Friday Night Dinner fans break down in tears as show's stars pay tribute to Paul Ritter weeks after his tragic death

FANS of Friday Night Dinner have broken down in tears watching tongiht's throwback show as the stars paid tribute to Paul Ritter.

Actor Paul, who played family patriarch Martin in the Channel 4 sitcom, tragically passed away from a brain tumour at the age of 54 on April 6.

Ritter played father Martin, with Tamsin Greig playing his wife Jackie – while Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthall as sons Adam and Jonny.

Viewers admitted they were left "emotional" as the tribute programme showed behind-the-scenes moments of Paul and fellow cast members.

The throwback episode aired the final interview given by Paul before his passing, discussing his time acting in the shows 37 iconic episodes.

As it began, Tamsin played tribute to her on-screen husband as she said the cast "miss him terribly" and dubbed him "a lovely human being".

"We all miss him terribly, an incredible actor, a true friend and a lovely human being," she said of her co-star.

"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 to persuade him not to do the interview.

"But it is testament to Paul's dignity and courage and complete lack of vanity that he wanted to participate in the documentary and to really celebrate this little world that' hes been part of…

"I know Paul would also 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."

Following the tribute, the show detailed some of character Martin's best bits – with creator Robert Popper, noting his "incredible acting".

"He's just so fantastic, he gets everything spot on and more," Robert continued as he likened the actor to his own father.

Taking to Twitter, fans said they were "crying" at the "happy but sad" moments seeing Paul on screen weeks after his passing and Tasmin's heartfelt message.

"I am crying at the Friday Night Dinner doc already," one woman said just five minutes into the show as another agreed: "I'm already crying."

"Sobbing over Paul Ritter on Friday Night Dinner already," a third wrote.

"Friday Night Dinner 10 year special got me sobbing already," said a fourth.

Fans also noted the differences in Paul's appearance as he was shown on screen – as he looked different due to treatment for his tumour.

"Bless him he looked so ill when this was filmed," one man said. "So so sad to see him like that. Bless him."

"Tearing up watching Paul. Seeing him look how he does in it knowing he was very very sick just. I can't," a second agreed.

Earlier this week, the show's creator confirmed that Friday Night Dinner had officially ended – with no new episodes in the pipeline.

Creator Robert Popper has said he has no plans to continue the show without Paul Ritter, and felt the show had reached its natural end anyway. 

He explained to LadBible: “I was thinking this will be the end, because I didn't want to do a series where they had kids and babies and Jim would have seven dogs, also, like, the world's weirdest dog that you couldn't find seven of."

Friday Night Dinner followed the weekly Shabbat dinner of middle class Jewish family, the Goodmans – and the antics that came during each family meal. 

The Channel 4 comedy series ended on a high note in May 2020 with the reveal that both Adam and Jonny’s girlfriends were pregnant. 

Considering the announcements made a good stopping point, Robert explained he felt it was time to let the series go. 

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