At 10pm on Friday the 25th February 2011, the great British nation found themselves face to face with a hairy topless man chomping his way through a ‘lovely bit of squirrel’; an overly-exciteable woman desperate for her ‘Bobble’ to meet a nice ‘female’; two boys called ‘Pissface’ and ‘Pusface’ who enjoyed poisoning each other with saltwater – and a certain neighbour who was terrified of his own dog.. Friday nights were never the same again.
Six series and 37 episodes later, Friday Night Dinner has grown to become one of the biggest, best-loved sitcoms in the UK.Viewers of all ages have loved the series for its relatability, warmth, laugh-out-loud silliness, and ridiculously quotable lines. Friday Night Dinner is a show that unites families – one they can all sit down to watch together. The show’s a true phenomenon, spawning thousands of memes, and hundreds of tattoos – yup, including that guy who got ‘lovely bit of squirrel’ on his arse!
And now – for the show’s 10th anniversary – we bring you an entire night dedicated to the silliest, saltiest, squirrelest family on TV…
Friday Night Dinner Night includes a brand new 90-minute celebratory documentary ‘You Look Nice: The True Story of Friday Night Dinner’ (w/t) a behind the scenes look at every aspect of the show – from its humble beginnings as a 5 minute pilot, shot in creator Robert Popper’s parent’s house (where his actual dad walked into the middle of a scene to announce, ‘I’m going out now to buy some bin liners’)- to its glorious, tear-inducing series six finale, some 925 screen minutes later.
The documentary will delve into just why the show has touched so many hearts, including interviews with the main cast – Tamsin Greig (Mum), Paul Ritter (Dad), Simon Bird (Adam), Tom Rosenthal (Jonny) – plus, of course, oddball neighbour, Mark Heap (Jim)
We’ll also get to hear from some of the supporting cast, including Tracy-Ann Oberman (Auntie Val), Rosie Cavaliero (The Other Jackie), Harry Landis (Mr Morris), Matthew Holness (Chris Parker), Kiell Smith-Bynoe (Nick). As well as meeting fans of the series, including Claudia Winkleman, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Lou Sanders, David Baddiel, Nihal Arthanayake and Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
Friday Night Dinner Night will feature exclusive behind the scenes footage, insights and anecdotes from the cast and crew on making the series, interviews with Friday Night Dinner superfans and outtakes which have never been broadcast on British television until now.
The documentary will then be followed by the nation’s Top 3 favourite Friday Night Dinner episodes – as voted by the British public – and played back-to back on Channel 4.
Show Creator Robert Popper said: “I’m delighted that the cast and crew’s amazing work is being recognised in this documentary – unless, of course, everything in it is entirely negative.”
Kenton Allen, Big Talk CEO said: “For the first time ever Friday Night Dinner Night will reveal the true story of how a tiny idea became a massive hit. In these incredibly difficult times, I couldn’t be more delighted that Channel 4 have decided to take fans of the show behind the scenes to discover what it really takes to make a lovely bit of squirrel for millions of viewers.“
Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, said: “Over the past ten years Friday Night Dinner has become a critically-acclaimed, ratings and award-winning smash hit, with viewers loving our dysfunctional family as much as we do. We’re looking forward to spending an evening giving them the celebration they deserve, so we hope you can virtually gather your Mum, Dad, Auntie Val and your socially awkward (and distanced) neighbour and enjoy a lovely little night with The Goodman’s.”
Launching in 2011 the series went on to win Best Situation Comedy at the 2012 Rose D’Or Festival and was nominated at Best Situation Comedy and Best Female Performance in a Comedy for Tamsin Greig at the 2012 BAFTA TV Awards. Other nominations include Best New Comedy Programme, Best Sitcom, Best Comedy Actress for Tamsin Greig and Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist for Tom Rosenthal at the British Comedy Awards 2011. Best Situation Comedy at the National Television Awards 2011, and gained a Best Comedy writer nod for Robert Popper at The Royal Television Society Award 2012. The recent series won the British Comedy Guide Award for Best returning TV Sitcom and Best Comedy at the FRAPA International Format Awards.
With consistently high ratings across all six series, Friday Night Dinner Series 6 set the record for the highest audience for any comedy on Channel 4 or E4 for 16-34s with a 49.3% share. The series attracted an average audience of 3.9 million viewers and an 18.7% share. The viewing figures were up +1.9M on the 2018 launch of the fifth series and ratings were more than triple the average Friday 10pm slot.
Friday Night Dinner is All 4’s second biggest show (based on average number of views per episode) and all previous series are currently available on the platform.