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A Friday Night Dinner Documentary Was In The Works Just Months Before Paul Ritter's Death

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A Friday Night Dinner Documentary Was In The Works Just Months Before Paul Ritter's Death

After the sad news today of actor Paul Ritter's death from a brain tumour at the age of 54, it's now come to light that a Friday Night Dinner documentary was in the works prior to the his death.

Ritter, who played dad Martin Goodman in the comedy series, died peacefully on Monday evening with his wife and two sons beside him.

His agent confirmed: "It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night."

Cult TV show Friday Night Dinner ran for six seasons on Channel 4 from 2011 until last year, where both Adam and Jonny finally found "females".

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Also starring Tamsin Greig, The Inbetweeners actor Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal, the show was a hit with fans, who watched as the Goodman family came together every Friday night to eat a traditional Jewish dinner together.

Paul Ritter played Dad Martin Goodman in the Channel 4 show (Credit: Channel 4)
Paul Ritter played Dad Martin Goodman in the Channel 4 show (Credit: Channel 4)

Alongside Paul Ritter, Greig played mum Jackie, while Bird and Rosenthal played sons Adam and Jonny.

The comedy also featured Mark Heap as Jim, who often called at the most inconvenient times, along with his pet dog, Wilson, and was often the cause of the 30-minute episode's mishaps.

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To celebrate the show's 10th anniversary, Channel 4 were due to air a Friday Night Dinner-themed night in the spring and, according to the synopsis, Paul Ritter was due to appear in it.

As part of the special night of programming, the channel was planning to air a "brand new 90 minute celebratory documentary" named 'You Look Nice: The True Story of Friday Night Dinner'.

The show ran for six series (Credit: Channel 4)
The show ran for six series (Credit: Channel 4)

The behind-the-scenes documentary was tipped to look at why the show was so popular with viewers, from its origins as a pilot shot in creator Robert Popper's parent's home, to its series six finale.

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Should it still go ahead, it is also set to include interviews with key cast members, including Tamsin Greig and supporting cast members such as Tracy-Ann Oberman, who played Auntie Val in the show.

Not only that but the plan was for the documentary feature exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, insights and anecdotes from the case and crew, as well as outtakes which have never been shown on screen.

Tyla has contacted Channel 4 for details on whether the doc will still be going ahead without Ritter.

The show also starred Mark Heap as neighbour Jim (Credit: Channel 4)
The show also starred Mark Heap as neighbour Jim (Credit: Channel 4)
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In a special event named Friday Night Dinner Night, Channel 4 also recently announced plans to air the nation's top three favourite episodes, as voted by the British public. These are meant to be screened after the documentary.

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, said in January: "Over the past ten years Friday Night Dinner has become a critically-acclaimed, ratings and award-winning smash hit, with viewers loving our dysfunctional family as much as we do.

"We're looking forward to spending an evening giving them the celebration they deserve, so we hope you can virtually gather your Mum, Dad, Auntie Val and your socially awkward (and distanced) neighbour and enjoy a lovely little night with The Goodman's.

Kenton Allen, Big Talk CEO added: "For the first time ever Friday Night Dinner Night will reveal the true story of how a tiny idea became a massive hit.

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"In these incredibly difficult times, I couldn't be more delighted that Channel 4 have decided to take fans of the show behind the scenes to discover what it really takes to make a lovely bit of squirrel for millions of viewers."

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, TV News

Aneira Davies
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