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Friday Night Dinner and Harry Potter star Paul Ritter dies aged 54 from brain tumour


Paul Ritter has died aged 54 (Picture: Channel 4)

Harry Potter and Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter has died aged 54.

The actor’s rep confirmed that Ritter died on Monday night after battling a brain tumour.

A statement shared with Metro.co.uk read: ‘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 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.’

Ritter was best known for playing family patriarch Martin Goodman in the Channel 4 comedy Friday Night Dinner, alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bord and Tom Rosenthal.

The show first aired in 2011, with its sixth series airing last year.

Ritter played Martin on Friday Night Dinner (Picture: Channel 4)

Ritter had filmed a retrospective special for the 10th anniversary of the comedy, which is due to air on Channel 4 later this year.

In his TV career, Ritter also starred in Henry IV, Part II as part of Sam Mendes’ The Hollow Crown series, in the BBC drama The Game, and shows including No Offence, Chernobyl, The Trial of Christine Keeler, Plebs, Cold Feet and Vera.

On the big screen, Ritter appeared in 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as Eldred Worple, a wizard introduced to Harry at Professor Slughorn’s Christmas party. 

Ritter appeared in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Picture: Warner Bros)

Other film roles included Quantum of Solace, Hannibal Rising, Son of Rambow and Suite Francaise, while he recently filmed the upcoming war drama Operation Mincemeat with Colin Firth, Kelly Macdonald and Matthew Macfayden. 

A gifted theatre actor, Ritter was nominated for an Olivier for best performance in a supporting role for Coram Boy in 2006, and a Tony Award in 2009 for best performance by an actor in a featured role for his turn in The Norman Conquests.

Tributes have flooded social media, with many fans recalling Martin Goodman’s classic catchphrase ‘S*** on it’ as they heard the news.

Others praised Ritter’s range as they remembered his work in dramas like Chernobyl as well as his comedy roles.

Ritter is survived by his wife Polly and his children Frank and Noah.


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