Friday Night Dinner

Last updated

Friday Night Dinner
Friday night dinner.png
Main title screen
Genre Sitcom
Black comedy
Created by Robert Popper
Written byRobert Popper
Directed by Steve Bendelack (series 1)
Martin Dennis (series 2–6)
Starring Tamsin Greig
Paul Ritter
Simon Bird
Tom Rosenthal
Mark Heap
Music by"Meddle" by Little Boots
"Fot i hose" by Casiokids
"1901" by Phoenix
"Believe E.S.P." by Deerhoof
"Walk The Line" (Original Mix) by Dani Siciliano (series 4–6)
Opening theme"Animal" (Punks Jump Up Remix) by Miike Snow
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series6
No. of episodes37 (list of episodes)
Executive producers Nira Park
Caroline Leddy
Kenton Allen
ProducerRobert Popper
Production locationLondon
Running time21–25 minutes
Production companiesPopper Pictures
Big Talk Productions
Distributor BBC Studios
Original network Channel 4
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release25 February 2011 (2011-02-25) 
1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)

Friday Night Dinner is a British television sitcom written by Robert Popper and starred Tamsin Greig, Paul Ritter, Simon Bird, Tom Rosenthal, and Mark Heap. [1] The comedy was focused on the regular dinner experience of the middle-class British Jewish Goodman family every Friday night. The series aired from 2011 to 2020 on Channel 4. Following the conclusion of the sixth series and Paul Ritter's death in 2021, it was announced that the show would not return. [2] [3]


The show received two BAFTA nominations in 2012. The first series was nominated for Best Situation Comedy, while Greig was nominated for Best Female Comedy Performance. [4] In 2021, for his performance in the final series of the show, Ritter received a posthumous BAFTA nomination for Best Male Comedy Performance. [5]


Friday Night Dinner depicts Shabbat dinner in the middle-class secular Jewish Goodman family, reflecting writer and producer Robert Popper's own secular Jewish upbringing. [6] It is set in suburban North London, [7] and filmed there, in Mill Hill. [8] The family consists of mother Jackie Goodman (Tamsin Greig), father Martin (Paul Ritter), elder son and musician Adam (Simon Bird), and younger son and estate agent Jonny (Tom Rosenthal). The episodes follow the family as the sons arrive at the family home and proceed to their dinner, which is often interrupted by numerous things. Most frequently, it is disrupted by Adam and Jonny pranking each other, Martin's oddities and their strange neighbour Jim Bell (Mark Heap), who is attracted to Jackie. Jim visits the Goodmans frequently, due to his loneliness, in most cases accompanied by his dog – of whom he is afraid.

Jackie's best friend, Valerie "Auntie Val" Lewis (Tracy Ann Oberman), is also a frequent visitor, as was Jackie's mother, Eleanor "Nellie" Buller (Frances Cuka). Martin's mother, Cynthia Goodman (Rosalind Knight), referred to as Horrible Grandma, was an occasional guest to the Goodman household.

Cast and characters




Episode list

SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAverage UK viewers
(millions) [lower-alpha 1]
First airedLast aired
1 625 February 2011 (2011-02-25)8 April 2011 (2011-04-08)N/A
2 67 October 2012 (2012-10-07)11 November 2012 (2012-11-11)N/A
Special 24 December 2012 (2012-12-24)1.54
3 620 June 2014 (2014-06-20)25 July 2014 (2014-07-25)1.45
4 622 July 2016 (2016-07-22)26 August 2016 (2016-08-26)1.66
5 64 May 2018 (2018-05-04)8 June 2018 (2018-06-08)2.09
6 627 March 2020 (2020-03-27)1 May 2020 (2020-05-01)4.70
  1. The average rating for the first three series have been calculated using 7-day viewing figures, while the ratings for the latter three series use 28-day viewing figures.


For the 10th anniversary of the show, a special 90-minute documentary episode aired on Channel 4 on 28 May 2021, entitled Friday Night Dinner: Ten Years and A Lovely Bit of Squirrel. [10] The documentary was dedicated to Paul Ritter. [11]

American remake

In September 2011, Deadline Hollywood announced that Greg Daniels, who had adapted The Office for American television, would spearhead an American remake of the series for the broadcast network NBC. [12] The remake was picked up for a pilot, written by Daniels and directed by Ken Kwapis [13] and starring Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub as the parents. [14] The pilot did not go to series.

In 2014, CBS bought an adaptation of the British show for the American market, as a "put pilot". [15]

In 2016 a third attempt at an American remake was under development by CBS, with the title Sunday Night Dinner. [16] [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

Tamsin Greig British actress and comedian

Tamsin Margaret Mary Greig is an English actress, narrator and comedian. She played Fran Katzenjammer in the Channel 4 sitcom Black Books, Dr Caroline Todd in the Channel 4 sitcom Green Wing, Beverly Lincoln in British-American sitcom Episodes and Jackie Goodman in the Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner. Other roles include Alice Chenery in BBC One's comedy-drama series Love Soup, Debbie Aldridge in BBC Radio 4's soap opera The Archers, Miss Bates in the 2009 BBC version of Jane Austen's Emma, and Beth Hardiment in the 2010 film version of Tamara Drewe. In 2020, Greig starred as Anne Trenchard in Julian Fellowes' ITV series Belgravia.

Mark Heap is an English actor and comedian. He is known for his roles in television comedies, including, Brass Eye (1997–2001), Big Train (1998–2002), Spaced (1999–2001), Jam (2000), Green Wing (2004–2007), Friday Night Dinner (2011–2020), Upstart Crow (2016–present), and Benidorm (2017–2018).

Robert Popper

Robert Darren Popper is a British comedy producer, writer, actor, and author, best known as co-creator of the mock BBC documentary Look Around You, and creator of Channel 4's sitcom Friday Night Dinner. He also wrote the books The Timewaster Letters, Return of The Timewaster Letters and The Timewaster Diaries under the pseudonym Robin Cooper.

Greg Daniels American writer, producer, and director

Gregory Martin Daniels is an American screenwriter, television producer, and director. He has worked on several television series, including Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, adapted The Office for the United States, and co-created Parks and Recreation and King of the Hill. Daniels attended Harvard University where he became friends and started writing with Conan O'Brien. His first writing credit was for Not Necessarily the News, before he was laid off due to budget cuts. He eventually became a writer for two long-running series: Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons.

Jim Rosenthal

Jim Rosenthal is an English sports presenter and commentator. In a long broadcasting career, Rosenthal has presented coverage of many sports including football, rugby, automotive racing, boxing and athletics. He has covered eight FIFA World Cups, three Rugby World Cups, two Olympic Games and 150 Formula One races.

Kenton Allen

Kenton Allen is a British television producer and executive. He became Chief Executive of Big Talk Productions in September 2008. He is a multi-award–winning programme-maker with credits including the BAFTA Award-winning sitcoms The Royle Family and Rev. and the Oscar-winning film Six Shooter. He was the Advisory Chair of the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival 2012.

Simon Bird English actor and comedian

Simon Antony Bird is an English actor, comedian and director. He is best known for playing Will McKenzie in the E4 comedy series The Inbetweeners (2008–2010), as well as its two films, and Adam Goodman in the Channel 4 comedy series Friday Night Dinner (2011–2020).

Paul Ritter English actor (1966–2021)

Simon Paul Adams, known professionally as Paul Ritter, was an English actor. He had roles in films including Son of Rambow (2007), Quantum of Solace (2008), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), and The Eagle (2011), as well as television programmes including Friday Night Dinner (2011–2020), Vera, The Hollow Crown, The Last Kingdom,Chernobyl, Belgravia and Resistance.

Tom Rosenthal (actor)

Thomas Alan Smith Rosenthal is an English actor, comedian, and writer. Born in Hammersmith, London, he is the son of television sports presenter Jim Rosenthal. His television roles include Jonny Goodman in Friday Night Dinner (2011–2020) and Marcus Gallo in Plebs (2013–present). Rosenthal has written and performed three stand-up comedy shows, including Child of Privilege (2011), благодаря (2013), and Manhood (2019–2020) which was highly rated at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

<i>Sirens</i> (2014 TV series)

Sirens is an American comedy television series loosely based on the British series of the same name. The American version was adapted by actor Denis Leary and screenwriter Bob Fisher. The series aired for two seasons on the USA cable television network from March 6, 2014, through April 14, 2015. On April 22, 2015, USA cancelled Sirens after two seasons.

<i>This Country</i> British television series

This Country is a British mockumentary sitcom, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Three on 8 February 2017. Created by, written by and starring siblings Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper, the series is about the day-to-day lives of two cousins living in a small village in the Cotswolds. The programme centres on themes of social clumsiness, the trivialities of human behaviour, the eccentricities of living in rural England, and the boredom and social isolation of young people in small communities. Following rave reviews and over four million iPlayer requests, on 18 July 2017 the BBC renewed the programme for a second series, the first episode of which released on 26 February 2018. On 20 April 2018, the BBC renewed the programme for a 40-minute one-off special, as well as a third and final series, which aired from February 2020 to March 2020.

<i>The Neighborhood</i> (TV series) 2018 American comedy television series

The Neighborhood is an American sitcom television series, created by Jim Reynolds, that premiered on October 1, 2018, on CBS. The series follows a white Midwestern family as they adjust to moving into a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Pasadena, California. It stars Cedric the Entertainer, Max Greenfield, Sheaun McKinney, Marcel Spears, Hank Greenspan, Tichina Arnold, and Beth Behrs. In January 2019, CBS announced it had renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on September 23, 2019. In May 2020, the series was renewed for a third season which premiered on November 16, 2020. In February 2021, the series was renewed for a fourth season which is scheduled to premiere on September 20, 2021.

<i>Upload</i> (TV series) American science fiction comedy-drama television series

Upload is an American science fiction comedy-drama television series created by Greg Daniels. The series premiered on May 1, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video and was renewed for a second season seven days later.

The Big Leap is an upcoming American musical comedy-drama television series created by Liz Heldens that scheduled to premiere on Fox as a fall entry in the during the 2021–22 television season. It is based on a British reality television series.

Ghosts is an upcoming American television sitcom adapted from the 2019 BBC One series of the same name, created by Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard, and Ben Willbond for CBS. It is scheduled to premiere on October 7, 2021.


  1. Plunkett, John (12 February 2010). "Tamsin Greig and Pulling's Paul Ritter to star in Channel 4 comedy". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  2. "Friday Night Dinner documentary dedicated to Paul Ritter". The List. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  3. "Season Six Of Friday Night Dinner Was The Last One, Creator Robert Popper Confirms". Lad Bible. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  4. "Television Awards Winners in 2012". BAFTA. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  5. "BAFTA TV 2021: The Winners and Nominations for the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards and British Academy Television Craft Awards". BAFTA. 28 April 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  6. Saner, Emine (4 March 2011). "Tamsin Greig: 'I always think I'll never work again'". The Guardian.
  7. "Friday Night Dinner. House, Cast and why we won't get another series. • Dailytap". Dailytap. 19 June 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  8. Friday Night Dinner stars Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal talk returning to the show
  9. Guide, British Comedy. "Harry Landis". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  10. "'Friday Night Dinner' anniversary documentary to air this spring". NME. 13 January 2021. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  11. West, Amy (7 April 2021). "Friday Night Dinner documentary to be dedicated to late star Paul Ritter". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  12. Andreeva, Nellie (6 September 2011). "Greg Daniels To Adapt British Comedy 'Friday Night Dinner' For NBC". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  13. Andreeva, Nellie (3 February 2012). "Ken Kwapis Set To Direct NBC Pilot 'Friday Night Dinner', Reunites With Greg Daniels". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  14. Andreeva, Nellie (7 February 2012). "Allison Janney & Tony Shalhoub To Star in Greg Daniels' NBC Pilot 'Friday Night Dinner'". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  15. Nellie Andreeva (21 August 2014). "CBS Buys Adaptation Of British Comedy 'Friday Night Dinner' As Put Pilot". Deadline. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  16. Nellie Andreeva (30 August 2016). "CBS Developing New Adaptation Of UK Comedy Series 'Friday Night Dinner'". Deadline. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  17. Jeffery, Morgan (31 August 2016). "They're remaking Friday Night Dinner for the US – again". DigitalSpy. Retrieved 4 April 2020.