Tamsin Greig pays tribute to 'courageous' Paul Ritter

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 7 April 2021
Tamsin Greig

Tamsin Greig

'Friday Night Dinner' actress Tamsin Greig has paid tribute to her late co-star Paul Ritter, and she praised his "enormous courage and effort" after he filmed a BBC Radio 4 drama with her just a few weeks before he died

Tamsin Greig has praised Paul Ritter's "enormous courage and effort" after he filmed a drama with her just a few weeks before he died.

The 'Friday Night Dinner' actress has paid tribute to her late co-star – who died of a brain tumour this week, aged 54 – and admitted she was "honoured" that he was prepared to shoot a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Anne Youngson’s novel 'Meet Me at the Museum' alongside her when he was "so ill".

She said: "I had the enormous privilege of collaborating with Paul on a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Anne Youngson’s novel Meet Me at the Museum, a few weeks before he died. He plays Anders Larsen.

"At times, it feels as if you are simply listening to a documentary about an isolated Danish museum curator, so skilfully does Paul inhabit the character.

"It took enormous courage and effort for him to record the drama remotely from his home when he was so ill, and I am honoured that he so willingly agreed to do it.

"It is a fine legacy and tribute to his artistry, and a gift of time and experience that I will treasure."

Tamsin agreed to star as matriarch Jackie Goodman in 'Friday Night Dinner' if the show's bosses could get Paul on board to portray her on-screen husband Martin Goodman, and insisted he "far surpassed everyone’s expectations" in the role.

She said: "When I was told that they wanted him to play Martin Goodman in the pilot episode of 'Friday Night Dinner', I said, 'You get him and I’m in.'

"Not only did Paul deliver in the role, he far surpassed everyone’s expectations – surprising, versatile, oddball, rooted in the clearest truth and always utterly, heart-stoppingly hilarious."

And the 54-year-old star believes the world is now a "less brilliant place" following Paul's passing.

In a piece for The Guardian newspaper, she wrote: "I am eternally grateful that our paths crossed. His kindness, attention to detail and phenomenal memory, his passion for music and football, his devotion to his beautiful family, his complete inability to accept a compliment, and his quiet, loyal, compassionate friendship will stay with me for ever.

"The world is a less brilliant place without Paul in it. Go lightly, my friend. You are deeply beloved."

Tom Rosenthal, who played Paul's on-screen son Jonny Goodman in 'Friday Night Dinner', has praised the late star as "the most devastatingly intelligent and conscientious person".

He wrote on Twitter: "Incredibly sad and thoughts are with Polly, Frank and Noah. x

"Thank you for all your messages, they’re a testament to how great an actor Paul was and how many lives he touched. He was the most devastatingly intelligent and conscientious person with an unmatched crossword acumen and an incredible memory.

"If he met you once I swear he knew your name for life. Luckily for us he turned such a wonderful mind to bringing life to Martin Goodman for whom he would do whatever it took to make us laugh.

"Anyone who’s seen Friday Night Dinner knows the amount of s*** we put him through and I never once heard him complain. I’ll be forever thankful for working with someone who was so supportive and who taught me so much about professionalism and humility in acting.

"It was a total pleasure an honour. (sic)" 

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