Ricky Gervais

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Ricky Gervais
GervaisBlooms021218-21 (44341159690) (cropped).jpg
Gervais in 2018
Birth nameRicky Dene Gervais
Born (1961-06-25) 25 June 1961 (age 61)
Reading, Berkshire, England
Medium
Alma mater University College London (BA)
Years active1982–present
Genres
Partner(s) Jane Fallon (1982–present)
Website rickygervais.com

Ricky Dene Gervais ( /ərˈvz/ jər-VAYZ; born 25 June 1961) is an English comedian, actor, writer, and director. He co-created, co-wrote, and acted in the British television sitcoms The Office (2001–2003), Extras (2005–2007), and An Idiot Abroad (2010–2012). He also created, wrote and starred in Derek (2012–2014), and After Life (2019–2022). [5] He has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and the Rose d'Or twice (2006 and 2019). Gervais was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest performers in British comedy in 2003. [6] In 2007, he was placed at No. 11 on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups, [7] and at No. 3 in their 2010 list. [8] In 2010, he was included in the Time 100 list of World's Most Influential People. [9]

Contents

Gervais initially worked in the music industry. He attempted a career as a pop star in the 1980s as the singer of the new-wave act Seona Dancing, and managed the then-unknown band Suede before turning to comedy. He appeared on The 11 O'Clock Show on Channel 4 between 1998 and 2000, garnering a reputation as an outspoken and sharp-witted social provocateur. In 2000, he was given a Channel 4 spoof talk show, Meet Ricky Gervais . He achieved greater mainstream fame the following year with his BBC television mock documentary series The Office, followed by Extras in 2005, both of which he co-wrote and co-directed with Stephen Merchant, and in which he played the lead roles of David Brent (The Office) and Andy Millman (Extras). He wrote, directed and starred in the 2016 comedy film David Brent: Life on the Road . [10]

Gervais began his stand-up career in the late 1990s. He has performed five multi-national stand-up comedy tours, and he wrote the Flanimals book series. Gervais, Merchant, and Karl Pilkington created the podcast The Ricky Gervais Show , which has spawned various spin-offs starring Pilkington and is produced by Gervais and Merchant. [11] Gervais has also starred in the Hollywood films Ghost Town , the Night at the Museum trilogy, For Your Consideration , and Muppets Most Wanted . He wrote, directed, and starred in The Invention of Lying and the Netflix-released Special Correspondents . He hosted the Golden Globe Awards in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, and again in 2020. Gervais also appeared on the game show Child Support . He is also the creator, executive producer, writer, and director of the Netflix comedy-drama series After Life , in which he plays the lead role of Tony Johnson.

Family background

Ricky's father, Lawrence Raymond "Jerry" Gervais (1919–2002), a Franco-Ontarian of French Canadian and Iroquois descent from Pain Court, Ontario, emigrated to the UK whilst on foreign duty during the Second World War. [12] He worked as a labourer and hod carrier [13] before he met Gervais's English mother, Eva Sophia (née House; 1925–2000). [14] They met during a blackout and settled in Whitley in Reading, having four children over a sixteen-year period. Eva died at age 74 of lung cancer. [15] Ricky, the youngest child, has three older siblings: schoolteacher Larry (1945–2019), Marsha, a pedagogue for special needs children (1948–), and painter–decorator Bob (1950–). [12] [16] Gervais has spoken of his appreciation for his family’s extreme sense of humour. He told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs that he and his brother Bob spent most of their mother’s funeral “crying with laughter”. They had been asked by the vicar to tell him something about their mother prior to the service, with Gervais saying, “My brother, just winding up the vicar, said, ‘She was a keen racist.’ And the vicar said, ‘I can’t say that!’ So Bob went, ‘Oh, OK then…she liked gardening.’ [12] He has mentioned in interviews that as an 11-year-old, he asked why his siblings were so much older than he was, his mum bluntly told him he was a mistake. [16]

Early life and education

Gervais was born on 25 June 1961 [17] at Battle Hospital in Reading, Berkshire. [18] He was brought up in the Reading suburb of Whitley, with a sister, Marsha, and brothers Larry and Robert. [19] Prompted by Robert, Gervais began to question the existence of God from about age eight. [20]

Gervais attended Whitley Park Infants and Junior Schools and received his secondary education at Ashmead Comprehensive School. After a gap year which he spent working as a gardener at the University of Reading, he attended University College London (UCL) in 1980. [21] [22] He intended to study biology but changed to philosophy after two weeks, and was awarded an upper second-class honours degree in the subject from University of London in 1983. [23] During his time there, he met Jane Fallon, with whom he has been in a relationship since 1982. [24]

Career

Music

In 1983, during his final year as a student at University College London, Gervais and his best friend Bill Macrae formed the new wave pop duo Seona Dancing. They were signed by London Records, which released two of their singles—"More to Lose" and "Bitter Heart". The songs failed to make the UK Singles Chart. [25] Despite not being successful in the UK, Seona Dancing did manage to score a hit in the Philippines with "More to Lose". [26] Gervais also worked as the manager for Suede before they became successful in the 1990s. [27]

In 2013, Gervais performed a live tour as David Brent along with his band Foregone Conclusion, Brent's fictional band in The Office. [28] He and the band performed songs written under the Brent character, including "Equality Street" and "Free Love Freeway". [29] Gervais also produced a series of YouTube videos, 'Learn Guitar with David Brent', featuring acoustic guitar versions of nine songs.

In 2016, as part of the Life on the Road film promotion, Gervais published the David Brent Songbook [30] of 15 songs, which he also recorded for the album Life on the Road as David Brent and Foregone Conclusion.

Radio

Gervais worked as an assistant events manager for the University of London Union (ULU), then was head of speech at the alternative radio station Xfm. [31] Needing an assistant, he interviewed the first person whose curriculum vitae he read: Stephen Merchant. [32] In 1998 Gervais's position was made redundant when the station was taken over by the Capital Radio group. [33] Around this time he was also a regular contributor to Mary Anne Hobbs's Radio 1 show, performing vox pop interviews in unlikely locations. [34]

After the first series of The Office , Gervais and Merchant returned to Xfm in November 2001 for a Saturday radio show, where they began working with Karl Pilkington, who produced the shows and later collaborated with them on their series of podcasts. [35]

In October 2017, Gervais began hosting the weekly radio show Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius on Sirius XM, [36] which ran until 2019. [37]

Podcast

On 5 December 2005, Guardian Unlimited began offering free weekly podcasts, including The Ricky Gervais Show featuring Gervais, Merchant, and Karl Pilkington. [38] Throughout January and February 2006 the podcast was consistently ranked the number 1 podcast in the world. It appeared in the 2007 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's most-downloaded podcast, with an average 261,670 downloads per episode during its first month. [39] Two more series, each with six podcasts, were released between February and September 2006.

In late 2006, three more free podcasts were released. Together called "The Podfather Trilogy", they debuted individually at Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. [40] These three were known by Gervais and Merchant as "The Fourth Season". In October 2007 another free full-length podcast was released through iTunes, after being originally given out for free during a performance of Gervais's Fame stand-up tour in London. On 25 November 2007 Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington released another free podcast of just over one hour.

In August 2008, Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington recorded their fifth series of audiobooks, totalling four chapters, which were released on 16 September 2008, and described as the Guide To... series. As of May 2011, there are 12 'Guides': to Medicine, Natural History, Arts, Philosophy, The English, Society, Law & Order, The Future, The Human Body, The Earth, The World Cup 2010, and Comic Relief. [41] The conversations typically begin on topic and go out on tangents about other subjects.

In 2021, Gervais launched a paid-for audio series, Absolutely Mental, of his conversations with philosopher Sam Harris. Season 2 was also launched in 2021, followed by season 3 in March 2022. [37] [42]

Television

Early television appearances

Gervais at the 60th British Academy Film Awards in 2007 RickyGervaisBAFTA07.jpg
Gervais at the 60th British Academy Film Awards in 2007

Gervais has contributed to the BAFTA-winning The Sketch Show (ITV), penning several sketches. His mainstream-TV on-screen debut came in September 1998 as part of Channel 4's Comedy Lab series of pilots. His one-off show Golden Years focused on a David Bowie-obsessed character called Clive Meadows. [43]

Gervais then came to much wider national attention with an obnoxious, cutting persona featured in a topical slot that replaced Ali G's segments on the satirical Channel 4 comedy programme The 11 O'Clock Show in early 1999, in which his character used as many expletives as was possible and produced an inordinate number of politically incorrect statements. Among the other regular featured comedians on the show was Mackenzie Crook, later a co-star of The Office . Two years later, Gervais went on to present his comedy chat show for Channel 4 called Meet Ricky Gervais . It was poorly received and has since been mocked by Gervais himself.

Throughout this time, Gervais also wrote for the BBC sketch show Bruiser and The Jim Tavare Show. [44]

The Office

The Office started when Stephen Merchant had to make his short film while on a BBC production course. In August 1999 he made a docu-soap parody, set in an office, with help from Ash Atalla who was shown a 7-minute video called 'The Seedy Boss'. Thus the character of David Brent was created. Merchant passed this tape on to the BBC's Head of Entertainment Paul Jackson at the Edinburgh Fringe, who then passed it on to Head of Comedy Jon Plowman, who eventually commissioned a full-pilot script from Merchant and Gervais. [45]

The first six-episode series of The Office aired in the UK in July and August 2001 to little fanfare or attention. [46] Word-of-mouth, repeats, and DVDs helped spread the word, building up momentum and anticipation for the second series, also comprising six episodes. [47] Following the success of The Office's second series, Gervais was named the most powerful person in TV comedy by Radio Times . [48]

In 2004, The Office won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy as well as Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy for Gervais, who said in a 2015 BBC interview that the award was the gateway to America for him. [49]

The Office brand has since been remade for audiences in Sweden, France, Germany, Quebec, Brazil, Chile, The Czech Republic, Finland, India, Israel, Poland and the United States. [50] Gervais and Merchant are producers of the American version, and they also co-wrote the episode "The Convict" for the show's third season. [51] Gervais has said that the episode "Training" is his favourite, where Brent plays his guitar and sings. In 2021, on the show's 20th anniversary, he suggested the show would not have been produced in 2021 due to cancel culture: "I mean, now it would be cancelled. I'm looking forward to when they pick out one thing and try to cancel it. Someone said they might try to cancel it one day, and I say, 'Good let them cancel it—I've been paid!'" [52]

Extras

Extras had its debut on the BBC on 21 July 2005; directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the sitcom ran for twelve episodes and starred Gervais as Andy Millman, a background artist. Millman is more self-aware and intentionally humorous than Gervais's The Office character David Brent. Guest stars on the first series of Extras include Ross Kemp, Les Dennis, Patrick Stewart, Vinnie Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Stiller, Kate Winslet and Francesca Martinez. A second series began on 14 September 2006 in the UK and featured appearances by Daniel Radcliffe, Dame Diana Rigg, Orlando Bloom, Sir Ian McKellen, Chris Martin, Keith Chegwin, Robert Lindsay, Warwick Davis, Ronnie Corbett, Stephen Fry, Richard Briers, Patricia Potter, Sophia Myles, Moira Stuart, David Bowie, Robert De Niro and Jonathan Ross. [53]

Gervais (right) with Jonathan Ross at Live 8 in Hyde Park, London, July 2005 JonathanRossRickyGervais.jpg
Gervais (right) with Jonathan Ross at Live 8 in Hyde Park, London, July 2005

A Christmas special of Extras aired on 27 December 2007 in the UK and on 16 December 2007 in the US, featuring guest appearances by George Michael, Clive Owen, Gordon Ramsay, Jonathan Ross, and David Tennant.

A Rolling Stone article remarks that in making Extras, Gervais was influenced by Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm , particularly in the format of celebrities making fools of themselves or subverting their public personas. [54]

In 2007, Gervais won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of Andy Millman in the second series of Extras. As Gervais was not present at the awards ceremony, the trophy was accepted on his behalf by Steve Carell, the actor who starred as regional manager Michael Scott—the counterpart to Gervais's David Brent—on the American adaptation of The Office. [55]

The Ricky Gervais Show

The Ricky Gervais Show is an animated TV show that debuted on US cable network HBO on 19 February 2010. [56] [57] In the UK, the first series began airing on 23 April 2010 on Channel 4. The show was developed using original podcast recordings from The Ricky Gervais Show starring Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington. After receiving an enthusiastic following in the US, HBO recommissioned the show for a second series, which aired in 2011, [58] and a third series which started airing in April 2012.

Life's Too Short

Life's Too Short began airing on BBC Two on 10 November 2011. [59] [60] Gervais and Stephen Merchant wrote this sitcom from an idea by Warwick Davis. It is described by Gervais as being about "the life of a showbiz dwarf" and as "a cross between Extras and The Office". The show stars actor Davis playing a fictionalised version of himself, as well as Gervais and Merchant. [61] Premium cable channel HBO, which co-produced the series with the BBC, had the US rights and began airing the series on 19 February 2012. [62] [63]

An Idiot Abroad

An Idiot Abroad is a travel documentary produced by Gervais and Stephen Merchant where a reluctant Karl Pilkington travels around the world, with his reactions to people and places recorded. Occasionally, Gervais and Merchant call to surprise him with a new place to visit or task to do. Pilkington reports back mostly complaining about the situation. Gervais says there is no planning; a camera crew follows his friend around filming for many hours, which Gervais edits down to an hour each episode. [64]

Two series and a Christmas special have aired; series one involves Pilkington visiting the Seven Wonders of the World. In the second show he chooses to complete tasks from a bucket list provided by Gervais and in the special Warwick Davis joins Pilkington on a journey following Marco Polo's route from Italy to China.

Derek

In November 2011, Gervais filmed in London a 35-minute pilot episode for a potential comedy-drama series called Derek , which aired on Channel 4 on 12 April 2012. [65] [66] The pilot is solely written and directed by Gervais and features him in the title role of Derek Noakes, a 49-year-old retirement home worker, who "loves animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, Deal or No Deal , Million Pound Drop , and Britain's Got Talent ." The character first appeared in a 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe sketch as an aspiring comedian who loves animals and still lives with his mother. [67] [68] Gervais's co-host Karl Pilkington makes his acting debut as Derek's friend and facilities-caretaker Dougie who also works in the retirement home. British comedian Kerry Godliman plays Derek's best friend Hannah and David Earl plays Kev. [69]

Gervais said that the series is about "kindness [being] more important than anything else". He added "It's about the forgotten—everyone's forgotten. It's all these arbitrary people who didn't know each other, and they're in there now because they're in the last years of their life. And it's about the people who help them, who themselves are losers and have their own problems. It's about a bunch of people with nothing, but making the most of it, and they're together." He chose to set the sitcom in a retirement home after he watched Secret Millionaire —"It was always these people with huge problems who were helping other people. I thought about having Derek help old people because no one cares about old people in this country ... I think it's perfect for now." [70]

Channel 4 commissioned a full series of Derek that aired in early 2013. [71] Derek was recommissioned for a second series which premiered on 23 April 2014. [72] Derek ended with a one-off final special, [73] broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK on 22 December 2014.

After Life

On 9 May 2018, it was announced that Netflix had given a production order for the first season of the comedy drama After Life . It was created and directed by Gervais, who also starred in it and executive-produced it with Duncan Hayes, with Charlie Hanson as producer; the series premiered on 8 March 2019. [74] [75] On 3 April 2019, Netflix renewed the series for a second season, which launched on 24 April 2020. [76] [77] In May 2020 it was announced that Gervais had signed a new deal with Netflix, including a third season of After Life. [78] Before the announcement Gervais said, "For the first time ever, I would do a series three, because the world’s so rich. I love the characters, I love all the actors in it, I love my character, I love the town, I love the themes… I love the dog!" [79]

Stand-up comedy

Gervais began his stand-up career in the late 1990s. His first successful show was at the Cafe Royal as part of the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Titled Rubbernecker, it also featured Jimmy Carr, Robin Ince and Stephen Merchant. [80]

Gervais toured the UK in 2003 with his stand-up show Animals . The Politics tour followed a year later. Both shows were recorded for release on DVD and television broadcast. The third part of the themed live trilogy, Fame , took place in 2007. It started in Glasgow in January and ended in Sheffield in April. Blackpool reported selling out of tickets within 45 minutes of them going on sale. [81] Newsnight Review's panel saw Animals during its Bloomsbury run and covered it in January 2003. They were not favourable, with Private Eye editor Ian Hislop saying it was "cobbled together ... banal ... a bit flat". [82] After this, Gervais closed each show by calling Hislop an "ugly little pug-faced cunt". [83] [84] Fame was the subject of some controversy in January 2007 when Gervais included a routine, ostensibly about how people will do anything to become famous, referring to the murder of prostitutes in Ipswich. [85]

Gervais on stage at the London Palladium in the West End, September 2021 GervaisPall230921 (12 of 17) (51527645068).jpg
Gervais on stage at the London Palladium in the West End, September 2021

Gervais's fourth show was entitled Science , and commenced with an eleven-date tour in August 2009 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow. [86] The DVD was released on 15 November 2010. [87] In November 2009, he headlined the sixth annual New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. [88] In 2013, Gervais announced that his next stand-up show would be called Humanity. [89] In December 2014, he said he was too busy to do the tour due to producing two films. [90] In May 2016, Gervais performed stand-up in London, starting with some low key warm-ups with cast members from Derek. [91] He said, "Finally, I'm going to do some stand-up. The first in about six years if you don't count hosting the Golden Globes".

He continued his Humanity show throughout 2017 and into 2018. He appeared at SF Sketchfest as part of the tour, which devoted a night in honour of him, alongside comedic legend and mentor Christopher Guest. [92] His next tour and Netflix special SuperNature was announced in late 2018, where Gervais warned people not to travel to see "work in progress" as it would be a "shambles". SuperNature shows continued through 2019 and 2020. [93] Following significant cancellations and postponements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SuperNature tours resumed in August 2021. [94] SuperNature received criticism for jokes about transgender people. [95] It won the Best Stand-Up Show at the National Comedy Awards. [96] Gervais also announced his upcoming comedy stand-up specials named Armageddon on Netflix. The comedian told Heat that it is still a work in progress. [97]

Animation

One of the first animations Gervais voiced was the character of Penguin in Robbie the Reindeer's Legend of the Lost Tribe. [98] He had a starring role in Disney's Valiant , with Ewan McGregor, John Cleese and Jim Broadbent, as pigeon Bugsy.

Gervais guest-starred in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife". He is the only British comic to write and star in a Simpsons episode. The episode was the highest-rated in Sky One's history; it revolved around the angle that Gervais was the episode's sole writer (and the first guest star on the show to also receive a writing credit for the episode of his appearance). Gervais clarified the extent of his input in a joint interview (with Christopher Guest) for Dazed and Confused magazine (January 2006): "No, all I did was put down a load of observations on an email and they made it look like a Simpsons script. I'm going to get the credit, but I think everyone in the industry knows it was a joint effort". Asked in a separate interview about how his idea for the episode (in which Homer swaps Marge on a game show) came about, Gervais replied: "I've always been fascinated with reality game shows but I think it was my girlfriend's idea. We watch Celebrity Big Brother at the moment, we watch I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here... we watch all those reality TV shows—The Office came out of those docu-soaps". [99] Gervais, a longstanding Simpsons fan, presented a segment to mark the show's 20th anniversary on BBC Two's The Culture Show on 16 June 2007.

In 2012, Gervais made a guest appearance on Family Guy in the episode titled "Be Careful What You Fish For". In the episode, Gervais plays a dolphin named Billy Finn who gives Peter Griffin a Mercedes-Benz hood ornament, and Peter half-heartedly promises a favour to him. Soon, Billy moves to Quahog but outstays his welcome at Peter's. Peter tries to reunite Billy with his ex-wife in hopes that he will return to the ocean. The episode also featured Lucy Davis, with whom Gervais starred in The Office. [100]

Guest star on television series

Gervais had a cameo role in Simon Pegg's and Jessica Hynes's sitcom Spaced as Dave, an estate agent who mistakenly places the advertisement for a property for a couple that turns out to be the premise of the show. [101] Gervais has also guest-starred on Alias (in the third-season episode "Façade") as Daniel Ryan, a former Royal Navy bomb-disposal specialist turned rogue Irish Republican Army bomb-maker. [102] He has also made guest appearances on Sesame Street . [103]

Louis C.K. had Gervais play Dr. Ben, his doctor, on two episodes of his series Louie . Gervais broke into his trademark hysterical laugh every time his character made Louie the butt of a joke. [104] In early 2015, Gervais guest-starred in Galavant , a four-week comedy mini-series, as Xanax the magician. It aired on ABC and Gervais got to show off his singing skills. [105] [106]

Entertainment

Gervais in 2010 Ricky Gervais 2010.jpg
Gervais in 2010

Gervais made a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live in a Digital Short during which he joked that The Office was adapted from a Japanese programme of the same name (with Steve Carell reprising his role as Michael Scott). The sketch re-creates scenes from the American and British pilot episode with Japanese elements (although in an exaggerated way). "It's funny", Gervais laughs at the end, "because it's racist". [107]

Gervais hosted the 67th, 68th, 69th, 73rd and 77th Golden Globe Awards. His appearance in 2010 made him the first master of ceremonies since 1995. He stated: "I have resisted many other offers like this, but there are just some things you don't turn down." [108] His performance as host received a mixed response with positive reviews from the New York Daily News and the Associated Press, but also some negative comments from The Hollywood Reporter . [109] His 2011 hosting of the awards was controversial for his jokes that were at the expense of many of the nominees, similar to the New York Friars Club roast-style jokes. [110] His jibes were described as setting "a corrosive tone" by one critic, though some celebrities were seen crying from laughter, leaving the overall reaction to be 'mixed'. [111] [112] Gervais responded, "They are my friends, but I had to play the outsider." [49] His 2020 hosting performance, particularly the opening monologue, garnered both praise and criticism from the public and press. He later responded to the negative media coverage by tweeting, "I always knew that there were morons in the world that took jokes seriously, but I'm surprised that some journalists do." He also stated several times during the opening monologue that it would be his final appearance as host, [113] though he made a similar declaration during his first hosting performance in 2010.

Gervais was a guest judge on Jerry Seinfeld's NBC show The Marriage Ref alongside Larry David and Madonna. [114] He has also been a regular guest on Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Talking Funny, which first aired on 28 April 2011, starred Gervais and fellow standup comedians Louis C.K., Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld having an informal round-table discussion on stand-up comedy. This one off HBO special was well received by critics & audience alike. [115] [116] [117] In 2013, Gervais guest starred in David Blaine: Real or Magic, a television special where Blaine proceeded to run a large needle through his forearm in front of Gervais. [118]

Talk shows

In January 2006, Gervais interviewed Larry David in a one-off special, Ricky Gervais Meets... Larry David. On 25 and 26 December 2006 he interviewed Christopher Guest and Garry Shandling which aired on Channel 4. There are no plans for further episodes of Meets..., although editions with Monty Python co-founder John Cleese and The Simpsons creator Matt Groening were recorded in 2006 for broadcast in 2007. A source claimed, "The Shandling experience put him off for good". [119]

In January 2009, Gervais was a guest on BravoTV Inside the Actors Studio season 15 with James Lipton, where at one point of the interview he answered Lipton's question as David Brent, his character from The Office. Brent obliged the audience by singing his song "Freelove Freeway" with a guitar supplied to him by Lipton. [120]

Gervais has been on The Late Show with David Letterman 26 times. [121] In 2008, he helped Letterman read out the Late Show Top Ten List, Top Ten Stupid Things Americans Say To Brits. [122] In mid-2014, upon hearing that Letterman was up for retirement, Gervais jokingly tried to discourage him by suggesting they go on a road trip where they would spend all their money. [123]

Gervais has appeared on the BBC's The Graham Norton Show many times over the years. He has been on Graham Norton's couch with Stephen Merchant, co-creator and co-writer of The Office, to promote Cemetery Junction. [124] Another appearance saw him talk about his series Life's Too Short and Johnny Depp who was there to promote his own film was also present. [125]

Video games

Gervais is one of two featured comedians (the other being Katt Williams) in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV who performs at the Split Sides comedy club on the virtual stand-up stage and as an interviewee on the in game radio station We Know The Truth. For the stand-up bit a special 3-minute act was written, recorded and fully motion-captured. [126]

Books

Flanimals

Gervais released a children's book in 2004, Flanimals (illustrated by Rob Steen), which depicted nonsense animals. After the success of this book, he released its sequel More Flanimals in 2005, with Flanimals of the Deep coming the next year. A new Flanimals book, Flanimals: The Day of the Bletchling , was released in October 2007. Flanimals: Pop Up was also published in 2009. [127] There is a wide range of Flanimals merchandise available, including dolls and gift cards.

Published television scripts

The Office scripts have been released in book form, with Series 1 issued in 2002, [128] and the remaining episodes following in 2003. [129] Extras: The Illustrated Scripts: Series 1 & 2 has been released, as well. [130]

Other books

The World of Karl Pilkington was presented by Gervais and Merchant. These were essentially transcripts of Xfm shows podcasts and featured illustrations by Pilkington. [131]

Film

Gervais's film career has included small roles as the voice of a pigeon, Bugsy, in 2005's Valiant , [132] as a studio executive in 2006's For Your Consideration , [133] as museum director Dr. McPhee in 2006's Night at the Museum and its sequels Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb , and as "Ferdy the Fence" in the 2007 film Stardust . [134] Gervais starred in Ghost Town (2008) as a dentist who sees spirits, [135] [136] and was in Lowell, Massachusetts during May 2008 filming his next project, The Invention of Lying (2009), in which he starred alongside Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe and Louis C.K.. The social comedy, was co-written and co-directed by Gervais and Matt Robinson. [137] [138] Gervais and collaborator Stephen Merchant made a film called Cemetery Junction , set in 1970s Britain, about class, love and fulfilment. [139] The film was released in April 2010. Gervais starred in Muppets Most Wanted (2014) as Dominic Badguy, the partner of the movie's villain, Constantine. [140]

Gervais directed and starred in, Special Correspondents , which began filming in May 2015. [141] [142] The comedy stars Eric Bana as a journalist and Gervais as his assistant. They pretend to report news from a war torn country but in actuality they are safe in New York. [143] The film was released on Netflix. Gervais directed and starred in the 2016 film David Brent: Life on the Road , a mockumentary following David Brent, a character first seen in The Office series, as he lives his dream of being a rockstar. [144] [145] On 5 November 2015 Gervais signed up to play Ika Chu, a villainous cat, in an animated film Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank , originally known as Blazing Samurai. The movie is about a dog (Hank) played by Michael Cera, who wants to be a warrior and fights with Ika Chu for the town of Kakamucho. [146]

Other appearances

Ricky Gervais performing at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York in 2007 Ricky Gervais performing 2007.jpg
Ricky Gervais performing at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York in 2007

On 2 July 2005, Gervais appeared at the Live 8 event held in London's Hyde Park, where he performed his famous dance from The Office. [147]

Concert for Diana and Live Earth

On 1 July 2007, Gervais performed at the Concert for Diana in Wembley Stadium, a music event celebrating the life of Princess Diana 10 years after her death. [148] Towards the end of the event—after a pre-recorded introduction from Ben Stiller—Gervais appeared along with fellow Office star Mackenzie Crook. They performed "Free Love Freeway", a song previously heard in the fourth episode of series one of The Office. Due to a technical problem, Gervais then had to fill time until he was able to re-introduce Elton John to close the show, so he did the David Brent dance, as well as singing the "Little Fat Man" song as performed by David Bowie in episode two of the second series of Extras. [149]

In July 2007, following Gervais's appearance at the memorial concert for the Princess of Wales, The Guardian ran a column by Daily Mirror television critic Jim Shelley entitled "Call Me Crazy... But Has Ricky Gervais Lost It?", where he described Gervais as a "tiresome embarrassment". The following week, The Guardian noted that Gervais had responded with "an exhilaratingly foul-mouthed tirade" on his website, concluding with the sentence "yes I am resting on my fucking laurels you cunt!" In this video, Gervais mocked Jim Shelley typing the words "resting on his laurels" as Gervais jokingly lashed out by stating that he was resting on his laurels and that he was not going to make another show for television, quipping: "What's the point? What is there to beat?" [150]

Personal life

Gervais has homes in Hampstead, London, [151] and Marlow, Buckinghamshire. [152] He also has an apartment in the Barbizon 63 building in Manhattan, New York City. [153] He has been in a relationship with producer and author Jane Fallon since 1982, and says they chose not to marry because "there's no point in us having an actual ceremony before the eyes of God because there is no God" or have children because they "didn't fancy dedicating 16 years of [their] lives ... and there are too many children, of course". [154]

He is a vegan, [155] an atheist and a humanist, [156] [157] and states that he abandoned religion at the age of eight. In December 2010, he wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal explaining his atheism. [158] He is an honorary associate of the UK's National Secular Society [159] and a patron of Humanists UK, a British charity that promotes the humanist worldview and campaigns for a secular state and on human rights issues. [157] On 3 September 2019, he received the 2019 Richard Dawkins Award, which recognises people who proclaim "the values of secularism and rationalism, upholding scientific truths wherever it may lead." Gervais received the award during a Centre for Inquiry-sponsored ceremony at London's Troxy Theatre. Dawkins praised Gervais as a "witty hero of atheism and reason." [160]

Gervais is a fan of the UFC and Reading F.C. [161] [162] He is a music fan and has stated that his hero is David Bowie, with his favourite song being "Letter to Hermione". [163] [164] He has also stated that his first experience of a live music gig was watching Iggy Pop. [165] In 2013, he wrote that Lou Reed was "one of the greatest artists of our time" following Reed's death. [166]

Gervais is one of the 100 contributors to the book, Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, of which all proceeds go to NHS Charities Together and The Lullaby Trust. [167]

Political activism

Gervais is a supporter of gay rights and has praised the introduction of same-sex marriage in England and Wales as "a victory for all of us", saying "anything that promotes equality, promotes progress ... You can't take equality 'too far'." [168]

In June 2017, Gervais endorsed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 general election. He tweeted, "OK. I'm not telling you how to vote, but this is a fact. The only vote that will keep Theresa May out is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Cheers." [169]

Social media

Gervais joined Twitter in December 2009 when he first hosted the 66th Golden Globes. [170] After a two-year hiatus, he returned to the platform in September 2011. [171] In 2012, Gervais won a Shorty Award for Lifetime Achievement for his popular presence on social media. [172] As of July 2022 he was followed by 15 million fans whom he calls 'Twonks'. [173]

Gervais uses social media to promote his work to his fans. After ten years he brought back his character Brent on his YouTube channel in a web series Learn Guitar with David Brent. [174] [175] He uses many ways to promote his new series, for example for Derek, he posts contests or questions for his fans. [176]

Gervais uses social media to raise awareness of animal welfare. He tweets links to petitions to rescue animals from captivity, he highlights the plight of animals being used for testing, and he encourages people to adopt dogs instead of buying them from breeders. [177] He won the Genesis Award from the Humane Society in March 2015 for his contribution to raising awareness for animal welfare on social media. [178] In 2014, he was named most influential London Twitter user. [179]

Influences

Gervais has cited Laurel & Hardy, Groucho Marx, Peter Cook, and Christopher Guest as significant influences. [180] [181] [182] [183] [184] The decision of John Cleese to stop making his acclaimed 1970s comedy sitcom Fawlty Towers after 12 episodes—when it was at its creative height—inspired Gervais in keeping his own sitcoms (The Office, Extras and Derek) to 12 episodes each. [185] [186]

Charity work

Boxing

In 2002, Gervais took part in a charity boxing match against Grant Bovey, for the UK charity telethon Comic Relief . He was trained for the three-round contest by boxing trainer brothers Frank and Eugene Maloney, at their Fight Factory gymnasium. It was the second televised charity boxing match, the first being Bob Mortimer against Les Dennis. The fight was televised by the BBC, and Gervais came out on top by a split decision verdict. [187] [188] He donated his £5,000 prize money to the training of a Macmillan nurse who specialised in cancer support. [189]

Animal rights

Gervais is a supporter of animal rights and has stated that he will leave his fortune to animal charities. [190] Gervais named an Asian black bear, also known as a moonbear, Derek after the protagonist from his series Derek. [191] In December 2013, Gervais bought a $1000 cake shaped like a moonbear to raise funds for Animal Asia. [192] Gervais is active in the prevention of illegal wildlife trade; he supported the handing over of ivory trinkets to the Metropolitan police in London. [193]

In 2015, Gervais donated a signed acoustic guitar to help raise funds for Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Ontario, Canada, with a special call-out to Pockets Warhol. [194] [195] [196] The guitar which was signed by Gervais was purchased by Danny Young from the United Kingdom who has since had the guitar signed by several celebrities in order to raise further funds for the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary. Celebrities who signed the guitar include: Brian May, Will Ferrell, Bryan Cranston, Dhani Harrison, Peter Frampton, Ricky Warwick, and Steve Cutts. [197] [198] [199]

In 2017, Gervais was awarded the Lord Houghton Award for Service to Animal Welfare from Animal Defenders International. [200] Gervais was also awarded the Humane Society International Cecil Award in 2018 for his frequent social media efforts to end trophy hunting. [201]

Filmography

Films

YearTitleActorDirectorWriterProducerRoleNotesRef(s)
2001 Dog Eat Dog YesNoNoNoBouncer [202]
2005 Valiant YesNoNoNoBugsyVoice only [203]
2006 For Your Consideration YesNoNoNoMartin Gibb [204]
Night at the Museum YesNoNoNoDr. McPhee [205]
2007 Stardust YesNoNoNoFerdy the Fence [206]
2008 Ghost Town YesNoNoNoDr. Bertram Pincus [136]
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian YesNoNoNoDr. McPhee [207]
The Invention of Lying YesYesYesYesMark BellisonCo-written and co-directed with Matthew Robinson [138]
2010 Cemetery Junction YesYesYesExecutiveLen TaylorCo-written and co-directed with Stephen Merchant [208]
2011 Spy Kids: All the Time in the World YesNoNoNoArgonautVoice only [209]
2013 The Unbelievers YesNoNoNoSelfDocumentary [210]
Escape from Planet Earth YesNoYesNoMr. James BingVoice only [211]
2014 Muppets Most Wanted YesNoNoNoDominic Badguy [212]
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb YesNoNoNoDr. McPhee [213]
2015 The Little Prince YesNoNoNoThe Conceited ManVoice only
2016 Special Correspondents YesYesYesYesIan Finch
David Brent: Life on the Road YesYesYesYes David Brent [214]
2020 The Willoughbys YesNoNoExecutiveThe Cat/NarratorVoice only
2021 Save Ralph YesNoNoNoDocumentary crew member [215]
2022 Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank YesNoNoNoIka Chu

Television

YearTitleActorDirectorWriterExecutive ProducerCreatorRoleNotesRef.
1999 The Jim Tavaré Show YesNoYesNoNoVarious7 episodes
Comedy Lab YesNoYesNoNoClive MeadowsEpisode: "Golden Years"
2000 The 11 O'Clock Show YesNoNoNoNoVarious20 episodes
Bruiser NoNoYesNoNo
Meet Ricky Gervais YesNoYesNoNoHimself (host)6 episodes
2001 Spaced YesNoNoNoNoDaveEpisode: "Dissolution"
2001–2003 The Office YesYesYesYesYes David Brent 14 episodes; Co-created, co-written and co-directed with Stephen Merchant
2002 Robbie the Reindeer in Legend of the Lost Tribe YesNoNoNoNoPenguinVoice; Television special
2003 Happiness YesNoNoNoNoHimselfEpisode: "Real Dancing"
Ricky Gervais Live: Animals YesNoYesNoNoStand-up special
2004 Ricky Gervais Live 2: Politics YesNoYesNoNo
Alias YesNoNoNoNoDaniel RyanEpisode: "Façade"
2005–2013 The Office (U.S.)YesNoYesYesYesDavid BrentAmerican remake of his show "The Office" co-created with Stephen Merchant
Appeared in episodes: "The Seminar" and "Search Committee"
and co-wrote "The Convict" with Stephen Merchant
2005–2007 Extras YesYesYesYesYesAndy Millman13 episodes;
Co-created, co-written and co-directed with Stephen Merchant
2006Ricky Gervais Meets...YesNoNoNoNoHimself3 episodes
2006, 2011 The Simpsons YesNoYesNoNoCharles Heathbar
Himself
Voice; 2 episodes
2007 Ricky Gervais Live 3: Fame YesNoYesNoNoHimselfStand-up special
2008Ricky Gervais: Out of EnglandYesNoYesNoNo
2009 Sesame Street YesNoNoNoNo3 episodes
SpongeBob SquarePants YesNoNoNoNoNarratorVoice; Episode: "SpongeBob's Truth or Square"
2010 67th Golden Globe Awards YesNoNoNoNoHimself (host)Television special
2010–2012 The Ricky Gervais Show YesNoNoYesYesHimselfVoice; 39 episodes
[216]
An Idiot Abroad YesNoNoYesYesHimself21 episodes
2010 Louie YesNoNoNoNoDr. Ben2 episodes
Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2YesNoYesNoNoHimselfStand-up special
Ricky Gervais Live 4: Science YesNoYesNoNo
2011 Talking Funny YesNoNoYesNoHimselfTelevision special, HBO
2011 68th Golden Globe Awards YesNoYesNoNoHimself (host)Television special, NBC
2011–2013 Life's Too Short YesYesYesYesYesHimself7 episodes
Co-created with Stephen Merchant and Warwick Davis and co-written and co-directed with Stephen Merchant
2011 Curb Your Enthusiasm YesNoNoNoNoEpisode: "The Hero"
2012 69th Golden Globe Awards YesNoYesNoNoHimself (host)Television special, NBC
Family Guy YesNoNoNoNoBilly FinnVoice; Episode: "Be Careful What You Fish For"
2012–2014 Derek YesYesYesYesYesDerek Noakes14 episodes
2015 Galavant YesNoNoNoNoXanaxEpisode: "Dungeons and Dragon Lady"
BoJack Horseman YesNoNoNoNoHedgehog at OrphanageVoice; Episode: "Out to Sea"
2016 73rd Golden Globe Awards YesNoYesNoNoHimself (host)Television special, NBC
2018 Child Support YesNoNoYesNoHimself
Ricky Gervais: Humanity YesNoYesNoNoStand-up special, Netflix
2019–2022 After Life YesYesYesYesYesTony Johnson18 episodes
2019 Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? YesNoNoNoNoHimselfVoice; Episode: "Ollie Ollie In-Come Free!"
2020 77th Golden Globe Awards YesNoYesNoNoHimself (host)Television special, NBC
2022 Ricky Gervais: SuperNature YesNoYesNoNoHimselfStand-up special, NetflixAlso composer
TBAGreenlight – German GeniusYesNoNoNoNo [217]

Video games

YearTitleRoleRef(s)
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours Simon Trent
2008 Grand Theft Auto IV Himself
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Dr. McPhee

Stand-up specials

YearTitleNotesRef(s)
2003 Animals DVD release
2004 Politics DVD release
2007 Fame DVD release
2008Out of EnglandHBO Special [218]
2009 Science DVD release
2010Out of England 2HBO Special [219]
2017–2018 Humanity Netflix exclusive
2019–2021SuperNatureNetflix exclusive
2022–presentArmageddonNetflix exclusive

Recurring collaborators

Actor Office Extras Show Idiot Short Derek Road After Ref(s)
Stephen Merchant Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg [220]
Karl Pilkington Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg [221]
Ashley Jensen Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg [222]
Warwick Davis Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
Steve Speirs Yes check.svgYes check.svg
Shaun Williamson Yes check.svgYes check.svg [223]
David Earl Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg [224]
Kerry Godliman Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg
Joe Wilkinson Yes check.svgYes check.svg [225]
Colin Hoult Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg [226]

Tom Basden

Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg

Tom Bennett

Yes check.svgYes check.svg

Andrew Brooke

Yes check.svgYes check.svg

Les Dennis

Yes check.svgYes check.svg

Keith Chegwin

Yes check.svgYes check.svg

Roisin Conaty

Yes check.svgYes check.svg

Mandeep Dhillon

Yes check.svgYes check.svg

Jo Hartley

Yes check.svgYes check.svg

Diane Morgan

Yes check.svgYes check.svg
Ewen MacIntosh Yes check.svgYes check.svg

Awards and nominations

Throughout his career, Gervais has won numerous awards including two Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on The Office and Extras. He has also received seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards.

Bibliography

Related Research Articles

<i>The Office</i> International series of mockumentary sitcoms

The Office is a mockumentary sitcom created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, first made in the United Kingdom, then Germany, and subsequently the United States. It has since been remade in nine other countries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Brent</span> Character from The Office

David Brent is a fictional character in the BBC television mockumentary The Office, portrayed by the show's co-creator, co-writer and co-director Ricky Gervais. Brent is a white-collar office middle-manager and the principal character of the series. He is the general manager of the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg paper merchants and the boss of most other characters in the series. Much of the comedy of the series centres on Brent's many idiosyncrasies, hypocrisies, self-delusions and overt self-promotion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stephen Merchant</span> English comedian, actor, director and writer

Stephen James Merchant is an English comedian, actor, director, presenter and writer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karl Pilkington</span> English comedian and television personality (born 1972)

Karl Pilkington is an English presenter, comedian, actor, voice-artist, producer and author.

<i>Extras</i> (TV series) British sitcom

Extras is a British sitcom about extras working in television, film, and theatre. The series was co-produced by the BBC and HBO and was written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, both of whom starred in it. Extras follows the lives of Andy Millman (Gervais), his platonic friend Maggie Jacobs and Andy's substandard agent and part-time retail employee Darren Lamb (Merchant) as Millman muddles through life as an anonymous "background performer" who eventually finds success as a B-list sitcom star.

"Free Love Freeway" is a song written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who starred in the British comedy series The Office. Gervais first performed the song as David Brent in Series 1, Episode 4 of the show. From 2018, "Free Love Freeway" also appears in Freeview adverts in the United Kingdom.

<i>The Office</i> (British TV series) British television series

The Office is a British television mockumentary sitcom first broadcast in the UK on BBC Two on 9 July 2001. Created, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the programme follows the day-to-day lives of office employees in the Slough branch of the fictional Wernham Hogg paper company. Gervais also starred in the series, playing the central character David Brent.

"Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife" is the fifteenth episode of the seventeenth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 26, 2006, and was watched by around ten million people during that broadcast. In the episode, Homer signs the Simpson family up for a reality show in which the mothers of two families switch places. Marge gets to live with a friendly man named Charles and his perfect son, while Homer, Bart, and Lisa must spend time with Charles' strict wife Verity.

The Ricky Gervais Show is a comedy radio show in the UK starring Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington, later adapted into a podcast and a television series. Despite being named after the more famous Gervais, it mostly revolves around the life and ideas of Karl Pilkington. The show started in August 2001 on Xfm, and aired in weekly periods for months at a time throughout 2002, 2003, 2004, and mid-2005. In November 2005, Guardian Unlimited offered the show as a podcast series of 12 shows. Throughout January and February 2006, the podcast was consistently ranked the number one podcast in the world; it appeared in the 2007 Guinness World Record for the world's most downloaded podcast, having gained an average of 261,670 downloads per episode during its first month. According to the BBC, by September 2006, the podcasts of the series had been downloaded nearly 18 million times. As of March 2011, the podcast has been downloaded over 300 million times. An animated series based on the podcast and adapted for television debuted for HBO in the United States and Channel 4 in the UK in 2010.

<i>The Office</i> Christmas specials

The Office Christmas specials are the two-part series finale episodes of the British mockumentary comedy television series The Office. The specials were commissioned after the series' creators, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, announced that they would not write a full third series of the show. The first 45-minute part was broadcast on BBC One on 26 December 2003, and the second 50-minute part was shown the following evening. The episodes are presented in the style of "revisited" documentaries common on British television, in which popular "docusoaps", are brought back for one-off specials several years after the series concluded. David Brent (Gervais), forcibly made redundant at the end of the second series, is now a travelling salesman of cleaning supplies. Tim Canterbury and Gareth Keenan are still working at the offices of Wernham Hogg, and former Wernham Hogg receptionist Dawn Tinsley now lives in Florida, though is flown back to Britain by the documentary crew to reunite with her old colleagues.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kerry Godliman</span> English actor and comedian

Kerry Anna Godliman is an English actor and comedian best known for her roles in Derek, Bad Move and After Life.

Life's Too Short is a British mockumentary sitcom created and written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, based on an idea by Warwick Davis, about "the life of a showbiz dwarf". Davis plays a fictionalised version of himself, and both Gervais and Merchant appear in supporting roles as themselves. The show began airing on BBC Two on 10 November 2011. Premium cable channel HBO, which co-produced the series with the BBC, has the US rights and aired the series from 19 February 2012.

<i>An Idiot Abroad</i> British travel documentary television series

An Idiot Abroad is a British travel documentary comedy television series broadcast on Sky One, as well as a series of companion books published by Canongate Books, created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and starring Karl Pilkington. The ongoing theme of both the television series and the books is that Pilkington has no interest in global travel, so Merchant and Gervais make him travel while they stay in the United Kingdom and monitor his progress.

<i>The Ricky Gervais Show</i> (TV series) British cartoon series

The Ricky Gervais Show is a comedy animated series produced for and broadcast by HBO and Channel 4. The series is an animated version of the popular British audio podcasts and audiobooks of the same name, which feature Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant along with colleague and friend Karl Pilkington, talking about various subjects behind the microphone. The TV series consists of past audio recordings of these unscripted "pointless conversations," with animation drawn in a style similar to classic era Hanna-Barbera cartoons, presenting jokes and situations in a literal context.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roisin Conaty</span> Irish English actor, comedian and writer

Roisin Marcella Conaty is an English actress, comedian and writer. She won the Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010 for her show Hero, Warrior, Fireman, Liar. She played Jo in Channel 4 sitcom Man Down from 2013 to 2017.

Derek is a British comedy-drama television series starring, written by and directed by Ricky Gervais. The pilot was produced by Derek Productions Ltd. for Channel 4 and aired on 12 April 2012. Channel 4 describes the show as "A bittersweet comedy drama about a group of outsiders living on society's margins".

<i>David Brent: Life on the Road</i> 2016 film by Ricky Gervais

David Brent: Life on the Road is a 2016 British mockumentary comedy film written, directed, and produced by Ricky Gervais and released by Entertainment One. The film stars Gervais as David Brent, a character he played in the BBC television comedy series The Office, who has a film crew that shadows him as he travels up and down the country living his dream of being a rock star. Gervais said, "This film delves much more into his private life than The Office ever did and we really get to peel back the layers of this extraordinary, ordinary man." He has emphasised that it is "not an Office film".

<i>After Life</i> (TV series) British streaming television series

After Life is a British black comedy-drama streaming television series created, written, produced, and directed by Ricky Gervais, who plays lead character Tony Johnson. It premiered on 8 March 2019 on Netflix. The second series premiered on 24 April 2020. The third and final series premiered on 14 January 2022.

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Further reading

Interviews