Friday Night Dinner fans heartbroken as Paul Ritter appears in 10th anniversary special for final interview before death

Paul Ritter died at the age of 54 from a brain tumour (Picture: Getty/Channel4)

Paul Ritter left Friday Night Dinner fans emotional after he appeared in the Channel 4 special on Friday night, having filmed his interview for the documentary prior to his death.

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Last month, it was announced Paul had died at the age of 54 from a brain tumour, shortly before the release of the show’s celebratory 10 year anniversary episode.

And viewers were shocked and saddened to see him looking unwell on the programme.

Taking to Twitter, one person wrote: ‘Words can’t describe how I feel watching the anniversary special of #FridayNightDinner. Breaks my heart that Paul Ritter isn’t here to see it being broadcast.’

Another tweeted: ‘So unbelievably sad to see Paul Ritter so clearly very ill…..all of the cast in #FridayNightDinner are spot on – but Paul just took it to another level. God bless him.’

Someone else posted: ‘#FridayNightDinner aww poor Paul look at him.’

Paul Ritter suffered a brain tumour before his death (Picture: Channel4)

He was a much-loved lead member of the Friday Night Dinner cast (Picture: Getty)

‘He looks really unwell, but the fact that he wanted to take part in the anniversary episode just goes to show how dedicated he was to the show! #FridayNightDinner,’ posted someone else.

While another person added: ‘Seeing Paul Ritter, and seeing what his illness did to him, is just heartbreaking to see Crying face#FridayNightDinner.’

Another saddened fan shared: ‘Very difficult to see Paul Ritter as he was in declining health during the #FridayNightDinner 10 year special. RIP, Paul.’

Words can’t describe how I feel watching the anniversary special of #FridayNightDinner. Breaks my heart that Paul Ritter isn’t here to see it being broadcast.

— Eleanor (@eleanorward_) May 28, 2021

So unbelievably sad to see Paul Ritter so clearly very ill…..all of the cast in #FridayNightDinner are spot on – but Paul just took it to another level. God bless him.

— Michael Laverty (@mrlphoto) May 28, 2021

#FridayNightDinner aww poor Paul look at him

— Ben Church (@ChurchieBoy1986) May 28, 2021

Seeing Paul Ritter, and seeing what his illness did to him, is just heartbreaking to see 😢#FridayNightDinner

— Alex (@AlexPaterson0) May 28, 2021

Very difficult to see Paul Ritter as he was in declining health during the #FridayNightDinner 10 year special.

RIP, Paul.

— Cal Tweedy (@CalTweedy) May 28, 2021

Tears in my eyes when Paul Ritter appeared on screen 😢 #FridayNightDinner

— Jordan Cronin (@jordancronin_) May 28, 2021

Paul first starred in Friday Night Dinner when it premiered on Channel 4 in 2011, playing Martin Goodman opposite Tamsin Greig’s Jackie Goodman.

And Tamsin paid tribute to her co-star at the start of the anniversary episode.

‘I’m sure you know very recently we lost our dear and cherished friend Paul Ritter. 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.

‘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.I know that Paul would want us all to sit back and laugh and enjoy this celebration of the FND universe.

Tamsin Grieg (right) paid tribute to Paul (left) during the tribute episode (Picture: Channel 4)

‘And say, as we do, in his memory, shalom.’

In a statement, the late actor’s rep said that Paul ‘died peacefully at home with his wife Polly and sons Frank and Noah by his side’.

The Friday Night Dinner cast have celebrated 10 years of the show (Picture: Getty)

In one part of the documentary, Paul shared his favourite scene from the show, a ‘moving’ moment when Wilson, the dog owned by the Goodman family’s eccentric neighbour Jim Bell (Mark Heap), dies.

‘My favourite bit of Friday Night Dinner has to be the death of Wilson,’ he said.

‘It was very clever by Robert because Wilson was the character who died, but it actually unlocked all our feelings about Jim.’

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In addition to Paul, Tamsin and Mark, the other stars of Friday Night Dinner include Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal as the Goodmans’ sons, Adam Goodman and Jonny Goodman respectively.

Tracy Ann Oberman played Auntie Val, Jackie’s best friend, while the late Frances Cuka portrayed Jackie’s mother, Grandma, and the Rosalind Knight starred as Martin’s mother, known as Horrible Grandma.

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