniest moments
Kenton Allen, Big Talk CEO: ‘For the first time ever Friday Night Dinner Night will reveal the true story of how a tiny idea became a massive hit.
‘In these incredibly difficult times, I couldn’t be more delighted that Channel 4 have decided to take fans of the show behind the scenes to discover what it really takes to make a lovely bit of squirrel for millions of viewers.’
Series six came to an end with main characters Adam (Simon) and Jonny (Tom) discovering their girlfriends, who were portrayed by Rebecca Humphries and Pearl Mackie respectively, were both pregnant, much to the lads’ surprise.
Paul, who became known for his catchphrases ‘s**t on it’ and ‘that’s a lovely bit of squirrel,’ passed away at home with wife Polly and sons Frank and Noah at his bedside after battling a brain tumour.
Last month, a spokesman for the actor announced his passing and said: ‘It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away on Monday night.
‘He died peacefully at home with his wife Polly and sons Frank and Noah by his side. He was 54 and had been suffering from a brain tumour.
‘Paul was an exceptionally talented actor playing an enormous variety of roles on stage and screen with extraordinary skill. He was fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny. We will miss him greatly.’
After Paul’s death, Simon paid tribute to his late co-star and shared a touching message via his onscreen sibling Tom’s Twitter, writing that he will ‘always aspire to be like’ Paul and went on to heap praise on him.
Loss: Paul, who became known for his catchphrases ‘s**t on it’ and ‘that’s a lovely bit of squirrel,’ passed away at home with wife Polly and sons Frank and Noah at his bedside after battling a brain tumour (pictured in 2019)