Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter dies aged 54 after brain tumour battle

Harry Potter and Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter
(Image credit: Getty)

Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter has died aged 54 following a brain tumour battle.

Harry Potter and Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter has died from a brain tumor aged 54, his agent has confirmed as fans pay tribute to the beloved star.

The actor, who starred in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince alongside Rupert Grint, was most recently known for his role in Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner, in which he appeared on screen alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal.

His agent told The Guardian, he died 'peacefully' on Monday, April 5 from a brain tumour at home with his wife and two children by his bedside.

In a statement, his agent said, ‘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 Ritter, far left and the cast of Friday Night Dinner

(Image credit: Getty)

The 2006 Olivier award-nominated actor and 2009 American Tony Award-nominated actor also started in Quantum of Solace and, had a memorable role, playing Anatoly Dyatlov in HBO’s Chernobyl mini-series.

His agent added, '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.’

And fellow actors and fans have paid tribute to the star on social media when news of his death broke, with some posting their favourite clips of the star in action.

Broadcaster Tony Shepherd wrote, 'RIP to Paul Ritter, who played dad Martin Goodman in ‘Friday Night Dinner’. He’s died after a brain tumour at 54. Very sad news. Thank you for the laughs.'

Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan wrote, 'So, so sad to hear this. I was such a fan of Paul Ritter he was absolutely magic, RIP.'

Many online tributes also quoted his ‘sh*t on it’ catchphrase, alongside the classic, ‘Lovely bit of squirrel.’

One fan wrote, 'One of my favourite Martin Moments. RIP Paul Ritter, another put. 'Nobody did loveable idiocy quite like Paul Ritter in Friday Night Dinner. May he rest in peace.' Another put, 'Paul Ritter was one of the most versatile & brilliant actors that has ever drawn breath. If Paul Ritter was in something, it made it good. This is horrendous news.' And a fourth added, 'RIP Paul Ritter. Thank you for many, many nights of laughing until I turned red'.

Among his other credits are Vera, The Hollow Crown, and The Last Kingdom.

A documentary based on Friday Night Dinner, You Look Nice: The True Story of Friday Night Dinner was filmed before Paul passed away and is expected to air in 2021. The 90-minute documentary will celebrate 10 years of the beloved sitcom.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)