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Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter dies of brain tumour aged 54

The actor was a familiar face on British television

paul ritter© Photo: Getty Images
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
April 6, 2021
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Paul Ritter has died at the age of 54, it has been confirmed. The actor, who is best known for his roles in Channel 4 comedy Friday Night Dinner, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Chernobyl, sadly passed away on Monday from a brain tumour at his home in Kent surrounded by family.

MORE: Celebrities who have sadly passed away in 2021

A statement from his agent reads: "It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night.

friday night dinner© Photo: Channel 4

Paul was best known for his role in Friday Night Dinner

"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."

Paul began his career in television just under 30 years ago, appearing in the police drama The Bill. He went on to star in the likes of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Nowhere Boy and Quantum of Solace before becoming one of TV's best-loved dads in the Channel 4 comedy Friday Night Dinner.

paul ritter stage© Photo: Rex

Paul was also a talented stage actor

From 2011 to 2020, he starred as the family patriarch Martin Goodman alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal in the award-winning sitcom.

He was also a talented stage actor, having been nominated for an Olivier award in 2006 fo Coram Boy and for a Tony award in 2009 for his performance in The Norman Conquests. In 2019 he starred in the critically acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl.  The five-part miniseries became the best-rated show ever on IMDb and hailed by many as "the greatest drama of all time".

Earlier this year, it was announced that a special reunion episode of Friday Night Dinner would be taking place to mark the show's ten year anniversary. It is set to air on Channel 4 later this year.

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