Simon Bird’s tribute to Paul Ritter


Twitter has carried hundreds of tributes to Paul Ritter over the past few days. Simon Bird, one of Paul’s ‘bambinos’ on Friday Night Dinner is not on Twitter so asked his ‘brother’ Tom Rosenthal to post the following comments on his behalf

“Not even going to touch the acting. That goes without saying. He was the best in the business.

What’s less well known is that he was also the Platonic ideal of a green room companion: unfailingly generous (with praise, snacks, the Guardian Sport section); unendingly thoughtful (he would set up shop on the floor if he knew there were going to be more actors than chairs in that day); and undeniably cool (calm and collected in his flat cap, but an absolute coiled spring if there was a game in the offing).

He was such a peaceful presence but throbbing with intelligence and – let’s not beat around the bush – entirely capable of a hilariously indiscreet and filthy broadside when in the mood.

I think I’ll always aspire to be like Paul. I guess that’ll happen when someone pretends to be your Dad for 10 years. I feel unbelievably fortunate to have spent so much time in that green room and hope his real bambinos know how much his fake bambinos loved and looked up to him.”

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