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Ricky is currently writing the second series of Derek.

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Creativity is the ability to Play



I'm loving having a YouTube channel to dick around on. I know I've always dicked around, whether on radio, TV or at the Golden Globes, but with this it's actually expected of me.




I discovered that this is the best thing about Twitter too. Just playing; mucking about for the hell of it. Although, I could technically count that as work. Dicking about should be tax-deductible for me.

Let me explain. Scientific studies of creativity have basically concluded that it can't be taught, as it is a "facility" rather than a learned skill. Putting it very crudely, creativity is the ability to play. And, to be able to turn that facility on and off when necessary. This makes perfect sense to me. Everything I've ever written, created or discovered artistically has come out of playing.




Stephen Nachmanovitch said that, "Creative work is play. It is free speculation using materials of one's chosen form." Basically mucking about with the stuff you have in front of you. Experimenting with it, seeing what happens, and keeping the stuff you like I guess. In fact Scott Adams said, "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."




You have to let yourself go to be creative. Children possess this quality but then seem to lose it as they are told, "it's not the done thing". Pablo Picasso summed it up well; "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up".

The answer is simple. Never grow up. I don't mean don't become an adult with responsibility and the weight of the world on your shoulders. I simply mean if you're writing or directing give yourself enough time to play. Play the fool. Goad. Shock. Laugh. Trip over something that isn't there. Try something. And never be afraid to fail. That failure is useful too. It's just another building block.

Fame can curb your playful streak in the same way as adulthood, as it is another form of societal pressure. This is dangerous as comedy at some level always has an element of undermining normality. The reason fame can stifle this is because reputation suddenly matters more. Now, it's not just some idiot annoying everyone in the pub, it's that idiot Ricky Gervais. I didn't care about strangers thinking I was an idiot before because they didn't know me. Now, they think they do. But, I've realised something. As important as reputation is in this case, it's still only what strangers think is true about you. Character is who you really are. Only close friends really know you and that's all that counts in the end.

It doesn't mean you're not more careful though. Tiny things can get taken out of context and you're often on your guard with this in mind. There seems to be a real us and them battle with artists and critics. An artist moaning about critics is like a fisherman moaning about waves. Tough. They're there. They're there because artists are there. And in some cases vice versa. I think that's because there's limited space for successful creators.

It's no lie that some critics have never tried or have failed at the thing they now offer "advice" on, but that doesn't mean that some of them aren't right sometimes. Some great ones are right a lot of the time. And yes there are some great critics. Sure, there are shitty critics. But fuck me there are shitty artists too. There are artists so shitty they couldn't even be critics (that's a joke by the way). You could say, "what's the point in critics?" Good question. I'd like to answer "no point at all" to be honest. But actually I think there is a point to them, and it's this -- they simply add to the debate. Just like chatting with friends, just like this little thing I'm writing now.

The point of art is to make a connection. If people talk about it, it's succeeded in a way. People have assumed that, because I don't listen to critics, or take studio notes or whatever, that I think I'm perfect and have never made any mistakes. This could not be further from the truth. Making the mistakes is the point, is the fun, is the important bit. But they have to be my own. The writer Rita Mae Brown said, "Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work." The only difficult bit about this is getting final edit. So much creativity is stifled by people who "know better", or by fear of failure, and before you know it, your goals have been twisted and you've forgotten what you set out to do.




I know many journalists in interviews have considered me combative, defensive and pedantic. They'd be right. But I bet they've never been misquoted. It's infuriating. And I'm careful in interviews because that's the last bit of influence I have on the result. They have the power of the edit. With Twitter I'm much more laid back because my side of the story is out there in black and white too. There's a lovely equality about it.

Everyone is famous on Twitter. Everyone has their platform. There are downsides to this and sometimes the internet seems like everyone is just emptying a drawer out of the window, but that's freedom of speech. You can't censor things based on quality. Nor should you. To each his own. I've been critical of this sort of non-regulation in the past and I think I described forums and chat rooms as graffiti. Well maybe Twitter is just another big toilet wall, but there's as much clean space and spray paint as you'll ever need. What are you going to do with it? Create something or destroy someone else's picture?



NEWS


Letterman No.26


See a bit of Ricky's 26th appearance on the Late Show .
Watch here.




TV Choice Awards


Derek has been nominated for a TV Choice Award.
Vote here.






Life Lessons


Buzzfeed collates a selection of adages drawn from Derek
Read here.




On The Daily Show...


Ricky tells Jon Stewart that he's still a fat guy at heart.
Watch here.




On The Tonight Show...


Ricky Plays "Word Sneak" with Jimmy Fallon.
Watch here.




Brent Gets Standing Ovation


A run of sell-out gigs ended at Hammersmith's Apollo on Satuday. Read the reviews...
Daily Telegraph
Radio Times
London Evening Standard




Ricky Talks To Q Magazine


He submits to a probing via Q's regular 'cash for questions' feature which relies on its readers to come up with the questions. And great questions they are too.
Read here.




Ricky's Nine Commandments


ShortList magazine asks Ricky for his tenets of kindness.
Read here.




The Office remembered


The Guardian TV blog reassesses The Office and its impact...
Read here.






Read the Sunday Times interview.

Vanity Fair Interview


Ricky gets quizzed about Muppets Most Wanted and more.
Read here.






Read the Daily News's one page biography.

Brand New Clip


Here's a new clip from Ricky's new movie, Muppets Most Wanted.
Watch here.




Ricky on Jimmy Kimmel


Ricky chats about his new Muppets movie on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Watch part 1, part 2 and part 3.




WSJ talks Muppets, Celebs and more


Ricky meets the Wall Street Journal for a chat heralding his new movie, Muppets Most Wanted.
Read here.






Ricky starts filming Night At The Museum 3


Read more here at Mail Online




Ricky on the Radio


Watch Ricky guest on the Opie and Anthony Show.
Here on YouTube.




On-Set Interiew


Den of Geek chat with Ricky on the set of Muppets Most Wanted...
Read here.




New Trailer


Ricky's latest trailer for the new Muppets Movie takes the piss out of Twitter gorps.
Watch here.




Ricky chats about Derek with Charlie Rose


With Derek coming to Netflix UK on Jan 30th, Ricky talks to Bloomburg TV about his latest creation.
Watch here.




Ricky meets David Blaine


The well-known illusionist shows Ricky another use for a skewer.
Watch here.




Person of the Year


PETA, the animal charity, has named Ricky as its person of the year 2013.
Read here.




£1,000 Cub Cake


Ricky buys bear-shaped treat at a charity auction.
Read here.




Ricky In Time


Ricky writes about success and styles himself a "cocky little nobody".
Read here.





Derek reviewed


Ricky hailed as the 'Tarantino of nice'
Read here.






David Blaine 'Real or Magic' Stumps Ricky Gervais with Amazing Knife

39 Feline Gervaisalikes


A number of cats that look like Ricky
See here.




New International Trailer for 'Muppets Most Wanted'

Top 50 News Pics


Ricky & Barney the dog makes the list of the 50 most powerful news images of 2013.
Read here at ITV.com.




David Brent - Live


Brent wows fans and critics at first ever gig.
Read the first reviews here...
The Guardian
Metro
The Mirror
The Independent
The Evening Standard





Ricky Talks Charity


The donations website Just Giving talks to Ricky about charity.
Read here.




Ricky on Derek in Sydney


Ricky chats to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Read here.





Derek Review Roundup


Here're some more Derek-related reviews and articles...
Fast Company.
Rolling Stone.
Newsday.
Montreal Gazette.
Toronto Sun.
Buzz Feed.






Vote For Derek


The National Television Awards have opened voting for the January 2014 awards.
You can give your support to Derek in the poll here.






Ricky Chats With Charlie


Ricky sits down with the great Charlie Rose...
Watch here.




Writing Credit


Ricky tells Fast Company about the biggest single influence on his writing...
Watch here.




Letterman No. 25


Ricky's made his 25th appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman
Watch here.




Ricky's Times Talk


An audience with Ricky in New York hosted by the New York Times.
Watch in full here.




Derek In Review


Entertainment Weekly calls #Derek "marked by grace."
Read the full article here .




Ricky On The Red Carpet


Ricky talks to Brad Blanks on the red carpet of The New York Premiere of Derek.
Watch here on YouTube.




Ricky's Reddit "Ask Me Anything"


Ricky answers readers' questions.
Read the results here at reddit.




Derek Hits The Airwaves


Listen to Ricky's interview on Black Sky Radio.
Here on YouTube.




Hollywood Reporter's Video Report


Watch the footage from the Hollywood Reporter's interview with Ricky.
Here on YouTube.




Hollywood Reports on Derek


God-hating, Dinners with Seinfeld and Derek on Netflix...
Read here.




Slough Makes International Impression


David Brent's ode to his favourite town has been covered by Toro Y Moi...
Listen here.
And refresh your memory of the seminal original here




Derek Is Big Down Under


The Sydney Morning Herald looks at Derek, which has just started showing in Australia...
Read here.




Brent - The Album


The NME makes a strong case for David Brent to release an album as a follow-up to his YouTube series of guitar tutorials.
Read here.




Ricky talks about godless tweets


Ricky guests with his heathen Twitter pals @MrOzAtheist & @GSpellchecker on @AdamReakes's Herd Mentality Podcast
Listen via ITunes or directly.




2 Million and counting


Ricky breaks the 2 Million barrier for Learn Guitar with David Brent
Read more here.




Brent on Jimmy Fallon


David Brent pops up on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Watch here.




International Acclaim For The Office


The Office takes 14th position in US magazine Entertainment Weekly's All-Time Top 100 TV Shows - by far the highest raked UK show on the list.
See the full list here.




Opie & Anthony


Ricky's favourite appearance on The Opie & Anthony Show in New York. It's a shame Opie & Anthony couldn't be there.
Listen here.




Ricky in GQ


Ricky gets probed on the return of Brent amongst other things...
Read here and Watch here.




Meanwhile in America...


Ricky's been on TV & Radio and watching a game called basketball...
Here's Ricky on The Daily Show. (US only)
On Opie and Anthony's radio show.
On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
And courtside at the Knicks game.




Robot monkey butlers


Ricky looks into the future and has some surprising predictions...
Read here.




Ricky's Muppets role


The producer of the new Muppet movie, The Muppets...Again!, says Ricky's role was tailor-made for him.
Read here.




Ricky explains the return of Brent


Shortlist has a piece by Ricky explaining why the time was right to revisit The Office.
Read here.




New and Exclusive


Ricky has made a deal with YouTube to bring new, exclusive content to his own YouTube Channel.
Read about the deal here and subscribe to Ricky's channel here.