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Paul Ritter: Simon Bird pays tribute to Friday Night Dinner on-screen dad

Friday Night Dinner fans mourned the death of Paul Ritter this week at the age of just 54.

His agent confirmed the news on Tuesday and said the actor died at home with his family by his side.

His agent said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last 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.”

The 54-year-old also starred in a number of blockbuster movies including Quantum of Solace, Son of Rambow and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

He also starred in a number of popular dramas including Chernobyl. The Hollow Crown and The Last Kingdom.

Ritter was also a talented stage actor, nominated for an Olivier award in 2006 for his performance in Coram Boy.

He was nominated for a Tony award three years later for his portrayal in the the Norman Conquests.

However, he was probably most famous for his role as Martin in the Channel 4 hit, Friday Night Dinner, alongside Inbetweeners star Simon Bird, Tamsin Greig and Tom Rosenthal.

Following the announcement of his passing, one Twitter user said: The key to Friday Night Dinner’s success was the Goodman clan’s believability as a family. It was incomprehensible that Paul Ritter, Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal didn’t actually get together every Friday evening. Martin was their dad, and the nation’s dad, too. RIP.

Now, his on-screen sons, Tom Rosenthal and Simon Bird have come together to pay tribute to the “unfailingly generous” and “unendingly thoughtful” Paul Ritter.

Simon Bird, who is not on Twitter spoke about the times he spent with Paul via co-star Tom Rosenthal’s Twitter account.

He said: “Not even going to touch the acting. That goes without saying. He was the best in the business.

“What’s less well known is that he was also the Platonic ideal of a green room companion: unfailingly generous (with praise, snacks, the Guardian Sport section); unendingly thoughtful (he would set up shop on the floor if he knew there were going to be more actors than chairs in that day); and undeniably cool (calm and collected in his flat cap, but an absolute coiled spring if there was a game in the offing).

“He was such a peaceful presence but throbbing with intelligence and – let’s not beat around the bush – entirely capable of a hilariously indiscreet and filthy broadside when in the mood.”

He added: I think I’ll always aspire to be like Paul. I guess that’ll happen when someone pretends to be your Dad for 10 years.

“I feel unbelievably fortunate to have spent so much time in that green room and hope his real bambinos know how much his fake bambinos loved and looked up to him.”



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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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