Friday Night Dinner special 2021: cast of 10 year anniversary episode after Paul Ritter’s death - and when is it on TV?

Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig will return to our screens in '10 Years And a Lovely Bit of Squirrel' documentary showcasing the funniest moments of the comedy series
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The award winning comedy Friday Night Dinner is back once again for a special dedicated to celebrating a decade of the Goodman family.

This is everything you need to know.

What is the special – and who will appear in it?

Will you be tuning in for the special? (Photo: Channel 4)Will you be tuning in for the special? (Photo: Channel 4)
Will you be tuning in for the special? (Photo: Channel 4)

Friday Night Dinner: 10 Years and Lovely Bit of Squirrel will kick off with a 90 minute documentary which will delve into the journey of the comedy, from a five minute pilot to comedy gold spanning six seasons.

The special will celebrate a decade of the comedy, and will feature exclusive interviews from the key stars, including Tamsin Greig (Episodes, Black Books), Simon Bird (The Inbetweeners, Sandylands), Tom Rosenthal (Plebs, Flat TV) and Mark Heap (Green Wing, The Trouble with Maggie Cole).

The documentary will also include the thoughts of celebrity fans including Claudia Winkleman (Strictly Come Dancing, Would I Lie to You?), Joe Thomas (The Inbetweeners, White Gold), David Baddiel (Elliott from Earth, Horrible Histories) and Jessica Hynes (Spaced, Years and Years).

The special will then be followed by the top three best episodes of the series as voted by the public.

Speaking of the special, Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper said: “I’m delighted that the cast and crew’s amazing work is being recognised in this documentary - unless, of course, everything in it is entirely negative.”

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, said: “Over the past 10 years Friday Night Dinner has become a critically-acclaimed, ratings and award-winning smash hit, with viewers loving our dysfunctional family as much as we do.

“We’re looking forward to spending an evening giving them the celebration they deserve, so we hope you can virtually gather your Mum, Dad, Auntie Val and your socially awkward (and distanced) neighbour and enjoy a lovely little night with The Goodman’s.”

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Will Paul Ritter be in the special?

Paul Ritter, who passed away in April after suffering from a brain tumour, will star posthumously in the special.

Ritter, who played Martin Goodman, will discuss his role as the father of the household, saying: “I’d be nothing without him. Seriously. I mean, it was the great career gift.

“In terms of interesting parts, he’s been absolutely everything to me, and I have loved playing him. I’ve loved all the sort of extraordinary scenes we do.”

Speaking about her on-screen husband, Tamsin Greig, said: “I’m sure you know that we recently lost our dear and most cherished friend Paul Ritter, who plays Martin Goodman in Friday Night Dinner.

“We all miss him terribly, an incredible actor, a true friend, and a lovely human being. Sadly, at the time of making the documentary, Paul was pretty unwell and to be honest - don’t tell the producers this - but I did try to persuade him not to do the interview.

“But it is a testament to Paul’s courage and generosity and dignity and complete lack of vanity that he wanted to participate in the documentary, to do an interview and to really celebrate this little world that he’s been a part of, and that he’s enjoyed so much over the years.

“So I know that Paul would all 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”.”

When will the special air?

Friday Night Dinner: Ten Years and a Lovely Bit of Squirrel will air on Channel 4 at 9pm on Friday 28 May.

For those wanting to catch up on the comedy from the beginning, you can do so on the Channel 4 site.

All seasons of Friday Night Dinner are available to watch on the Channel 4 website, and after the special has aired, it will also be available on the site as well.

Will there be a season seven?

Popper previously confirmed that following the anniversary special, there will be no more seasons of the comedy.

LadBible asked Popper whether he had always planned to end the show with seasons six before beginning writing, to which Popper replied: “It wasn’t actually. I never really know until I start.

“I have all my ideas and I have my board up on a wall, but I never really know, until I start an episode, what it’s going to be about.

“But I did think half way through it would be great if they both brought girls round, and then I thought that one of them was pregnant and then, “Oh, what happens if they’re both pregnant?”, so I thought that was good.”

Explaining why the show is ending, Popper said: “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.”

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