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Friday Night Dinner: Tamsin Greig told Paul Ritter not to film special

Tamsin Greig spoke about her former co-star in the new special (Picture: Getty & Rex)

Tamsin Greig has reflected on the death of late Friday Night Dinner co-star Paul Ritter, saying that she tried to convince him not to take part in the show’s 10-year anniversary special due to his ill health.

Paul died aged 54 from a brain tumour earlier this year, with stars from his impressive list of TV shows and films all sharing tributes after the sudden news.

Tamsin spoke about Paul in new documentary Friday Night Dinner: 10 Years And a Lovely Bit of Squirrel, which arrives on Channel 4 later this month. Paul also filmed his scenes for the special as his health was deteriorating.

‘‘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,’ Tamsin said.

‘We all miss him terribly, an 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 – and don’t tell the producers this – but I did try and persuade him not to do the interview.’

Friday Night dinner Paul Ritter's career Picture: Channel 4 metrograb

Friday Night dinner star Paul Ritter died earlier this year (Picture: Channel 4)

Tamsin, who plays Jackie Goodman on the hit comedy, added: ‘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, to 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. 

‘So I know that Paul would all want us to sit back and laugh and enjoy this celebration of the Friday Night Dinner universe and say, as we do, in his memory, “Shalom.”’

A posthumous appearance from Paul also saw him discussed his role as Martin, saying: ‘I’d be nothing without him. Seriously. I mean it was the 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 the sort of extraordinary scenes we do.’

The actor was 54 (Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

It comes after Paul’s rep confirmed he had died in April after battling a brain tumour.

A statement shared with Metro.co.uk 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.’

Friday Night Dinner: 10 Years And a Lovely Bit of Squirrel arrives on Channel 4 on May 28. Friday Night Dinner is available to stream on All 4.

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