TV preview: Friday Night Dinner

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It’s been 18 months since we last caught up with with TV’s favourite Jewish family, the Goodmans - and that’s an age in TV terms.

We thought that was it, they’d left our lives forever. But thankfully that’s not the case, because here they are, back for a new run of the sitcom,

“I’m so excited to be making a new series of Friday Night Dinner with such a fantastic cast once again,” says writer and producer Robert Popper. “I really could not be happier. Well I could, if say, I’d taught crows how to speak and they, in turn, taught me how to fly.”

Nerys Evans, Deputy Head of Comedy, Channel 4, adds: “We’re thrilled we’re going to be spending more Friday Nights with the Goodmans, and not forgetting Jim and Wilson too.

“Roberts’s created such a brilliantly warm and funny world, and the cast are just sublime, we can’t wait to join them for more Friday Night Dinners.” Although it’s truly an ensemble piece, it’s Tamsin Greig who effortlessly manages to grab the spotlight - but then again, she is arguably the leading female light in British sitcom at the moment thanks to this show and the BBC Two hit Episodes.

“I think it’s lovely,” she says of this project. “The editing is beautiful, it’s as it’s written on the page, very very fast, tightly shot, very funny and a credit to the people who put it together.”

Here she plays Jackie, the matriarch who’s very much at the head of the family, a fact that Greig discovered was true to life when she spent an evening with some Jewish friends.

“I went to a mate’s house for Friday night dinner and there was a lot of food and the women were really loud,” she says, widening her eyes. “And so I just used that. I thought the women might be more retiring, but the women really do run the shindig and I thought that was brilliant. “But Robert hasn’t had to think up any of this. He should really say it was written by his dad!”

However, she does have one problem during filming - sharing the screen with her old Green Wing sparring partner Mark Heap.

A known ‘corpser’, Greig says it was “almost impossible” to film with Heap as Jim the neighbour. “I think there are some scenes where you can’t cut to me at all because I’m just laughing out loud every time he moves,” she recalls.

At the start of the new run, Jackie is thrilled - Adam seems to be having more luck with the ladies.

In fact, at long last, he’s bringing a lady (or ‘female’ as his dad would say) home to meet his parents and brother Jonny. However, as you may already have guessed, the evening doesn’t go quite to plan.

That’s because the Goodmans are currently taking care of eight-year-old Katie who has a crush on Adam. So when she spots some incriminating photos on his phone, she spies the perfect opportunity to blackmail him into doing everything wants. And barking like a dog while wearing make-up doesn’t go down well with Emma...

Friday Night Dinner, Channel 4, Friday, 10pm

Pictured, Sagar Radia as Aj Nair, James Floyd as Dr Gabriel Varma, Nimmi Harasgama as Nurse Mari Rodriguez, Darshan Jariwalla as Dr Ram Nair, Amrita Acharia as Dr Ruby Walker, Amanda Redman as Dr Lydia Fonseca, Neil Morrissey as Greg Mcconnell and Philip Jackson as Paul Smart.

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