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Ricky Gervais
GervaisBlooms021218-22 (46107510992) (cropped).jpg
Gervais in 2018
Birth name Ricky Dene Gervais
Born (1961-06-25) 25 June 1961 (age 62)
Reading, Berkshire, England
Alma mater University College London (BA)
Years active 1982–present

Ricky Dene Gervais (/ərˈvz/ JƏR-vayz; born 25 June 1961) is an English comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director. He co-created, co-wrote, and acted in the British television sitcoms The Office (2001–2003), Extras (2005–2007), An ... Abroad (2010–2012), and Life's Too Short (2011–2013). He also created, wrote and starred in Derek (2012–2014) and After Life (2019–2022). He has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and the Rose d'Or twice (2006 and 2019). The Observer named Gervais one of the 50 funniest performers in British comedy in 2003. In 2007, he was placed at No. 11 on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups, and at No. 3 in their 2010 list. In 2010, he was included in the Time 100 list of World's Most Influential People.

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. He co-wrote and co-directed both series with Stephen Merchant, and played the lead roles of David Brent (The Office) and Andy Millman (Extras). He also wrote the Flanimals book series.

Gervais began his stand-up career in the late 1990s. He has performed five multi-national stand-up comedy tours. 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. In 2016, he wrote, directed and starred in the comedy film David Brent: Life on the Road. Gervais has also starred in the Hollywood films For Your Consideration (2006), the Night at the Museum film series trilogy (2006–2014), Ghost Town (2008), and Muppets Most Wanted (2014). He wrote, directed, and starred in the 2009 romantic comedy film The Invention of Lying and the 2016 Netflix-released comedy film Special Correspondents. He hosted the Golden Globe Awards five times, in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, and 2020.

Early life

Gervais was born on 25 June 1961 at Battle Hospital in Reading, Berkshire.

Gervais's father, Lawrence Raymond "Jerry" Gervais (1919–2002), a Franco-Ontarian of French Canadian and Iroquois descent raised on a farm in Pain Court, Ontario, near London, Ontario, emigrated to the UK whilst on foreign duty during the Second World War. He worked as a labourer and hod carrier before he met Gervais's English mother, Eva Sophia (née House; 1925–2000). 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. Ricky, the youngest child, has three older siblings: schoolteacher Larry (1945–2019), Marsha, a teacher for special needs children (1948–), and painter–decorator Bob (1950–). Prompted by Bob, Gervais began to question the existence of God from about age eight.

Gervais has mentioned in interviews that, as an 11-year-old, he asked why his siblings were so much older than he was; his mother bluntly told him that he "was a mistake". 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.'"

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. 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 the University of London in 1983. During his time there, he met Jane Fallon, with whom he has been in a relationship since 1982.



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. Despite not being successful in the UK, Seona Dancing did manage to score a hit in the Philippines with "More to Lose". Gervais also worked as the manager for Suede before they became successful in the 1990s.

In 2013, Gervais performed a live tour as David Brent along with his band Foregone Conclusion, Brent's fictional band in The Office. ..... 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 of 15 songs, which he also recorded for the album Life on the Road as David Brent and Foregone Conclusion.


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. Needing an assistant, he interviewed the first person whose curriculum vitae he read: Stephen Merchant. In 1998 Gervais's position was made redundant when the station was taken over by the Capital Radio group. Around this time he was also a regular contributor to Mary Anne Hobbs's Radio 1 show, performing vox pop interviews in unlikely locations.

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.

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


On 5 December 2005, Guardian Unlimited began offering free weekly podcasts, including The Ricky Gervais Show featuring Gervais, Merchant, and Karl Pilkington. 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. 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. 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. 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.


Early television appearances

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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. Gervais and Merchant are producers of the American version, and they also co-wrote the episode "The Convict" for the show's third season. 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!'"


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.

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.

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.

The Ricky Gervais Show

The Ricky Gervais Show is an animated TV show that debuted on US cable network HBO on 19 February 2010. 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, 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. 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. 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.


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. 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. 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.

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."

Channel 4 commissioned a full series of Derek that aired in early 2013. Derek was recommissioned for a second series which premiered on 23 April 2014. Derek ended with a one-off final special, 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. On 3 April 2019, Netflix renewed the series for a second season, which launched on 24 April 2020. In May 2020 it was announced that Gervais had signed a new deal with Netflix, including a third season of After Life. 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!"

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.

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. 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". .....

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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. The DVD was released on 15 November 2010. In November 2009, he headlined the sixth annual New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. In 2013, Gervais announced that his next stand-up show would be called Humanity. In December 2014, he said he was too busy to do the tour due to producing two films. In May 2016, Gervais performed stand-up in London, starting with some low key warm-ups with cast members from Derek. 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. 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. Following significant cancellations and postponements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SuperNature tours resumed in August 2021. SuperNature received criticism for jokes about transgender people. It won the Best Stand-Up Show at the National Comedy Awards. 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.


One of the first animations Gervais voiced was the character of Penguin in Robbie the Reindeer's Legend of the Lost Tribe. 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". 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.

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. 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. He has also made guest appearances on Sesame Street.

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. 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.


Ricky Gervais 2010
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".

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." 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. 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. 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'. Gervais responded, "They are my friends, but I had to play the outsider." 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, 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. 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. 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.

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".

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.

Gervais has been on The Late Show with David Letterman 26 times. In 2008, he helped Letterman read out the Late Show Top Ten List, Top Ten Stupid Things Americans Say To Brits. 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.

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. Another appearance saw him talk about his series Life's Too Short; Johnny Depp, who was there to promote his own film, was also present.

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.



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. 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, and the remaining episodes following in 2003. Extras: The Illustrated Scripts: Series 1 & 2 has been released, as well.

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.


Gervais's film career has included small roles as the voice of a pigeon, Bugsy, in 2005's Valiant, as a studio executive in 2006's For Your Consideration, 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. Gervais starred in Ghost Town (2008) as a dentist who sees spirits, 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. Gervais and collaborator Stephen Merchant made a film called Cemetery Junction, set in 1970s Britain, about class, love and fulfilment. 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.

Gervais directed and starred in, Special Correspondents, which began filming in May 2015. 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. 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. 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.

..... Directed by Gervais, the film is part of the station's Comedy Shorts series and was released in May 2023. In March 2023, Gervais had teased the project when he tweeted a photograph from the setting.

Other appearances

Ricky Gervais performing 2007
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.

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. Towards the end of the event—after a pre-recorded introduction from Ben Stiller—Gervais appeared along with fellow Office star Mackenzie Crook. ..... 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.

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". ..... 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?"

Personal life

Gervais has homes in Hampstead, London, and Marlow, Buckinghamshire. He also has an apartment in the Barbizon 63 building in Manhattan, New York City. He has been in a relationship with producer and author Jane Fallon since 1982, and states they have chosen 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".

He has been vegan for some time. He is an atheist and a humanist, abandoning religion at the age of eight. In December 2010, he wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal explaining his atheism. He is an honorary associate of the UK's National Secular Society 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. 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".

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

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.

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'."

In June 2017, Gervais endorsed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 UK 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."

Charity work

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. He donated his £5,000 prize money to the training of a Macmillan nurse who specialised in cancer support.

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

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. 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.

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

In 2021, Gervais joined the Rewriting Extinction campaign to fight the climate and biodiversity crisis through comics. Gervais created the comic story "Bullfight" in collaboration with the illustrator Rob Steen. The comic was released in the book The Most Important Comic Book on Earth: Stories to Save the World on 28 October 2021 by DK.


Gervais has cited Laurel & Hardy, Groucho Marx, Peter Cook, and Christopher Guest as significant influences. 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.



Year Title Actor Director Writer Producer Role Notes Ref(s)
2001 Dog Eat Dog Yes No No No Bouncer
2005 Valiant Yes No No No Bugsy Voice only
2006 For Your Consideration Yes No No No Martin Gibb
Night at the Museum Yes No No No Dr. McPhee
2007 Stardust Yes No No No Ferdy the Fence
2008 Ghost Town Yes No No No Dr. Bertram Pincus
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Yes No No No Dr. McPhee
The Invention of Lying Yes Yes Yes Yes Mark Bellison Co-written and co-directed with Matthew Robinson
2010 Cemetery Junction Yes Yes Yes Executive Len Taylor Co-written and co-directed with Stephen Merchant
2011 Spy Kids: All the Time in the World Yes No No No Argonaut Voice only
2013 Escape from Planet Earth Yes No No No Mr. James Bing Voice only
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Yes No No No Dominic Badguy
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Yes No No No Dr. McPhee
2015 The Little Prince Yes No No No The Conceited Man Voice only
2016 Special Correspondents Yes Yes Yes Yes Ian Finch
David Brent: Life on the Road Yes Yes Yes Yes David Brent
2020 The Willoughbys Yes No No Executive The Cat/Narrator Voice only
2021 Save Ralph Yes No No No Documentary crew member
2022 Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank Yes No No No Ika Chu
2023 7 Minutes No Yes No Executive N/A Short film


Year Title Actor Director Writer Executive Producer Creator Role Notes Ref.
1999 The Jim Tavaré Show Yes No Yes No No Various 7 episodes
Comedy Lab Yes No Yes No No Clive Meadows Episode: "Golden Years"
2000 The 11 O'Clock Show Yes No No No No Various 20 episodes
Bruiser No No Yes No No N/A
Meet Ricky Gervais Yes No Yes No No Himself (host) 6 episodes
2001 Spaced Yes No No No No Dave Episode: "Dissolution"
2001–2003 The Office Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes David Brent 14 episodes; Co-created, co-written and co-directed with Stephen Merchant
2002 Robbie the Reindeer in Legend of the Lost Tribe Yes No No No No Penguin Voice; Television special
2003 Happiness Yes No No No No Himself Episode: "Real Dancing"
Ricky Gervais Live: Animals Yes No Yes No No Stand-up special
2004 Ricky Gervais Live 2: Politics Yes No Yes No No
Alias Yes No No No No Daniel Ryan Episode: "Façade"
2005–2013 The Office (U.S.) Yes No Yes Yes Yes David Brent American 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 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Andy Millman 13 episodes;
Co-created, co-written and co-directed with Stephen Merchant
2006 Ricky Gervais Meets... Yes No No No No Himself 3 episodes
2006, 2011 The Simpsons Yes No Yes No No Charles Heathbar
Voice; 2 episodes and wrote episode Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife
2007 Ricky Gervais Live 3: Fame Yes No Yes No No Himself Stand-up special
2008 Ricky Gervais: Out of England Yes No Yes No No
2009 Sesame Street Yes No No No No 3 episodes
SpongeBob SquarePants Yes No No No No Narrator Voice; Episode: "SpongeBob's Truth or Square"
2010 67th Golden Globe Awards Yes No No No No Himself (host) Television special
2010–2012 The Ricky Gervais Show Yes No No Yes Yes Himself Voice; 39 episodes
An ... Abroad Yes No No Yes Yes Himself 21 episodes
2010 Louie Yes No No No No Dr. Ben 2 episodes
Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2 Yes No Yes No No Himself Stand-up special
Ricky Gervais Live 4: Science Yes Yes Yes No No
2011 Talking Funny Yes No No Yes No Himself Television special, HBO
2011 68th Golden Globe Awards Yes No Yes No No Himself (host) Television special, NBC
2011–2013 Life's Too Short Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Himself 7 episodes
Co-created with Stephen Merchant and Warwick Davis and co-written and co-directed with Stephen Merchant
2011 Curb Your Enthusiasm Yes No No No No Episode: "The Hero"
2012 69th Golden Globe Awards Yes No Yes No No Himself (host) Television special, NBC
Family Guy Yes No No No No Billy Finn Voice; Episode: "Be Careful What You Fish For"
2012–2014 Derek Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Derek Noakes 14 episodes
2015 Galavant Yes No No No No Xanax Episode: "Dungeons and Dragon Lady"
BoJack Horseman Yes No No No No Hedgehog at Orphanage Voice; Episode: "Out to Sea"
2016 73rd Golden Globe Awards Yes No Yes No No Himself (host) Television special, NBC
2018 Child Support Yes No No Yes No Himself
Ricky Gervais: Humanity Yes No Yes No No Stand-up special, Netflix
2019–2022 After Life Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Tony Johnson 18 episodes
2019 Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? Yes No No No No Himself Voice; Episode: "Ollie Ollie In-Come Free!"
2020 77th Golden Globe Awards Yes No Yes No No Himself (host) Television special, NBC
2022 Ricky Gervais: SuperNature Yes No Yes No No Himself Stand-up special, Netflix
2023 Ricky Gervais: Armageddon Yes No Yes No No


Year Title Station Role Notes Ref
1998 The Ricky Gervais Show XFM Self, co-host Presented with Stephen Merchant
2001–2005 Presented with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington
2017–2019 Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius Sirius XM Self, host

Video games

Year Title Role Ref(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

Year Title Notes Ref(s)
2003 Animals DVD release
2004 Politics DVD release
2007 Fame DVD release
2008 Out of England HBO special
2010 Science DVD release
2010 Out of England 2 HBO special
2018 Humanity Netflix exclusive
2022 SuperNature Netflix exclusive
2023 Armageddon Netflix exclusive

Recurring collaborators


2001 2005 2009 2010 2010 2011 2013 2016 2019
! .....
Merchant, StephenStephen Merchant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pilkington, KarlKarl Pilkington Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jensen, AshleyAshley Jensen Yes Yes Yes
Brody, SteveSteve Brody Yes Yes Yes Yes
Davis, WarwickWarwick Davis Yes Yes Yes
Speirs, SteveSteve Speirs Yes Yes Yes
Williamson, ShaunShaun Williamson Yes Yes
Gethings, RebeccaRebecca Gethings Yes Yes
Brown, DocDoc Brown Yes Yes
Dempsey, HolliHolli Dempsey Yes Yes
McGuire, AshleyAshley McGuire Yes Yes
Foster, TobyToby Foster Yes Yes Yes
Earl, DavidDavid Earl Yes Yes Yes Yes
Godliman, KerryKerry Godliman Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wilkinson, JoeJoe Wilkinson Yes Yes
Hoult, ColinColin Hoult Yes Yes Yes

Basden, TomTom Basden

Yes Yes Yes

Bennett, TomTom Bennett

Yes Yes

Brooke, AndrewAndrew Brooke

Yes Yes

Holness, MatthewMatthew Holness

Yes Yes Yes

Dennis, LesLes Dennis

Yes Yes

Chegwin, KeithKeith Chegwin

Yes Yes

Conaty, RoisinRoisin Conaty

Yes Yes

Dhillon, MandeepMandeep Dhillon

Yes Yes

Way, TonyTony Way

Yes Yes Yes

Hartley, JoJo Hartley

Yes Yes

Morgan, DianeDiane Morgan

Yes Yes
MacIntosh, EwenEwen MacIntosh Yes Yes
Enright, JoJo Enright Yes Yes
Finch, NinetteNinette Finch Yes Yes
Edgell, YvonneYvonne Edgell Yes Yes

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.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ricky Gervais para niños

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