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Harry Potter actor and Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter dies after battle with brain tumour

Tributes have poured in for Kent actor Paul Ritter following his death after a battle with a brain tumour.

The Friday Night Dinner star, often seen in pubs or out shopping in his home town of Faversham, passed away on Monday at the age of 54.

Paul Ritter (top left) played Martin in Friday Night Dinner alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal. Picture: Channel 4
Paul Ritter (top left) played Martin in Friday Night Dinner alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal. Picture: Channel 4

He played Martin in the Channel 4 sitcom, alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal.

In a statement released today, it was revealed he died at home with his wife and sons at his side.

A spokesman for the actor said: "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.

Paul Ritter was a fan favourite on Friday Night Dinner
Paul Ritter was a fan favourite on Friday Night Dinner

"He was fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny. We will miss him greatly."

Mr Ritter became a favourite of fans of Friday Night Dinner, best known for repeating the phrase "a lovely bit of squirrel".

He also appeared in Chernobyl and blockbuster films Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Quantum of Solace.

His final role was in World War II movie Operation Mincemeat, which is yet to be released.

Reacting to the news, Hollywood star Eddie Marson described Mr Ritter as "one of our greatest actors".

Watch KMTV's report on the tributes which have come in after his tragic death

He said: "Just out of drama school I saw a production of Three Sisters.

"A young actor playing Tuzenbach, did the monologue before the duel.

"I’d heard it every week at drama school. But when he did it, I forgot I’d heard it before.

"He went on to be one of our greatest actors. RIP Paul Ritter."

Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield also described the actor as "a lovely man", having bumped into him a handful of times in Kent.

The politician said: "So very sad about Paul Ritter.

"I bumped into him every now and then in Kent, first as a big Friday Night Dinner fan several years ago in a Canterbury coffee shop, he stopped and chatted for ages.

"As well as being a hugely talented actor, he was a lovely man."

Fellow actor Kenny Doughty paid tribute to Mr Ritter online, writing: "Shocked and upset to hear about the passing of Paul Ritter.

"Wonderful actor who I had the privilege of sharing the stage with.

"Gone too soon. Will be dearly missed. Thoughts and prayers to the family."

Read more: All the latest news from Faversham

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