‘A lovely bit of squirrel’: Paul Ritter’s most memorable roles

‘A lovely bit of squirrel’: Paul Ritter’s most memorable roles

The Guardian

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Ritter carved out a wonderful career, culminating in the acclaimed Chernobyl – but he’ll be remembered most as oddball patriarch Martin Goodman in Friday Night Dinner

Paul Ritter, who died on Monday at the age of 54, is destined to be remembered as the dad from Friday Night Dinner. And rightly so. If you think of Ritter, or Friday Night Dinner for that matter, one image will almost certainly be seared into your mind: Ritter, walking around with his top off like it was the most normal thing in the world, complaining about the heat, or enquiring after a “lovely bit of squirrel”.

That role, and that image, brought Ritter a level of fame he had previously never achieved. Before the sitcom, which began in 2011, he had worked solidly in a number of small screen parts, usually playing characters who were professions first and people second – Detective Sergeant in 1998’s Big Cat, Geography Teacher in 2007’s Son of Rambow and Prisoner Louis in Hannibal Rising from the same year – while tending to a growing reputation on the stage. In 2006, he was nominated for an Olivier award for Coram Boy, and a Tony three years later for The Norman Conquests.

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