Hilarious and Heartwarming: Friday Night Dinner is a Must-Watch TV Series

If you’re in the mood for a good laugh and heartwarming family moments, look no further than the British sitcom, Friday Night Dinner. Created by Robert Popper, the show premiered in 2011 and quickly became a fan favorite for its quirky characters, relatable family dynamics, and unforgettable catchphrases.

The series centers around the Goodman family, who gather every Friday night for their traditional dinner. The parents, Jackie and Martin, are played by Tamsin Greig and Paul Ritter, respectively, and their two adult sons, Adam and Jonny, are portrayed by Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal. Each episode features the family dealing with a new mishap or comedic situation, often involving their eccentric neighbor, Jim (Mark Heap).

Full cast

Here is the cast list for the TV series “Friday Night Dinner”:

  1. Tamsin Greig as Jackie Goodman
  2. Paul Ritter as Martin Goodman
  3. Simon Bird as Adam Goodman
  4. Tom Rosenthal as Jonny Goodman
  5. Mark Heap as Jim Bell
  6. Tracy Ann Oberman as Auntie Val
  7. Rosalind Knight as Grandma
  8. Frances Cuka as Grandma (replaced Rosalind Knight after her death in 2020)
  9. Harry Landis as Grandad
  10. Hattie Morahan as Heather
  11. Matthew Holness as Chris Parker
  12. Shalom Brune-Franklin as Liz
  13. Ryan Sampson as Adam’s best friend Jim
  14. Mark Benton as Dr. Morris
  15. Rebecca Front as Mrs. Levinson
  16. Amanda Abbington as Amanda
  17. James Bachman as Mr. Morris
  18. Simon Delaney as Jonny’s boss
  19. Tom Davis as Policeman
  20. Mandeep Dhillon as Lisa
  21. Chizzy Akudolu as Mrs. McCarthy
  22. Hugh Skinner as Ben
  23. Rosalind Eleazar as Lucy
  24. Samson Kayo as Bruce

These are some of the main and recurring cast members who appeared throughout the show’s five seasons.

Martin Goodman played by Paul Ritter

Paul Ritter played the role of dad Martin Goodman who often frustrated wife Jackie and his sons with his odd eating habits and strange hobbies. Paul appeared in many shows and films throughout his acting career such as Chernobyl, Harry Potter, The Last Kingdom and James Bond Quantum of Solace. More recently he appeared alongside Tamsin in Julian Fellowes’ period drama Belgravia

Sadly, in April 2021, it was announced that Paul had passed away. A statement from his agent read: “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.”

Jackie Goodman played by Tamsin Greig

Mum Jackie is played by Tamsin Greig who is well-known for her comedy work. The actress has appeared in shows such as Episodes, alongside Stephen Mangan and Matt LeBlanc, Green Wing and Black Books.

More recently, the 53-year-old has starred in Belgravia. The BAFTA-nominated actress is also known for her stage work with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Adam Goodman played by Simon Bird

Simon Bird plays Adam Goodman in the show, the eldest child who is a musician and jingle-writer. Simon, 35, is also very well-known for his work in other Channel 4 comedy, The Inbetweeners. The Cambridge graduate played new-kid and school outcast Will Mackenzie in the show, which was such a success over the years it even resulted in two films.

Jonny Goodman played by Tom Rosenthal

The younger son in the family, Jonny, is played by stand-up comedian and actor Tom Rosenthal. Tom, whose father is sports presenter Jim Rosenthal, began his career in comedy acting and his shows at the Edinburgh Film Festival were highly regarded. The actor has also appeared in ITV comedy Plebs and Dads Army: The Lost Episodes.

Jim played by Mark Heap

The socially awkward and slightly strange neighbour of the Goodmans is Jim, played by Mark Heap. One of Mark’s first breakout roles on TV was as struggling artist Brian Topp in Spaced, a comedy show written and fronted by Simon Pegg. After that, Mark secured a role in quirky Channel Four sitcom Green Wing – in which he would work alongside his future Friday Night Dinner co-star Tamsin – as Dr. Alan Statham

Why did it work so well

One of the standout aspects of the show is its talented cast, who bring their characters to life with hilarious and endearing performances. Greig and Ritter’s chemistry as the bickering parents is a joy to watch, while Bird and Rosenthal’s sibling rivalry provides plenty of laughs. Heap’s portrayal of Jim, with his odd mannerisms and bizarre habits, adds another layer of humor to the show.


The characters of Friday Night Dinner are also known for their iconic catchphrases, such as Jackie’s “Shit on it!” and Jim’s “I’m a pot man!” These phrases have become synonymous with the show and are often quoted by fans.

Despite its comedic tone, the show also has its heartwarming moments, as the family navigates their relationships with each other and their own personal struggles. The bond between the Goodman family is one of the show’s strengths, and viewers will find themselves rooting for the characters throughout the series.

In conclusion, Friday Night Dinner is a must-watch TV series for anyone in need of a good laugh and heartwarming family moments. With its talented cast, memorable characters, and iconic catchphrases, this British sitcom is sure to leave you wanting more. So why not grab a plate

Stream now on Netflix

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

Email Adam@MarkMeets.com

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