Friday Night Dinner

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Friday Night Dinner
Friday night dinner.png
Genre Sitcom
Created by Robert Popper
Written by Robert Popper
Directed by Steve Bendelack
Martin Dennis
Starring Tamsin Greig
Paul Ritter
Simon Bird
Tom Rosenthal
Mark Heap
Opening theme "Animal" (Punks Jump Up Remix) by Miike Snow
Composer(s) "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)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 25 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Nira Park
Caroline Leddy
Kenton Allen
Producer(s) Robert Popper
Running time 25 minutes (approx.)
Production company(s) Popper Pictures
Big Talk Productions
Distributor BBC Worldwide
Original network Channel 4
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release 25 February 2011 (2011-02-25) – present

Friday Night Dinner is a British television sitcom written by Robert Popper and starring Tamsin Greig, Paul Ritter, Simon Bird, Tom Rosenthal and Mark Heap.[1] The comedy is focused on the regular dinner experience of a British Jewish family (the Goodmans) on each Friday night. The first series originally aired from 25 February 2011 on Channel 4. Series 4, which comprises six episodes, aired from 22 July 2016. A fifth series was commissioned on 23 August 2017 to air sometime in 2018.[2]


Friday Night Dinner depicts Shabbat dinner in the secular Jewish Goodman family, reflecting writer and producer Robert Popper's own secular Jewish upbringing.[3]

There are strong elements of farce throughout.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

The following is a list of series regulars from Friday Night Dinner, with actors credited in order that they were first credited in the series.

Character Actor Series
1 2 3 4 5
Adam Goodman Simon Bird Main
Jonny Goodman Tom Rosenthal Main
Jackie Goodman Tamsin Greig Main
Martin Goodman Paul Ritter Main
Jim Bell Mark Heap Main
"Auntie" Val Lewis Tracy-Ann Oberman Recurring
Grandma Eleanor "Nelly" Buller Frances Cuka Recurring
Mr. Lou Morris Harry Landis Recurring
Lawrence "The Pub Landlord" Paul McNeilly Recurring Recurring
Cynthia Goodman Rosalind Knight Recurring Recurring
Uncle "Larry" Lewis Steve Furst Recurring

Episode list[edit]

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired
Series premiere Series finale
1 6 25 February 2011 (2011-02-25) 8 April 2011 (2011-04-08)
2 6 7 October 2012 (2012-10-07) 11 November 2012 (2012-11-11)
Christmas Special 1 24 December 2012 (2012-12-24)
3 6 20 June 2014 (2014-06-20) 25 July 2014 (2014-07-25)
4 6 22 July 2016 (2016-07-22) 26 August 2016 (2016-08-26)

Series 1 (2011)[edit]

The first series premiered on 25 February 2011 and ran for 6 episodes which aired on Fridays.

Series No. Season No. Title Director Writer Original air date
1 1 "The Sofabed" Steve Bendelack Robert Popper 25 February 2011 (2011-02-25)
Jackie and Martin are having a clear-out, but Martin is reluctant to chuck away all his tatty old science magazines, and ropes in Jonny to secretly hide the stash of magazines he's supposed to throw out; back at his flat. Jackie is very excited because it's the final of MasterChef; Jonny however, isn't interested in the programme. Jackie is trying to get on with cooking dinner, but their strange neighbour Jim keeps interrupting to use their toilet as he's broken his own toilet in mysterious circumstances. Meanwhile, Martin has forgotten a man (Matthew Holness) is coming to pick up their old sofabed. Will Jackie get to watch her precious Masterchef?[4]
2 2 "The Jingle" Steve Bendelack Robert Popper 4 March 2011 (2011-03-04)
In the second episode, when Adam and Jonny come home to find their dad, Martin secretly peering into his underpants with a magnifying glass, they're desperate to find out exactly what he's looking at. Also, Jackie is just trying to have a nice Friday night, but Jim - the neighbour who's terrified of his own dog; keeps interrupting the meal. Martin takes Adam - who's single - into the toilet to have a private chat about "females". Soon the whole family are in the lavatory quizzing poor Adam, and Jonny is loving every moment of it. Lastly, the secret behind Martin's pants-peering is revealed.[5]
3 3 "The Curtains" Steve Bendelack Robert Popper 11 March 2011 (2011-03-11)
Jackie is delighted with the new set of curtains she has bought, but the boys and Grandma think they're horrible, to Jackie's disappointment. Meanwhile, Martin drops Jackie's beef casserole all over the kitchen floor. It looks disgusting, yet Martin scoops it back into the dish. The boys are unsurprisingly not happy about their meal. Later, the argument about the curtains spreads, and Jonny leaves in a huff to go to the pub with Adam joining him: only to get there and share a quarter-of-a-pint and a chat with Jim. At home, Jackie and Grandma are still not talking, so it rests with Adam to resolve the family argument - can he save the day? [6]
4 4 "The Dress" Steve Bendelack Robert Popper 25 March 2011 (2011-03-25)
When Jackie finds out that Martin didn't throw away his old boxes of science magazines in their clear-out, she goes mad and Martin builds a bonfire and promises he'll burn them all. Instead Martin is only pretending to burn them and he is squirrelling the boxes off to his shed/lad's pad in the garden. Jackie is excited as her best friend, Val (Tracy-Ann Oberman), is popping around with her new dress for her daughter Karen's wedding. Adam and Jonny are convinced Karen has a face like a foot. Meanwhile, Jim's pet dog Wilson goes missing, leaving Jim distraught. Later, Val comes round and she looks just like Jackie: similar hair, similar clothes and - according to Martin - "similar bottoms". She tries on her dress which leaves the ladies in their element and the men incredibly bored. Will Jim ever find Wilson, and will Jackie venture once again into Martin's shed to discover the truth behind his "pretend bonfire"?[7]
5 5 "The Mercedes" Steve Bendelack Robert Popper 1 April 2011 (2011-04-01)
It's Adam's birthday. As he arrives home, a silver Mercedes almost runs him over. Inside is Sheila Bloom (Frances Barber) aka "Bitchface" as Adam and his family call her. "Bitchface" is famously obsessed with her Mercedes, and after some catty remarks about Adam's "Yugo" ('Err... it's a Nissan'), she speeds off. Martin reveals that he used to have "a thing" with Bitchface years ago. The boys can't believe it. Jackie's not happy. Martin is cooking dinner because Jackie is "crippled". Later, Martin overcooks the beef and the family abandon dinner and go for a Chinese, but Bitchface is there. An awkward chat ensues, and finally Martin reveals exactly what he got up to with her...[8]
6 6 "The Date" Steve Bendelack Robert Popper 8 April 2011 (2011-04-08)
Adam comes home to find the house looking immaculate, with classical music playing in the living room, Jackie's posh bowls on the dinner table, Dad wearing a smart suit, and - most mysteriously - the table set for five. The doorbell rings and in comes Tanya Green (Tuppence Middleton), a girl Jackie has been trying to fix up with Adam for months. What follows is possibly the most excruciating family dinner scene of all time. Meanwhile, Jim has been locked out of his house as his dog, Wilson; has swallowed his keys. Inside, the blind date continues, but will Jackie's dream of an Adam and Tanya wedding come true?[9]

Series 2 (2012)[edit]

A second six-episode series began airing in the UK on 7 October 2012. The episodes aired on Sundays. A Christmas Special[10] aired on Christmas Eve 2012.

Series No. Season No. Title Director Writer Original air date
7 1 "Buggy" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 7 October 2012 (2012-10-07)
When Jonny finds Adam's old diary, he learns a terrible secret: when Adam was 11, he secretly dumped Jonny's beloved 'Pandy' panda bear toy in the outside bin, never to be seen again. This unleashes a war in the house, with Jonny threatening to destroy Adam's equally beloved old rabbit toy, 'Buggy'. Fights rage in every room, with Mum and Dad unable to control their two twenty-something sons, who have become 13 again. Desperate to hide his precious comfort toy from his angry brother, Adam gives Buggy to just about the worst person possible: neighbour Jim. Meanwhile, Dad will not stop sneezing on everything - 'He sneezed on a baby today - so embarrassing,' says Mum. Later, when dinner is served, Dad sneezes over all the food and Mum's delicious Friday night dinner is ruined. But what happens when hopeless Jim accidentally loses Buggy in a lake? And why is Jim speaking Chinese?
8 2 "Mr Morris" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 14 October 2012 (2012-10-14)
The boys are excited, because grandma is coming for dinner, and tonight she's bringing her new boyfriend. 'He's not her boyfriend,' says mum, he's her 'male companion'. Eighty-two-year-old Lou Antony Morris is a horrible, vain man, who sports a trilby, a Hitler-ish moustache, and is obsessed with cleanliness - wiping his hands on the bathroom curtains when there's no hand towel. Mr Morris is also the world's worst driver, parking his battered old car right up to the front doorstep, smashing his headlamp. None of the family can see what lovely grandma sees in him. Dad can't stand the man and hides in his shed (while rifling through his box of fossils, saying that he's 'looking for trilobites'). But none of the family are quite prepared for what happens when Mr Morris suddenly loses his temper...
9 3 "The Loft" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 21 October 2012 (2012-10-21)
To get out of cleaning the loft with Dad and Adam, Jonny claims to have dislocated his shoulder. But when Adam discovers he's lying, he threatens to tell mum immediately. "Fine," says Jonny, '"Then I'll just tell her all the grotty details of what you got up to with Hayley Posner". Adam is horrified. Hayley was Adam's blind date - the niece of his Mum's best friend Val - and he slept with her and then never called back, "because she smelt like Mum". Mum mustn't find this out, so Adam has to let Jonny get away with his pretend bad shoulder. Meanwhile Mum and Dad are not on speaking terms. There's been a terrible argument. Dad tells the boys that the reason - much to their horror - is 'sexual'. But what exactly he got up to, no one will tell them. Val (Tracy Ann-Oberman), comes round for dinner to lend mum moral support, as mum's argument with Dad escalates.What is mum and dad's terrible secret? And will mum and dad find out all about Jonny and Adam's secrets too? All this, and a visit to the unfriendliest pub in the world - The Black Boy.
10 4 "The New Car" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 28 October 2012 (2012-10-28)
Martin is very excited. He's just bought a new fax machine. The boys can't believe it 'What's the point of using a fax machine when you've got email?' they ask. 'So you don't have to read everything off a bloody screen,' replies dad. Jonny, who's an estate agent, has been given a company car - the uncoolest car possible. It has a giant, estate agent-themed, fake brick roof on top. Adam calls it a 'house'. Mum soon learns that Jonny bagged the car because he'd been sleeping with his boss, the much older Liz (Lesley Vickerage). Mum is not happy, and an awkward scene arises when the family bump into Liz outside Jonny's office. Meanwhile mum has put dad on a diet - 'no chocolate, no cheese, no cakes' for two weeks, but dad has made the boys smuggle in food for him, which he keeps hidden in the downstairs loo. Jim pops round with his dog Wilson. He's drunk, as he's celebrating Wilson's birthday. ('Wilson is either 4 or 9'). Jim has even made Wilson a birthday cake. Later, returning from a 'family spin' in Jonny's car, the family find something awful has happened to their house...
11 5 "The Yoghurts" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 4 November 2012 (2012-11-04)
Jonny is in a real pickle: he wants to split up with his 43-year-old girlfriend/boss, Liz, but is too scared to do so. Adam, meanwhile, is happy to keep teasing him about her age ('I'll switch the stair lift on'). Grandma offers Jonny some advice - 'Take her out dancing' - before showing him how to dance in the kitchen. While they dance to the music on the radio, it transpires that it's just the music for the news headlines, and before long, Jonny and Grandma are actually dancing to the news. Adam is loving it. Meanwhile, Dad has been drying fish under the stairs (Dad: 'Have you never had dried fish before?' 'Not from a cupboard' replies Adam). Then Grandma gets locked in the boot of Adam's car and everything changes. How will they get her out? And as if that isn't bad enough, Jonny's girlfriend, Liz turns up at the house.
12 6 "The Mouse" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 11 November 2012 (2012-11-11)
The boys come home to find the house in a real state. The builders have been in, and everywhere they look, there's mess. On top of this, there's a mouse in the house, and mum is hiding in the shed. Dad - who's clueless in the kitchen - is left in charge of dinner ('I might as well be boiling a table'). But when Jim pops round to see if he can help around the house, something quite terrible happens to him, and mum is forced - out of guilt - to ask Jim over for dinner. This is Jim's happiest moment ever - finally, his first ever Friday night dinner with the Goodmans. Dad and the boys are livid with mum for asking him round. What follows is an excruciating dinner scene; along with Jim's peculiar eating habits ('I prefer to tear my food'), Jim's conversation skills have a lot to be desired ('Martin, are you circumcised?' he asks an unsuspecting dad). Things get even worse very quickly, as Jim leaves a trail of destruction in the house...

Christmas Special (2012)[edit]

Series No. Title Director Writer Original air date
13 "Christmas Special" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 24 December 2012 (2012-12-24)
It's Christmas day. Mum has made a fantastic Christmas dinner. The boys are delighted that Grandma is coming round, but horrified that Dad's mother - 'Horrible Grandma' (Rosalind Knight) - is coming too. Horrible Grandma turns up with her equally horrible dog, Boudacea, which has to wear an oxygen mask. Horrible Grandma hates mum's 'horrible dry turkey', and mum is distraught when Horrible Grandma brings her own turkey with her to eat. Dad and the boys are jealous, as they too secretly hate mum's dry turkey. After dinner, tensions mount, as the two grandmas have an argument that develops into a fight. And then Jim turns up, dressed as Father Christmas...

Series 3 (2014)[edit]

In May 2013 Tom Rosenthal confirmed that a third series was to be filmed in September 2013.[11] The filming finished in November 2013 and on 2 June 2014 it was confirmed that the series will air from 20 June 2014.[12][13][14]

Series No. Season No. Title Director Writer Original air date
14 1 "The Girlfriend" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 20 June 2014 (2014-06-20)
Adam finally brings a girl home for dinner, but the evening is ruined when the family suddenly have to look after eight-year-old Katie, who has a massive girlie crush on Adam.[15][16]
15 2 "The Fox" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 27 June 2014 (2014-06-27)
Dad has been secretly hiding a dead fox in the outside freezer as he wants to get it stuffed. But when Mum needs to use the freezer, Dad enlists Adam and Jonny in a desperate attempt to hide the dead animal from her.[16]
16 3 "Mr Morris Returns" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 4 July 2014 (2014-07-04)
The family are distraught when Grandma gets engaged to Mr Morris, her horrible 85-year-old boyfriend. Meanwhile, Jim collects money for charity, while dressed in full dog costume, complete with doggy testicles.
17 4 "The Anniversary" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 11 July 2014 (2014-07-11)
Mum and Dad's anniversary is ruined when Dad paints a portrait of Mum that looks like Margaret Thatcher, Jonny gets a tattoo of a skull, and Jim sleep-walks around their house, causing havoc.
18 5 "The Piano" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 18 July 2014 (2014-07-18)
Dad's bought a piano, and the world's most sarcastic piano tuner comes round to tune it. Meanwhile, the family spot Aunty Val kissing a man (Renton Skinner) who's not her husband (Steve Furst). What should they do?
19 6 "The Big Day" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 25 July 2014 (2014-07-25)
It's Grandma's wedding day, and she's getting married to the horrible Mr Morris. The family are distraught, but when the Rabbi (Paul Kaye) asks her if she'll take him for her husband, will Grandma really say 'I do'?

Series 4 (2016)[edit]

In November 2014, Robert Popper confirmed via Twitter that there would be no 2014 Christmas special of Friday Night Dinner.[17]

On 17 April 2015, Channel 4 confirmed that Friday Night Dinner would be returning for a fourth series due to air in mid-late 2016.[18] Tom Rosenthal stated on Twitter that the new series would probably be filming in early 2016.[19]

The fourth series began airing on 22 July 2016.[20]

Series No. Season No. Title Director Writer Original air date
20 1 "The Two Tonys"[20] Martin Dennis Robert Popper 22 July 2016 (2016-07-22)
Dad accidentally invites someone whom he used to hate round for dinner: an annoying man who talks with his eyes closed. How will Dad get rid of him?
21 2 "The Carpet Cleaner" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 29 July 2016 (2016-07-29)
It's Dad's annual hinge oiling evening but when he spills oil on Mum's beloved carpet, it's a race against time to clean it up before she finds out. Meanwhile Adam fancies one of the waitresses at Mario's.
22 3 "Congratulations" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 5 August 2016 (2016-08-05)
Adam has finally been recognised for his musical talent. But it's overshadowed when Jonny arrives home and announces he's got married. Also it's Jim's birthday.
23 4 "The Pyjamas" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 12 August 2016 (2016-08-12)
Adam has been staying at Mum and Dad's all week, but with Mum fussing over him so much, he's started behaving like a little boy. Meanwhile Jim passes his driving test after 15 attempts.
24 5 "The Funeral" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 19 August 2016 (2016-08-19)
It's Uncle Saul's funeral, which means 'Horrible Grandma' is back, and leaving a trail of broken furniture in her wake. Also Jonny tries to watch the Grand Prix.
25 6 "For Sale" Martin Dennis Robert Popper 26 August 2016 (2016-08-26)
The boys arrive home to find a 'For Sale' sign in front of the house. How will they stop Mum and Dad from selling the family home?

Series 5 (2018)[edit]

A fifth series was commissioned on 23 August 2017 to air sometime in 2018.

Channel 4 has confirmed that Friday Night Dinner will return, with Tamsin Greig, Paul Ritter, Simon Bird, Tom Rosenthal and Mark Heap all signed up to return for the next series.

The new six part series will be filmed and broadcast in 2018.

In Series 5 Mum and Dad get a hot tub, much to the horror of Adam and Jonny, Adam accidentally sets his car on fire, Jonny won’t stop prank-calling Adam, Dad becomes obsessed with his old, terrifying ventriloquist dummy, Mum organises her own, terrible surprise party, Jim goes on a date from beyond hell, Horrible Grandma comes back for more horribleness – and the family have dinner.

American remake[edit]

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.[21] The remake was picked up for a pilot, written by Daniels and directed by Ken Kwapis[22] and starring Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub as the mother and father.[23] The pilot did not go to series.

Home media[edit]

Series Episodes Release date
Region 2
1 6 15 October 2012 (2012-10-15)
2 6 (+ 1 Christmas Special) 7 July 2014 (2014-07-07)*
3 6 23 November 2015 (2015-11-23)*
4 6 5 September 2016 (2016-09-05)

*Series 1 and 2 boxsets were also released on the same date.
*Series 1, 2 and 3 boxsets were also released on the same date.

Worldwide broadcast[edit]

Region Channel
 Australia BBC UKTV
 Brazil I-Sat
 Europe BBC Entertainment
 Latin America I-Sat
 Latvia LTV1
 New Zealand TV One
 Nordic BBC Entertainment
 Norway NRK
 Portugal RTP2
 Romania BBC Entertainment
 Russia 2x2
 Serbia BBC Entertainment
 South Africa BBC Entertainment
 Sweden SVT
 United Kingdom Channel 4
 United States BBC America


  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 Series 5 confirmed". British Comedy Guide. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  3. ^ Saner, Emine (4 March 2011). "Tamsin Greig: 'I always think I'll never work again'". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ "Friday Night Dinner - Series 1 - Episode 1 - The Sofabed". Channel 4. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Friday Night Dinner - Series 1 - Episode 2 - The Jingle". Channel 4. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Friday Night Dinner - Series 1 - Episode 3 - The Curtains". Channel 4. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Friday Night Dinner - Series 1 - Episode 4 - The Dress". Channel 4. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Friday Night Dinner - Series 1 - Episode 5 - The Mercedes". Channel 4. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Friday Night Dinner - Series 1 - Episode 6 - The Date". Channel 4. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Sperling, Daniel (12 March 2012). "'Friday Night Dinner' returning for autumn series, Christmas special". Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Friday Night Dinner series three confirmed". Xposé Entertainment. TV3. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Timeline Photos - Friday Night Dinner - Facebook". 
  13. ^ "Friday Night Dinner, Scandal, Glee: Tube Talk Q&A". Digital Spy. 
  14. ^ "'Friday Night Dinner' to return for third series on Channel 4". Digital Spy. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Friday Night Dinner". Channel 4. 
  16. ^ a b "Friday Night Dinner". Channel 4. 
  17. ^ "Robert Popper Twitter - no Christmas special 2014". Twitter. 
  18. ^ Harris, Jamie (17 April 2015). "Friday Night Dinner renewed for fourth series by Channel 4". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  19. ^ "Tom Rosenthal on Twitter". Twitter. 
  20. ^ a b "Friday Night Dinner Series 4, Episode 1 : The Two Tonys". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (6 September 2011). "Greg Daniels To Adapt British Comedy 'Friday Night Dinner' For NBC". Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (3 February 2012). "Ken Kwapis Set To Direct NBC Pilot 'Friday Night Dinner', Reunites With Greg Daniels". Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (7 February 2012). "Allison Janney & Tony Shalhoub To Star in Greg Daniels' NBC Pilot 'Friday Night Dinner'". Retrieved 7 February 2012. 

External links[edit]