Friday Night Dinner creator calls Paul Ritter 'greatest actor' in touching tribute
Robert Popper, comedy writer, actor and creator of Friday Night Dinner, reacts to the sudden news of Paul Ritter's passing
Friday Night Dinner isn't just a cult-hit, it virtually became an institution in British television after just a couple of seasons. Depicting familiar family squabbles, awkward meals with less than loving relatives; childish pranks and the world's nosiest neighbour, it hit on a very real British experience.
The series' creator, Robert Popper, took to Twitter to react to the deeply saddening news that Paul Ritter - who played the iconic dad, Martin Goodman, in the show - has passed away from a brain tumour:
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 x https://t.co/yD6QpHEeo8
— Robert Popper (@robertpopper) April 6, 2021
As you can see, his admiration for the 54-year-old was clear: "The greatest actor I ever worked with" being no small claim for a man who has worked with so many great, British talents.
Whether as an actor, producer or writer, Popper has been involved in all manner of comedic projects: everything from Black Books, Peep Show and The IT Crowd, to featuring in The Eleven O'Clock Show and the first two films in Edgar Wright's 'Cornetto Trilogy' (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). He's even written for South Park.
For a man with these kinds of credentials, this level of compliment cannot be understated and we tend to agree - there hasn't been a role on telly that encapsulated kooky, eccentric dad like Martin Goodman in some time.
Ritter wasn't only known for his comedic chops, having played popular roles in HBO's Chernobyl, Harry Potter and the James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. His range was incredible and seemed just as capable of cracking you up as he did filling you with terror. British author and public historian, Greg Jenner, joined many others in adding his tribute:
#PaulRitter had tremendous technique and range, capable of hilarious farce, weary-eyed warmth, or terrifying rage. If you haven’t seen it, I demand you watch #Chernobyl on @NOW. It’s astonishing TV, and he is mesmerisingly scary in it
— Greg Jenner (@greg_jenner) April 6, 2021
In honour of Ritter, who brought us so many laughs in Friday Night Dinner, we couldn't react to this news in any other way than simply exclaiming "shit on it!"
We're not "bloody boiling" but we are bloody upset - here's hoping you're enjoying "a lovely bit of squirrel" in the next life.