DEREK

Derek is a bittersweet comedy drama about a group of outsiders living on society's margins.

Derek Noakes (played by Ricky) is a tender, innocent man whose love for his job and the people he cares for shines through. He's 49 years old and loves animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, 'Deal or No Deal', 'Million Pound Drop' and 'Britain's Got Talent' - but his main hobby is autograph hunting.



He works in a retirement home with his mate and landlord, Dougie (Karl Pilkington in his very first acting role).

Derek cares deeply for old people because they're kind and funny and tell him stories about the olden days.



Hannah (Kerry Godliman) is a care worker at the home and is Derek's best friend. She's smart, witty and hard working, but unlucky in love; and like Derek, always puts other people first.



A one-off pilot episode of Derek was broadcast on Channel 4 on April 12th 2012. The first full series began early in 2013 on Channel 4 and will be available on Netflix from Sept 12. A second series in on the way.

Ricky on Derek



I have never had a reaction like the one I'm currently having to Derek. It's genuinely heartwarming. The most touching comments I've received are from autistic people, parents of autistic people and carers of autistic people who identify with my latest and, incidentally, my favourite character I've ever created.

However, it hasn't always been plain sailing. I give you "The Derek dilemma."

Is Derek disabled?

The short answer is, "no." The longer answer is, "no, but what difference would it make if he was?"

There would be no actual change in the fictional character or the programme in which he exists. The only possible change would be in people's judgement of the show. Or rather, let's be honest, in their judgement of me.

Many made up their own mind about Derek's "condition". Most made their decision before they'd even seen the series. I even had time to explore that question in the show itself because of all the assumptions flying around months before it had been written. Not once had I suggested that Derek had any disability. In fact I have explained hundreds of times in various interviews that he does not.

Still the assumption persists. Often through malice, sometimes through ignorance; but often, and here's the really tricky bit, as praise.

Derek, because of his positive message, sweetness, honesty, and inner beauty, has become a pin-up boy for autism. Initially this gave me a dilemma. I couldn't suddenly pretend he was always meant to be autistic and embrace the flattery. However I was really touched by the fact that people identified with him on a personal level.

But here's the thing; Derek was meant to be different. He was meant to be marginalised by society. He was meant to draw assumptions by uncaring, thoughtless people who needed to label and pigeonhole individuals for their own peace of mind. He was meant to surprise and undermine stereotypes. And he was meant to look odd, speak funny, have bad hair and no fashion sense and not give a fuck about such things because he knew they weren't important. He knew what was really important. Kindness.

He is a hero. He is a hero of mine and I welcome him to be a hero to anyone else. Disabled or otherwise. Popular or ostracised. Derek is not meant to be autistic, but if anyone sees traits that they identify with then so be it. However different you are it's nice to know there's someone a bit like you.


LINKS





Derek - Channel 4

Watch Derek on Netflix

NEWS and REVIEWS


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.



Derek reviewed
Ricky hailed as the 'Tarantino of nice'
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.



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.



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.



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



Kindness is magic.
The Psychologist looks at Derek.
Read here.



Ricky on Derek in The Observer
Ricky talks about hurting people's feelings, never reading books, and why Derek makes him well up.
Read here.



Meet the cast
Ricky and the central cast of Derek talk to the Radio Times about their roles.
Read here.



Watch 'The Making Of Derek'
As Channel 4 gets ready for Derek's full series premiere on January 30th, their catch-up service 4OD is now showing The Making Of Derek.
Watch here.



Ricky on Derek
Ricky talks to Reuters about Derek and how it differs from his past shows.
Read more here.



Ricky on Derek
Ricky talks to Metro about how people are wrong when they decribe Derek as learning disabled.
Read here.



Derek wins first place
The New Yorks Shorts Festival 2012 has given Derek first place in its comedy category.
Read here.



Derek at the NY Shorts Fest
Dereks's recent showing in a New York short film festival reviewed...
Read here.



Sunday Times on Derek
The Sunday Times' Minette Marrin gives her verdict on Derek.
Read here.



Critics critiqued
The Independent's Ian O'Doherty points out the problem with the views expressed by some people who didn't like Derek.
Read here.




'Derek' in review
The Telegraph is impressed by Ricky's Channel 4 comedy drama.
Read here.
And Metro calls it "sharp, yet sweetly observed"
Read here.




More 'Derek' Previews
The Independent considers whether Derek has 'a condition' or not; Ricky clarifies. [Read here]
And the Daily Mail looks forward to Ricky at 'his irreverent best'. [Read here]



Comedy with heart
Ricky talks to the Irish Independent about his new comedy 'Derek' and its potential for controversy.
Read here.



A distant perspective on Derek
US website CinemaBlend ponders whether Derek will make it on to American TV screens and shares some clips in anticipation.
Read and watch here.



Age Concern
The Sun looks at 'Derek', Ricky's new comdey set in an old people's home, and Ricky takes the opportunity to point out how youth-centric today's society has become.
Read here.



Derek reviewed
Heat World's verdict on Ricky's new show is in. Derek premieres on Channel 4 in the UK on April 12.
Read here.



Go Derek
Digital Spy offers an in-depth appraisal of Ricky's new project, Derek, which airs on Channel 4 in the UK on April 12.
Read here.



Derek on the telly
Ricky's latest project in which he stars as Derek Noakes, who works in a nursing home, will have its pilot episode broadcast on Channel 4 in April.
Read more here.