Tamsin Greig Clarifies Comments After Saying She 'Probably Shouldn't Have Played Friday Night Dinner Character

The Bafta nominee has claimed her remarks were "taken slightly out of context".
Tamsin in character as Jackie in Friday Night Dinner
Tamsin in character as Jackie in Friday Night Dinner
Channel 4

Friday Night Dinner star Tamsin Greig has clarified comments she recently made about her involvement in the hit sitcom.

Last week, the Bafta-nominated actor – who is a Christian, with Jewish heritage – said she “probably shouldn’t” have accepted the role of Jackie Goodman in the Channel 4 comedy, which portrays a Jewish family who sit down for Shabbat dinner together every week.

“I think, given our sensitivity today about these issues, I probably shouldn’t have been in that show,” she said at the time.

“We are much more conscious today than we were when that show was first aired.”

However, in a subsequent interview on Woman’s Hour, Tamsin claimed her remarks had been “taken slightly out of context”.

Tamsin Greig in February 2020
Tamsin Greig in February 2020
Mike Marsland via Getty Images

She told the Radio 4 show: “What I meant by it was, if we were casting it now, we’d have had very, very different conversations about the necessity for casting me in it and whether the casting should have been wider.

“Ten years ago, who knew those conversations were coming? We do things thinking, ‘Oh, that looks like a really interesting role’ – and actually it’s about a woman trying to survive in a wild family that seems to be falling apart. Which I think at that time, that was a very resonant part of people’s lives.”

Friday Night Dinner debuted in 2011, and soon garnered a loyal following, as well as nominations at the TV Baftas and British Comedy Awards.

Earlier this year, cast member Paul Ritter died at the age of 54, after which it was confirmed the show would not be returning.

Paying tribute at the time, Tamsin wrote in The Guardian: “I first saw Paul on stage in Alan Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquests trilogy at the Old Vic in 2008. 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.’

“Not only did Paul deliver in the role, he far surpassed everyone’s expectations – surprising, versatile, oddball, rooted in the clearest truth and always utterly, heart-stoppingly hilarious.”


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