Tamsin Greig opens up on ‘courageous’ Friday Night Dinner co-star Paul Ritter after death

Paul Ritter stars as Martin in Friday Night Dinner in 2018

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Tamsin Greig, 56, had starred alongside Paul Ritter on the Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner since 2011, and the duo had also worked together just several weeks ago before his tragic death. The actress described her co-star as “courageous” in a heartfelt message.

Go lightly, my friend. You are deeply beloved

Paul died on April 5 after suffering from a brain tumour, but still continued with his work commitments until just several weeks ago.

Tamsin and Paul reunited recently to work alongside one another for BBC Radio 4’s Meet Me at the Museum project.

In a touching tribute written in The Guardian, she penned: “I first saw Paul on stage in Alan Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquests trilogy at the Old Vic in 2008.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off him, 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.”

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She went on to add: “It took enormous courage and effort for him to record the drama remotely from his home when he was so ill, and I am honoured that he so willingly agreed to do it. It is a fine legacy and tribute to his artistry, and a gift of time and experience that I will treasure.”

Paying homage to her on-screen husband, who also appeared in Harry Potter and Chernobyl, Tamsin said that she was “eternally grateful” that the pair had come across one another.

The actress praised Paul for his “kindness”, “attention to detail” and “devotion” to those around him.

Mum-of-three Tamsin went on to say: “The world is a less brilliant place without Paul in it. Go lightly, my friend. You are deeply beloved.”

Paul’s death was announced on Tuesday in a statement shared by his management team.

The post read: “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.”

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Paul was best known for his parts in Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner and in the Sky and HBO show Chernobyl.

However, he had an extensive career on stage and screen, beginning back in 1992.

The actor was born in Kent and began his acting career on the stage.

His breakthrough onto screens came in 1994 in a small part in the TV show Seaforth.

On the small screen, he is recognisable for his parts in The Game, Vera, The Hollow Crown and The Last Kingdom.

However, many fans will know him best from his comedic performance in Friday Night Dinner.

From 2011 until 2020 he played Martin Goodman in the Channel 4 comedy show.

He also recently appeared in critically acclaimed show Chernobyl, where he played Anatoly Dyatlov.

Across his career, his work on stage also saw him nominated for both an Olivier Award and a Tony Award.

This included parts in productions like Coram Boy and Norman Conquests.

Paul was next due to appear later this year in a retrospective episode of Friday Night Dinner.

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