Tributes are pouring in for actor Paul Ritter who has died at the age of 54.
A statement from Paul’s agent revealed that he had been suffering from a brain tumour and passed away at home surrounded by his family.
“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,” read the statement.
The news came as a huge shock to to fans of the esteemed actor, many of whom fondly know Paul as patriarch Martin Goodman in Channel 4 comedy series Friday Night Dinner.
The statement from Paul’s agent is the first time reports of a health battle had been made public with Paul making appearances in TV dramas Belgravia and The Trial of Christine Keeler last year.
The actor is also due to appear in Operation Mincemeat, an upcoming war film directed by John Madde that is currently in post-production.
Paul stars as Bentley Purchase in the movie alongside Colin Firth and current Line of Duty star Kelly Macdonald.
The actor is also due to appear in the Friday Night Dinner 10th anniversary retrospective, which is scheduled to air on Channel 4 later this year.
Paul played Martin in the popular Channel 4 series from 2011 to 2020 alongside With Simon Bird, Tamsin Greig and Tom Rosenthal.
The diverse actor also won praise for his role as Anatoly Dyatlov in critically acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl in 2019.
Fans have been paying tribute online to the star and sharing their shock at the news of his passing.
“Absolutely gutted to hear that Paul Ritter has died. His performance as Martin in Friday Night Dinner was one of the funniest I’ve seen in years,” tweeted one.
“I can’t believe Paul Ritter has passed on. Such a versatile (and hilarious) actor. Rest easy, man,” said another.
“I’m actually speechless. Respects to Paul Ritter and his family. May another legend rest easy,” commented a third.
Bridgerton actress Nicola Coughlan tweeted: “So, so sad to hear this. I was such a fan of Paul Ritter he was absolutely magic, RIP.”
Catastrophe star Rob Delaney added: “Knocked it out of the PARK in Chernobyl. Watching it I consciously thought, “Oh, we have a new movie star.” Between that & how funny he was in Friday Night Dinner… just unreal talent. Rest in peace, Paul Ritter.”
A statement from Paul’s agent described him as ‘an exceptionally talented actor playing an enormous variety of roles on stage and screen with extraordinary skill”, describing him as “fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny.’
“We will miss him greatly,” it said.