“I first saw Paul on stage in Alan Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquests trilogy at the Old Vic in 2008,” she recalled.
“I couldn’t take my eyes off him. 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.'”
Successful in the casting, Tamsin believed Paul “far surpassed” everyone’s expectations, bringing life to the “surprising, versatile oddball” that was heart-stoppingly hilarious.
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“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,” Tamsin gushed.
“It is a fine legacy and tribute to his artistry, and a gift of time and experience that I will treasure.”
She went on to say: “I am eternally grateful that our paths crossed.
The actress added: “The world is a less brilliant place without Paul in it. Go lightly, my friend. You are deeply beloved.”
Paul was also well known for his parts in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the Sky and HBO show Chernobyl, but his successful career began back in 1992 on stage.
He was next due to appear later this year in a retrospective of Friday Night Dinner, which is set to pay tribute to the star in the upcoming series.
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A statement from production company Big Talk, which produced the series, said: “We were incredibly sad to learn that Paul Ritter passed away last night.
“He was a brilliant, kind and talented man much loved by everyone who was lucky enough to know and work with him, and Paul will forever be part of both the Big Talk and Friday Night Dinner families.
“Our thoughts are with his own family at this time and following their wishes we will be making a donation to the Old Vic Impact Fund.”
He added: “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 and honour.” Many others from the comedy world and beyond posted messages of support.
Paul’s family wishes any tribute donations to be made to https://www.oldvictheatre.com/support-us/donate. The forthcoming 10th anniversary celebration of Friday Night Dinner on Channel 4 will be dedicated to Paul.