RICKY'S BLOG - Read Ricky's thoughts on his upcoming projects, visits to restaurants and round-headed friends.





Week two hundred and seventy-five - August 2014


Did I mention that I've been nominated for another Emmy for my role as Derek?

I don't want to go on about it, but I have. Been nominated, I mean. For the 21st time.

I've basically been nominated every year since 2005 as an actor or writer or director or producer on one of my shows and this time it's for the show that I wrote and directed and starred in, called Derek.

I play the title role of Derek. And I've been nominated for an Emmy. Hope that's clear. Fank you.






Week two hundred and seventy-four - June 2014


I'm not sure if anyone who doesn't follow me on Twitter or Facebook still reads this rather quaint & archaic blog, but just in case, I'd like to thank you all for your support, loyalty and wonderful comments about Derek over the last few months.

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.



Week two hundred and seventy-three - April 2014


The cast of Derek sat down with James Rampton on the set of Derek series 2...


RICKY GERVAIS / DEREK

Q: What more do we find out about Derek in this series?
A: You learn that Derek is fun. Also you discover that he is not just sweet and selfless and funny, but also really wise. He's got it spot on with his strategy. He knows that if you always do the right thing, the kindest thing, you can't go far wrong. I don't know if Derek's example can change anything, but at least it might make people think a bit. On Twitter last year people wrote, "I called my nan after watching Derek." That makes me well up.

Q: What do you think the message of Derek is?
A: Derek is a show about kindness. It shows that kindness trumps everything. I made the characters look like life's losers so I could pull the rug from under viewers. I don't want them to see it coming. I want people to be laughing at Kev, and then when he begs for his job back, I want them to see that he's got real feelings.

Q: What other themes does the show throw up?
A: It shows that women are the real role models in life. Men think they rule, but women actually rule, without having to show off about it. I've never liked the idea of women as props or air-heads or seductresses or super-bitches. Where are the real women in comedy and drama? The character of Hannah is based on women in my family.

Q: Can you please expand on that?
A: They are nurturing and care about babies and puppies, but they're also lionesses. They would take a baseball bat to someone in order to protect their family. Hannah is a conglomerate, a Frankenstein's monster of working-class women I have known. They are always prepared to take responsibility for things. My mum had to bring up four kids, but she also knitted, sewed and did the wallpapering. She made no money go a long way. Most women are like that.

Q: How much of Derek is drawn from your own life?
A: I have always written about what I know. I worked in an office for 10 years before I wrote The Office. The character of Gareth was based on someone I knew at school – that's why he's like a 14-year-old. Everything is semi-autobiographical. All my family are care workers, so that was the perfect place to put Derek because I knew about that world. I had 35 years of anecdotes stored up. That's a real world, so that's what I want to write about.

Q: Why does the show mingle comedy with tragedy?
A: Because that is what life is like. You have a laugh and then someone finds a lump and you deal with that. People ask me, "Is Derek a comedy or drama?" I reply, "What’s your life?" It is always a bit of both. The world is not entirely comic and it's not entirely dramatic.

Q: Do you like writing the character of Derek?
A: Yes. He is a fully formed character. If you're creating a three-dimensional character, based on reality and naturalistic, you can keep unearthing new things about him. What I like is that Derek changes all the time. We all change, even over a few weeks. In a documentary, you think you know this person intimately, but how well do you really know Derek after just a few hours?

Q: Tell us more.
A: In real life, friends keep surprising us - you never know how someone will react. It was the same with David Brent in The Office. People thought he was a buffoon, but later on they realised he was simply having a midlife crisis. He was a man who clung onto the idea of fame because he thought it would sort his life out. Andy Millman in Extras was the same. He was fine with his mates, but in the end he was bodysnatched because he wanted fame too much and sold his soul to the devil. Everything that is thrown at you brings up different parts of your personality.

Q: Have you enjoyed making the second series of Derek?
A: Absolutely. The second series of anything is usually my favourite because I'm writing for people I know. I know what they sound and look like. In the first series, you write blind - you don't write for David Earl or Martin Freeman or Mackenzie Crook. But in the second series, I use people's real voices because I want realism. So often I mention the actors' physicality because I want it to be like a real documentary. And by this stage, I really know the actors' strengths. Some people are at their best when they are given meticulous lines, and some people are at their best when you throw them ad libs. Everything is the best it could possibly be in the second series. That's partly why I don’t normally do a third series. I like the length of a 12-hour saga. It's like the epic novel of telly.

Q: Do you enjoy directing your own scripts?
A: Definitely. There are no surprises because I’ve lived with the script for so long. When I direct my own scripts, it's much easier as it's been in my head for a year already. If someone offered me the script of Matrix 4 to direct, I'd panic. What I love about this is having an idea and seeing it come to fruition on screen. I would like to direct someone else's script one day, but I might not get round to it before I die - you can't legislate for being hit by a bus!

Q: Do find it hard to edit your own material?
A: Yes. You have to be ruthless. At first it breaks your heart as some of the funniest scenes have to hit the cutting room floor. But story is king. Of course you can put those deleted scenes on the DVD extras, but forget it for the actual series. It reminds me of this 1960's advert for tins of salmon. The voice-over used to go, "It's the salmon John West rejects that makes John West salmon the best." I think that's a good metaphor for editing. It breaks your heart when you throw something away, but it's what left that counts. It's like worrying about the bits of rock you have knocked off in order to make a beautiful statue. You've wasted half the rock, yeah, but it's the Venus di Milo!

Q: How would you respond to the critics of the first series of Derek who wondered if the show might be mocking someone with learning difficulties?
A: Even if Derek did have learning difficulties, I don't see why it would matter because he's such a great role model. It's not taking the mickey out of him; it's taking the mickey out of the attitudes of the rest of us. I've never considered him disabled; he is an "out of the mouth of babies" innocent person who always says the right thing that you didn't see coming. And if I say he's not disabled, that's the end of it. He is a fictional character created by me, so you can't argue with that. You can't suddenly decide that Superman is dyslexic - he's not. Whatever Derek's got, I want some - because he's brilliant!

Q: Finally, do you think the characters in Derek are very identifiable?
A: Absolutely. I like showing life in the raw. When you first look at Broad Hill Retirement Home, you might say, "What is this place?" Then you realise that most people are like Kev and Hannah and Derek; they're not like Brad Pitt or George Clooney or Johnny Depp. If you see men at home, they will be more like Kev or Derek moaning about the weather. They will be sitting around in their pants saying, "Why won't this ruddy DVD work?"



KERRY GODLIMAN / HANNAH

Q: Where is Hannah at the beginning of the second series?
A: She's in love and happy. It's a nice new angle on her life, and it's been great fun to play. Has it affected her relationship with Derek? No, that's unique and special. It's very much intact and consistent. Derek is not jealous - he is not like that. It's a different dynamic between him and her. There's this great trust between Hannah and Derek and a very reliable sense of affection.

Q: Can you develop that a little, please?
A: Hannah's feelings remain the same - she knows that Derek is a very loving person and that he brings out the best in her. She's very protective - wants to shield him from women who are less sweet. She doesn't want him to be corrupted. She knows that he's a very open person who is not judgemental or cynical or any of the other bad things the rest of us are. A lot of heroes on TV are bullies, and a lot of shows are about Schadenfreude; we watch people being rubbish at something to make ourselves feel better. But Derek is the opposite. Viewers might be relieved to see a hero who shows you different ways of behaving. He is compassionate and giving and loving. I think that's quite a brave thing to portray.

Q: How do you find acting with Ricky?
A: He is lovely to act with. As the character of Derek has grown and the response has been so warm, I feel as if I have discovered things about Derek that weren’t there before. He is an incredible character who just keeps on growing. The response to him has been amazing. During our scenes together, it is not hard to convey that fondness and warmth towards him because I feel it.

Q: How would you characterise Ricky as a director?
A: He's very relaxed. He creates a great atmosphere on set, and he is lots of fun. Corpsing is not a problem as long as we get a scene at the end of it.

Q: What have fans said to you about the show?
A: They love it. I have genuinely had an overwhelming response. A lot of people say that as they watch it they laugh through the tears. The fact that people can laugh and sob at the same time is something new - it's not something they have experienced every week.

Q: Can you expand on viewers' reactions to the programme?
A: The people I have been particularly touched by are family friends who work in care. They have told me that they really recognise the place we have conjured up. They think it accurately captures a care home. For them, there is something familiar about the world we have created. People have said to me, "When I'm old, I want to go to Broad Hill Retirement Home." I've also had a lot of emails from people who have mental health issues in their family. Those pieces of feedback are the richest.

Q: People have really latched on to the character of Hannah, haven’t they?
A: Yes. Some people have said to me, "I want Hannah to look after me when I get older." I have to explain to them very patiently that I'm not actually Hannah. That's upsetting to some people. I'd be awful as a care worker. I think you'd struggle to find many comedians who'd make good carers!

Q: Are you and Hannah very similar?
A: No, we not very alike. I'd aspire to be more like her. I'd like her patience and her benevolence. I particularly like the fact that she is not judgemental. Some people feel that Kev doesn't belong in the nursing home. But Hannah doesn't have a problem with him because she cares for everyone and Kev is clearly desperate for care. She doesn't see him as any different from anyone else. He is a damaged soul who needs affection.

Q: If it were to be commissioned, would you be keen to make a third series of Derek?
A: Definitely. There are lots of new places to take it. As we keep moving forward, the show will throw up a lot of new stories - life does that. Is there more to say? The show is so human that that is like saying, "Is there more to say in real life?" I ruddy hope so!



DAVID EARL / KEV

Q: Where do we find Kev at the start of the new series?
A: He's back to his old self. He goes for a job interview as a caretaker at the nursing home. He tries to clean himself up and make a difference, but all the same, you can't really employ him. He's quite sweet, but unemployable!

Q: How would you characterise him?
A: He's like a dog in the corner of the nursing home. People just accept that there's this mangy looking mutt there. He needs a good stroke. During the course of this series, he reveals a deep self-loathing. We also meet his brother. He’s not great - he makes Kev look normal!

Q: How does the relationship between Kevin and Derek develop?
A: They become best mates. Kev is looking out for Derek now. He is like an older brother to him. They're a double act. Kev hasn't got anyone else. He looks up to Derek and admires the way deals with other people. At one point, Kev steps up to the plate and tries to sort things out for Derek. It's very touching.

Q: Why has the show resonated with audiences?
A: People have latched on to the series because it is so warm. It also keeps shifting in tone. You need that because the show can't be 100 percent about kindness. You have to have a bit of dirt thrown in. Kevin will give you a bit of dirt to provide relief for viewers from all the kindness!

Q: Does the focus on kindness make the show stand out?
A: Yes. It's unusual in this cynical age to have a programme extolling kindness. Maybe comedy and kindness don't normally go hand-in-hand, but Ricky has found a great way of achieving it.

Q: What has the fans' response to the show been?
A: On Twitter, it's been 100 percent positive. They're always really nice about the programme, and that's lovely. People also come up to me on the street and say how much they adore the show. That's really nice, too. But that has only happened in the last month since I've grown Kev's moustache again. Before that, it was quite pleasant to walk around in disguise!

Q: If asked, would you like to return for a third series?
A: Without a doubt, I'd love to come back. I can see Kev finding love because you wouldn't expect that. It would be nice to give him a happy ending.

Q: What's it been like working with Ricky?
A: It's been brilliant. He's the funniest bloke I've ever met. He's just been telling me about another comedian who never turns off and is constantly funny - Ricky really wants to look at himself! He gives me so much opportunity to play as Kev. It doesn't feel like a job at all!

Q: How similar are you to Kev?
A: I don't do any of the pervy things that he does. I'm not like him at all, thank God!



HOLLI DEMPSEY / VICKY

Q: What is happening to Vicky at the start of the second series of Derek?
A: Vicky is in a much better place. She's found her way. She's discovered something she's good at. She does nails and hair extensions for OAPs, and that snowballs. She likes to care for people - for her that's the most important thing in the world.

Q: Tell us a bit about Vicky.
A: She's into hair, nails, clothes and boys. She is on the cusp of being growing up and being cool. Working in a care home is not that cool, but she does it because she sees the good in people like Hannah and Derek. You can really see the growth in her during this series.

Q: What does Vicky think of Hannah and Derek?
A: She really admires Hannah. She knows she's really strong and can handle anything. Vicky looks up to Hannah and wants to turn out like her. She also thinks Derek's kindness is infectious. You'd have to be a horrible person not to be infected by him. She loves him because he is so sweet and kind.

Q: How have you found Ricky as a director?
A: You almost forget that he's the director because he's so relaxed. He's really good at communicating - you always know what he wants. He also laughs constantly - that can't be a bad thing. The mood on set is always up, and that means everyone looks forward to coming to work with him every morning.

Q: What has it been like working with Ricky the actor?
A: I find it so interesting to see the transition between Ricky and Derek. Ricky will be laughing and joking as the director, and then suddenly he will snap into the character of Derek. That underlines what a tremendous actor he is.

Q: In one episode of the new series, Vicky accompanies the pensioners on a trip to the zoo. Did you enjoy filming those scenes?
A: Absolutely. It was brilliant fun. Ricky was clearly in his element - he loves animals, as we all do. The storyline was about how much the old people were loving their day out, but the truth is the rest of us loved it just as much.

Q: Does Derek have something to teach us about the way we regard older people?
A: Definitely. Especially in this country, we have a great fear of getting older. People are scared of mortality. I have friends from India and Africa who don't see that. We can learn a lot from the show, and it can help us to become less frightened of getting older. Everyone who's watched Derek says that it's made them think, and that can only be a good thing. If it makes you pick up the phone to your granny or your auntie, that's more than enough.

Q: What message do you think that Derek sends out?
A: The message is so basic: be kind - that's an inherent human instinct that we forget about all too often. The show stands out because its message is so simple, but so strong. Everyone can relate to it because everyone can relate to the idea of trying to be more kind. That really rings true for people.



BRETT GOLDSTEIN / TOM

Q: What appealed to you about this project?
A: The chance to work with the greatest people in comedy. I've always wanted to work with Ricky Gervais. When they asked me, "Do you want to work on Ricky Gervais' new series?" did I say, "Hang on, I'll have a think about that. I'm very busy at the moment. I've got to do a gig above a pub for 10 quid tonight"? Of course I didn’t! I said, "Yes, please! It's the new Ricky Gervais show, for God's sake!"

Q: Talk us through your character.
A: Tom is quite a serious man. He's also quite frustrated as he was in the merchant navy and is now landlocked. There's no work, and he feels undervalued. But on the upside, he's fallen in love with Hannah.

Q: What brings them together?
A: Tom really likes Hannah, and let's face it, the competition isn't up to much. It's Tom or Kev! Tom's lucky in that if he stands next to Kev, he'll look like someone with prospects, even though he doesn't have any. But he seems like a real catch because Kev is always so drunk.

Q: What does Tom see in Hannah?
A: She is lovely. She looks after people. She's a very good person, she's funny, and she's fit. That's three very good reasons.

Q: How would you assess Ricky's directing?
A: He's brilliant. He's like a toddler in a playground who's allowed all the toys and put in charge for the day. It's like the Make a Wish Foundation - you can run the playground for today. You look at the results and think, "How did that turn out so well?"

Q: Would there be mileage in a third series?
A: Absolutely. I hope there would be a future in Hannah and Tom's relationship. It would be a shame if Tom were killed off between series. It would be sad if the next series opened with someone saying, "I’m sorry to hear that Tom died at sea."

Q: Why has the show proved so popular?
A: People love it because it's so warm. In fact, it's an unusually warm show. Now it's established, the characters feel like one big family. We all hang out together in one room, and the atmosphere is lovely.

Q: What do you hope that audiences will take away from the show?
A: I think it helps us reassess our view of old people. One of the treats of making Derek is that I get to hang out all day with old people. That's not something I've done a lot. My grandparents are sadly no longer with us. There are not many opportunities for different generations to mix. It's like Martin Luther King said: "Stick everyone together, and we’ll all be alright." I'm paraphrasing.



KARL PILKINGTON / DOUGIE

Q: When Ricky offered you the role of Dougie, did you initially reject it?
A: Yes. I felt guilty about the idea of taking the job from a proper actor. But Ricky persisted.

Q: Please describe Dougie to us.
A: Dougie is me if I hadn't had any luck. Although he hasn't been very lucky, he always tries his best. Deep down he still knows that life is basically rubbish, but he can't do anything about it.

Q: Does he enjoy his job at the nursing home?
A: As much as he moans about his job, part of him likes it. It gives him a sense of worth. Like a lot of people, the highlight of his week is Friday when he gets paid. But despite his complaints, Dougie knows he has to keep working. In fact, he thinks that everyone should work. He hates scroungers and people who come to the nursing home hoping to benefit from their relatives' wills. He's always complaining about Britain's Got Talent and people who don't want to work for a living and just look for an easy life.

Q: Does this mean you are now going to focus entirely on acting?
A: No. This is not a new line of work from me. I'm not looking to become an actor. I still don't feel like a proper actor. Kerry is a proper actress. When you're doing a scene with her, you're looking over your shoulder and thinking, "Blimey, she's really good". I always think, "I can't do that. I'm going to get found out here!" The hardest part is remembering the lines and trying not to laugh. Ricky is determined to make me laugh all the time - that must drive the crew mad!

Q: Have you benefited from this job?
A: Yes. I've learnt a lot, and it's been a great experience. Ricky has been great. From the start, he's told me, "You can do it. What are you worried about?" I suppose I can't believe my luck. I've got no qualifications, but I've been given this great opportunity and I want to make the most of it. I suppose Ricky didn't go to drama school either. In the end, if you can convincingly be that person onscreen, what does it matter?

Q: What will you take away from the experience?
A: I'm a bit rubbish at knowing when something is good. But if it goes out and I can say, "I wasn't as bad as I thought I would be", then I'll be happy. Until then, I'll be thinking, "I shouldn't be here!"

Q: Finally, why do you think the show works so well?
A: It messes with your emotions - it makes you laugh and cry - and there is not much around like that.






Week two hundred and seventy-two - April 2014


In case you haven't heard, Derek Season 2 starts in the UK on Channel 4 on Wednesday the 23rd of April, and then on Netflix around the world on Friday the 30th of May. Personally, I think it's better than the first series, but you'll be the judge of that.

Here's the first trailer and here is a deleted scene and some outtakes.

We never actually managed to finish it because I ruined every take laughing. The fact that you know what's coming every time doesn't stop you laughing when so called "corpsing" takes you over. It's like you're possessed. Luckily it was never meant to be part of the actual show. It was going to be a little DVD extra of David, in character, doing a tour of the caravan. Either way, we got something else.






Week two hundred and seventy-one - March 2014


So, my recent Muppets Most Wanted PR assault on the US comes to an end.




A 10 day campaign of photo shoots, press junkets, chat shows and a fucking massive Hollywood premiere.




Often, those things are a labourious nightmare, but it was made fun by the presence of an evil Russian frog and my new best friend, Constantine. That sounds like tongue-in-cheek luvviness, but I actually like hanging out with him.

I feel I should point out that Constantine's alter ego is a very talented puppeteer, actor, and all-round hilarious nice guy called Matt Vogel, but I pretty much ignore that fact when his right arm turns green.

Here's an example of one of the 120 junket interviews we did together.

Here's the Jimmy Kimmel interview in 3 bite sized chunks...
Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

Here's a bit of Craig Furguson , Conan & Ellen.

And here's the latest trailer. It explains everything.

Now I've got to do it all again for the UK release.



Week two hundred and seventy - March 2014


"It's time to put on makeup. It's time to light the lights."

The global phenomenon that is Disney marketing is in full swing for my little adventure, Muppets Most Wanted.

The story centres around me and an evil Russian frog taking over The Muppets to get access to various establishments so we can rob them. It's a really funny movie with great songs and cameos and I think kids and adults will love it.




I'll be in L.A. most of March doing the usual junkets, newspaper and radio interviews and chat show appearances, including Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel and Craig Ferguson, before jetting to London to do some more.

This is what we call The Muppet Show.



Week two hundred and sixty-nine - February 2014


Nearly finished editing Series 2 of Derek. Just exciting technical things left to do now, like picture grading, dub mixes and credits. You'd be surprised how long shit like that takes.




I'll deliver it to Netflix and Channel 4 next week in time to fly to Vancouver and finish filming Night At The Museum 3.




Then on to LA for weeks of chat shows, press junkets and screenings for Muppets Most Wanted.





Week two hundred and sixty-eight - January 2014


Nearly finished editing Derek Season 2. The second series is always the best as you can develop characters without all the set up and just enjoy their interactions in new and familiar situations. It's also usually the last in my case. Well, apart from the Xmas Special of course. But who knows. Derek is the series that has tempted me most to do a third. But let's get this one up and running first. No release date yet but it's looking like Spring/Summer around the world.




Before that though, my little Disney Movie - Muppets Most Wanted - will hopefully take the world by storm. It's out March 21st in the US, March 28th in the UK and then everywhere else that has a cinema.




Here's the latest trailer we did taking the piss out of gorps on Twitter.

I'll be doing the usual 250 interviews and chat shows nearer the time.

And now the New York weather: it's fucking cold.






Week two hundred and sixty-seven - January 2014


With the New Year comes the beginning of Award Season.

Not a bad start... Derek is nominated for a National TV Award and a Broadcast Award.

Please Vote here at the National Television Awards website.

An Idiot Abroad 3 gets a nod aswell, so 2014 is OK by me.

Netflix UK also gets Derek on January 30th so February should be good too.




I'm busy editing series 2 at the moment but have to take a few breaks to film Night At The Museum 3 and promote Muppets Most Wanted around the world.




I'll also be trying to find the odd date to rock the shit out of your town as David Brent with Foregone Conclusion.




It could be the GRAMMYs next. Happy New Year.



Week two hundred and sixty-six - December 2013


By day, mild mannered director, editing Derek Series 2.




By night, Rock God, David Brent, with his band Foregone Conclusion.




This is what is known as multi-tasking. Or mucking about all the time but in different ways. You decide. I've also been doing a bit of long-lead publicity for my little Muppet adventure which is released next March around the world.




And Christmas shopping, which is of course the most stressful of all. Scratch cards for everyone this year. One million each. Haha.

I also wrote a little essay.

Time Magazine asked me to write 750 words on "The Secret of My Success."




So I did. Here's the link.

And here's the article all typed out if you can't be bothered to click on that link I just provided. Lazy.

TIME asked Ricky Gervais to write about the secrets of his success.
Whenever I'm asked that standard question, "What advice would you give to someone who wants success like yours," I say "work hard, be original and write about what you know" (I'm always tempted to add "and get final edit" but I'm aware that this is very difficult starting out, and that I'm an incredibly rare case to have always been afforded this privilege.)

The first, "work hard," is not only the most important, but actually, essential. I believe that if you didn't have to work for something, it can't truly be considered success. Luck doesn't count. I think success is allowed a certain pride and you can't be proud of luck or even of being born smart, artistic, or talented. It's what you do with it that counts. I think I learnt this lesson relatively late in life. I was one of those people who would pride themselves on getting results without trying too hard. Passing exams without revising too much. I realize now, that was the wrong attitude. You should always try your hardest. The Office was the first thing I really tried my hardest at. I don't know why I started this radical new approach then, but I think it was one of those carpe diem type revelations. I came into the industry with a slightly older head on my shoulders than most and maybe deep down knew I shouldn't blow the opportunity. I put everything into it. A lifetime of experiences, and I couldn't have been prouder of the results. I don't even mean the success of the show, but simply the finished product. I was the laziest man in the world before I made The Office but now I'm addicted to that sort of success. Pride in my work. Now I'm a workaholic, because I realize that the hard work is sort of a reward in itself. Winston Churchill said, "If you find a job you really love, you'll never work again." That's what it feels like most of the time. I love it so it's less like work and more like play. Although I'm a strong believer that creativity is the ability to play.

Secondly, being original is often considered dangerous if you want huge mainstream success. It seems safer to make anodyne stuff that most people might consume without offense. Homogenized by committee and focus grouped to be like something else that was quite successful. The white sliced bread of art. This is indeed a reasonably safe approach but where's the fun, apart from the commercial gain? As a businessman this strategy makes perfect sense, but not as an artist. And here's the thing. From my own experiences I've learned that quirky, different, fringe projects that may only be cult, often travel a lot better internationally. Mainstream comedians and TV shows that might be the biggest thing, on say, UK TV for a while, often don't sell a sausage around the world. Comics selling out arenas in the UK often can't sell a ticket in America or many other places. If you do something peculiar and remarkable it might not be for mass consumption in your own country but there are 7 billion people in the world. People everywhere in the world will recognize and appreciate its innovation. A world cult is many times bigger than a single country's mainstream hit. So in the long run, being different can make commercial sense as well as artistic sense. And you'll often hear the term "water cooler moment." The broadest, most inoffensive, mainstream hits are so often the least "talked about." They just happen and wash over a disconcerting majority once a week. Again, this is fine if you just want commercial success but it's soul destroying if you have loftier ambitions.

The third thing is to write about what you know. Making The Office taught me this. I truly believe this was a huge part of the show's success. I worked in a real office for 10 years and since I've always been a people watcher, or "piss taking twat," as it's also known, it was easy to keep an uncompromising attention to detail. Whatever I didn't know starting out, I did know the truth of the minutiae of modern day behaviour, and exactly how it should look. In my case, it was paramount to get final edit but as I said earlier, this is very rare for a cocky little nobody, like I was back then, to attain.

I was going to call my autobiography A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Office, but I think Cocky Little Nobody is much better. Be a cocky little nobody. But work hard, be original and write about what you know.

Merry Christmas.



Week two hundred and sixty-five - November/December 2013


A lot happened in the world in November.

Here are the main highlights.

I started filming Derek 2 and released Series 1 on DVD.




David Blaine made me watch him stick a huge rod through his fucking arm.

Buzzfeed found 39 cats that look like me.

The International Trailer for Muppets Most Wanted was released.

And David Brent sold out a couple more gigs in minutes.




Hope that wasn't too 'me' biased. I'm not a real newsreader.



Week two hundred and sixty-four - November 2013


It's DEREK week on Discovery.



We started filming series two this week and series one is out on DVD next Monday, 11th November.
Please order it here [Amazon UK link]

It contains all seven episodes including the pilot, plus the "making of" and loads and loads of outtakes and deleted scenes.

The pilot won the award for best comedy at the New York (Short) Film Festival by the way. Did I mention that?

Twitter has been flooded with the most amazing artwork around the show. @GervaisFanArt is running a competition to design and ad for the DVD, and honestly, some of the entries are fucking stunning. Check 'em out here.

I am not worthy.


Week two hundred and sixty-three - October 2013


"Killing it in Widnes"




So David Brent did his first ever gig with Foregone Conclusion Mark II at The Bloomsbury Theatre this week and it was a fucking blast. The audience seemed to enjoy it too which is always a bonus.

The tickets, as you may have read, sold out in seconds causing me joy and then almost instantly sorrow when I saw a few appear on secondary websites for thousands of pounds. I had a hissy fit and amazingly had them removed. I'm sure some people still paid ridiculous prices, but I did what I could. It was only a warm-up gig so face value price was £15. To see people pay thousands or even hundreds is too depressing for words. Even 'warm-up' is an exageration. It really was the earliest stages of a work in progress and literally our fist gig together. Anyway it went very well indeed and now I just have to make it a bit longer with loads more Brenty banter so I can start charging more money for it. Haha.




Thanks for the lovely reviews by the way. Brent would well up. And then frame them...
The Times
The Guardian
Metro
The Mirror
The Independent
The Evening Standard



Week two hundred and sixty-two - September/October 2013


Competition!






Tickets for the first ever David Brent and Foregone Conclusion gigs at London's Bloomsbury Theatre sold out in under a minute. But fear not. There's still a way to be there. I've held a few seats back - 2 pairs for each gig (14th Oct and 23rd Oct) - to give away as competition prizes!

To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is write an extra verse to any of David Brent's songs. Be creative, be original and be as Brent as you can be!

You can enter via Twitter or Facebook. You must be 16 years old or over to enter. If asked, proof of age must be presented by winners on arrival at the venue.

To enter by Twitter, simply write the chosen song title and new lyrics and tweet a screenshot/photo of the words with the hashtag #BrentCompetition to @DavidBrentMusic.

To enter via Facebook, find the competition post on facebook.com/rickygervais dated October 2nd and leave a comment with the song title and new lyrics. At the end of the post write hashtag #BrentCompetition.

Four winners will be selected from all the entries via Twitter and Facebook combined. Each winner will be guest-listed with a 'plus 1' to one of the sold out gigs.

You've got until 7pm on Wednesday, October 9th to get your entries in and I'll judge the winners. Entries will be displayed on GervaisFanArt.blogspot.com after the closing date and then the winners will be announced!

So get writing, you Brentalists!

Cheers!

Ricky.


Terms and conditions: Tickets are guest listings and are non-saleable and non-transferable. To enter you must be over the age of 16. Proof of age will be required. Winners will be chosen by Ricky Gervais after the closing date. The judge's decision is final and no discussion will be entered into. Entry details must be adhered to and no entries will be accepted after 7pm on Wednesday, October 9th (GMT).

You may have heard that I'm doing a couple of intimate warm-up gigs as David Brent with Foregone Conclusion Mark II.

I am disproportionately excited about the project and may even wear an earring to celebrate.




[Both dates are sold out]



Week two hundred and sixty-one - September 2013


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.

So you may have heard that David Brent has put Forgone Conclusion back together.

Well, actually Foregone Conclusion Mark II. He had a few problems reuniting the original band. It's all explained in this episode of Learn Guitar

Follow @davidbrent on Twitter to hear about the venue and ticket info before everyone else. It's just two tiny London gigs at the moment so tickets will be gone in minutes.

Good luck you.






Week two hundred and sixty - September 2013


The marketing campaign is now in full swing to launch Derek in America.




All episodes become available on September 12th. The US trailer was released [watch it here on YouTube] and I was the cover star of this week's Hollywood Reporter.




Here's the article and here's a little behind-the-scenes video.

Next week I assault US airwaves by doing the chat show circuit, including my 25th Letterman appearance!

I have to thank my virtual friends on Twitter and Facebook for their help in this campaign too. It was quite heartwarming to see so many people tweeting about the show and even using the Derek poster as their wallpaper.

Derek is coming to America...











Week two hundred and fifty-nine - August 2013


So Netflix released the Derek trailer the same day as Disney released the Muppet movie trailer.

It's a good job I can't have too much Ricky Gervais right?

Derek has even had a Hollywood makeover...




Mind you, I reckon the pig has had a bit of work done too...






Week two hundred and fifty-eight - July 2013


If you're a fan of Derek, Extras or The Office you might want to join in with one of these competitions.

First up is this one from www.tadpolehitler.com...

Eggheads (with Sideburns) Competition


Well, we’ve teased about it on Twitter and today we’re launching a new competition – Eggheads (with sideburns): The Ultimate Derek Quiz – giving Derek fans the chance to win one of ten limited edition Derek prints from Posteritty, all of which are signed by Derek’s writer, director and star actor, Ricky Gervais!
The new design from Posteritty fantastically captures the essence of the character that has stolen the hearts of the nation so we’re giving you the chance to have something that money can’t buy – a signed copy. To see more fantastic minimalist art from Posteritty, visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/Posteritty and check out their entire collection of specialist Ricky Gervais prints.
10 prints to be won - all signed by Ricky Gervais

So how do you win? Well, Derek Series One has aired in the UK, not once, but twice, and is still available to watch on 4OD, so we think the fans should be able to answer some trivia questions to win these prizes. I could have written some questions myself, but I thought I’d ask somebody more informed. Thankfully he agreed so we have ten questions for you to answer written by Ricky Gervais. Ricky also kindly agreed to design (hand-craft) the “Eggheads (with sideburns)” logo. He put so much effort into it, I think you should all tweet him some kind words for his efforts!
How to enter:
To enter the competition, you must answer the 10 multiple choice questions (below) correctly, follow @tadpole_hitler on Twitter and tweet your answers with the hashtag #EggheadsWithSideburns, in the following format:
@tadpole_hitler ABCABCABCA #EggheadsWithSideburns
The closing date for the competition is Sunday, August 4th at 22:00. Winners will be picked at random after the closing date and will be sent a direct message on Twitter so make sure you follow @tadpole_hitler.
Competition Questions:
1. What is the name of Derek’s favourite dog?
A. Ivor
B. Patch
C. Ralf

2. What solar powered animal needs fixing?
A. Frog
B. Toad
C. Meercat

3. What does Vicky mainly read?
A. Twitter
B. Facebook
C. Wuthering Heights

4. What is Pork Pie’s signature worth?
A. £2.50
B. Less than an actual Pork Pie
C. Priceless

5. Why did Marge’s husband sell his car?
A. No power steering
B. To buy a new one
C. To buy Marge a ring

6. What was the name of the crab that scuttled off?
A. Tits
B. Quim
C. Twat

7. Who produces a beaker load a week?
A. Derek
B. Kev
C. Tom

8. Who is Poppy?
A. Derek’s glove puppet rabbit
B. Part time care worker
C. Derek’s mother

9. What’s the name of Lizzie’s husband?
A. Roy
B. Gerald
C. Edward

What’s the only shortcut that works?
A. Cheating
B. Kindness
C. Lying

So that's it. I know some of you are thinking you could easily copy and paste another tweeter's answers, but if someone gets a question wrong, you'll all get it wrong so have a go and enjoy! 

If you don't know the answers but want to find them out, you can still watch Derek on 4OD by clicking here: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/derek/4od

Alternatively, you can download the entire first series of Derek on iTunes by clicking here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/tv-season/derek/id603490928

Terms and conditions: Only one entry per person is allowed. There are no alternative prizes. 10 winners will be selected at random from the correct entries after the closing date. The closing date for entries is Sunday, August 4th at 22:00 (GMT). Any entries received after this time will not be included.


The second comes from http://gervaisaholics.blogspot.co.uk


COMPETITION TIME!

WIN A MINIMAL ART 'EXTRAS' PRINT SIGNED BY RICKY GERVAIS

HOW TO ENTER

WRITE IN 150 WORDS OR LESS THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION:

"What is your favourite scene from 'Extras' and why?" 

Send your entry in word/email/pages format to gervaisaholics@gmail.com and if you're on twitter, remember to include your @username.



Winners will be announced soon after the closing date and Ricky Gervais himself will be kindly judging entries.

THE MAIN PRIZE UP FOR GRABS!

 A minimal print of the cast of Extras signed by Ricky Gervais








THE RUNNER UP PRIZE


A Ray Stokes minimal print signed by Ricky Gervais






Both beautiful prizes have been kindly donated by Posteritty, a local company who specialise in minimal art prints, visit their online shop by clicking the link on this site.

RULES
One entry per person. Closing date and time 11.59pm, 31st July 2013. 
Open to entrants from all over, as long as you have a postal address.
The judge's decision is final and the word limit is strict, if any entries are deemed unsuitable or over the word limit they will sadly be rejected. By entering the competition, you are agreeing to have your name and entry published on this blog and announced on Twitter if you win.
Good Luck!



And finally, more internet fun from http://gervaisfanart.blogspot.co.uk/


COMPETITION: Design A Single Cover For David Brent

CONTEST DESIGN A SINGLE COVER FOR DAVID BRENT
your chance to win a nice prize

If, like me,  you're a fan of Ricky Gervais, you'll know all about Learn Guitar With David Brent. On the off chance that you don't... pop over to Ricky Gervais' youtube channel at youtube.com/RickyGervais to see what all the fuss is about.

To be in with a chance of winning, we're looking for all you budding artists and photoshop geeks out there to come up with a 'single cover' for one of the songs performed by David Brent in the Learn Guitar With David Brent series.

You can either tweet your entries to us at @GervaisFanArt
or email them to us at GervaisFanArt@gmail.com


examples







Design a cover for one of the songs shown below from the 
Learn Guitar With David Brent series on youtube


1: LIFE ON THE ROAD



2: OOH LA LA



3: SPACEMAN CAME DOWN



4: FREE LOVE FREEWAY




5: AIN'T NO TROUBLE



entries so far...

SPACEMAN CAME DOWN submitted by @Kev5ki




FREE LOVE FREEWAY submitted by @DigitalPeck




LIFE ON THE ROAD submitted by @kyleconkright





OOH LA LA submitted by @chriszampese



FREE LOVE FREEWAY submitted by @Milos_Obradovic



LIFE ON THE ROAD submitted by Sarah Moore



LIFE ON THE ROAD submitted by @Milos_Obradovic



SPACEMAN CAME DOWN submitted by James Whelan



LIFE ON THE ROAD submitted by John O'Donnell




LIFE ON THE ROAD submitted by John Blackshaw




SPACEMAN CAME DOWN submitted by Gareth Jones



SPACEMAN CAME DOWN submitted by @anequal



FREE LOVE FREEWAY submitted by @aWillis2012





Week two hundred and fifty-seven - June 2013





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?





Week two hundred and fifty-six - May 2013





So I launched my little internet project "Learn Guitar with David Brent" as part of YouTube Comedy Week, and I must say it's gone rather well.

The trailer & first episode combined have had well over million views in the first week and the second episode is out on June 3rd.

Also, I love all the fan remixes popping up. This is fucking great, for example

Please subscribe and get a lovely alert when a new video goes live.

In other news...
American fans of Life's Too Short will be able to see the feature length special on July 5th on HBO.




Week two hundred and fifty-five - May 2013


Series 3 of The Ricky Gervais Show is now available on DVD. [Amazon UK link]




To celebrate this final chapter I thought I'd tell the story of how we got here.

A biography of Idiocy By Ricky Gervais

History
My current entertainment career started in 1997. I say 'current' to distinguish it from my failed pop career which started and ended in 1983.

Anyway, my current entertainment career started in 1997. Sunday, September 1st 1997. The day after Princess Diana died. Not a great day to launch a new radio station, but that's what was happening.

Xfm, London's premier alternative rock station, was finally officially hitting the FM airwaves after a few years of trying and failing to be granted a licence. I had helped them with their final, successful attempt, and my reward was a job on the fledgling station.

Previously I had worked in an office. I would later base a sitcom on it, but I didn't know that at this point.

The office I worked in from 1988 to 1997 was the admin floor of the University of London Union. I had worked my way up from receptionist to a middle manager. Event Manager to be precise.

After my failed music career as a singer songwriter I remained on the periphery of rock and roll, promoting bands, discos, and comedy nights for a potential 120,000 students.

I couldn't fit them all in the bar at once but my job was to try. I helped Xfm raise awareness amongst students leading up to their bid for a licence and got to know the people in charge. They thought I was perfect to be their new Head of Speech and also gave me the 11pm slot weeknights as a DJ.

I came up with the catchy and innovative title of "The Ricky Gervais Show" and it was here that I was first inflicted on an unsuspecting public.

My broadcasting stints spread like a virus as my official managerial job dwindled and I also started popping up on all the other daytime shows.

Out of the blue I got a call about a new show that Channel 4 were doing with new comedians called The 11 O'Clock Show. They were interested in me auditioning for it. Really? So it was official. I was now a comedian. This sounded so much better than a bloke who worked in an office. I jumped at the chance.

The rest as they say, is history. That's why I called this paragraph 'History'. I bet some of you were worried it was going to be about the Tudors or something boring. No. It's all about me.

Podcasts
To cut a long story short I have always loved radio. It's immediate and intimate. I always used to sit around as a kid with mates, playing each other records and mucking about.

How amazing that this became my job. I mean how amazing that that is even considered a job? Well it is. So there.

I loved doing radio but hated having to be off air for months on end because I was making TV or films. I don't mean I hated doing TV or film. I mean I hated the inconsistency for the public. I felt sorry for them having to listen to anyone but me. Thoughtful.

So I had an idea. I'd vaguely heard of a new medium called podcasting. And with my rudimentary understanding of the internet, I was very excited by the fact that not only was this something that could be listened to at any time again and again, but that it was also global.

Add to that the fact that there were no shareholders or watchdog committees telling me what was tasteful or decent and hey presto! the perfect medium for me.

I thought it would be best to present the shows as a series, as opposed to an indefinite string of everyday nonsense to make it more special and timeless. Less like a throw-away radio show and more like an old fashioned comedy album.

I also wanted people to listen to it so I approached The Guardian who were at the forefront of new media with a cool demographic for the rubbish I intended to spout.

They agreed that for a short exclusive run they would advertise it in the paper and even paid for me to build a little homemade studio in my office. It went rather well.

The venture was featured on the 10 O'Clock news and entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the most downloaded podcast of all time with just over a quarter of a million. This is dwarfed (can you still say that?) today by its current accumulation of 470 Million.

Animation
After it had been downloaded a few million times I wondered if people would actually pay for something like this on the internet. Karl was right behind this idea as he wanted to leave his job.

There seemed to be a sort of unwritten law that if something was on the world wide web it was up for grabs. There was certainly lots of bootlegging going on but I didn't much care.

I found that if you treated it like a commercial product, 90& of people treated it as such. Also I kept the price so low that it seemed like more trouble than it was worth to visit a dodgy site to listen.

With its new commercial success Karl did leave his job and I was worried that this would stop him moaning all the time and ruin the dynamic. Luckily it didn't and the miserable Manc t*** continued to rise to my bait for your listening pleasure.

The final chapter is of course an L.A. animation house approaching me to collaborate to make it into a TV series.

This seemed too good to be true. They were called Wildbrain and I partnered once again with MRC, who I had made The Invention Of Lying with as co-producers, and we pitched it to HBO.

39 episodes later, we'd used up all the best bits and I think created a lovely document of internet ramblings.

I am so proud of The Ricky Gervais Show. Not just because of how well it turned out or how successful it was, or the awards, or even how much fun I had producing it. I'm proudest of the fact that it was just another experiment that got out of hand.

The Future
So why have I knocked it on the head? Well apart from the fact that I have a very short attention span, we actually made more episodes of The Ricky Gervais Show than anything else I've ever done. I also think we used all the best bits and I wouldn't want the quality to go down.

I was thinking of recording brand new audio at one time but then I realised that it wouldn't be the same. Karl has certainly changed. He's wiser, believe it or not, so it's nice that the show survives in a time capsule as a document of when he was a moronic little shaven Manc chimp. (Also it was quite time consuming and I was the only one of the three of us that actually produced the show. Lazy buggers. I worked hard for my lion's share. Haha.)

And finally I really need to concentrate on new projects. I'm writing and directing the second series of Derek, I'm working on a new movie, and I'm also bringing back David Brent for a series of guitar tutorials for my YouTube channel.

Anyway, just buy the DVD before they die out.


Thanks to Tadpolehitler.com for running another fantastic Derek competition.

As I am too busy and too lazy to tell you about it, here are all the details from the infant amphibian's blog:

Posteritty Art Competition Winners Announced

With two amazing prizes up for grabs thanks to our friends at Posteritty  we've had a staggering 2,876 entries in our latest Derek competition!

The star prize is a limited edition minimalist print of Derek, Dougie and Kev signed by Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington and David Earl.

Star Prize - limited edition print signed by Ricky, Karl and David

The runners-up prize is the ‘crabs’ print by Posteritty, signed by Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington, David Earl, Kerry Godliman and Brett Goldstein!

'Crabs' print, runners-up prize 

These prizes have generated a huge amount of interest and the two winners have really got themselves something special. A huge thank you must go to Posteritty for donated the prizes, and to Ricky Gervais for arranging them to be signed by the cast of Derek.

So how could you win them? I asked followers of Tadpole Hitler to tell me their favourite scene from Derek, and the reason why in under 100 words.

Ricky Gervais has read the entries and today I have received the names of the two lucky winners. So without further ado, it’s time to announce them.

The winner of the exclusive, signed ‘Derek, Dougie and Kev’ print is Reid Mansell. His favourite scene from the show is Derek and his father sitting together for the first time, and here is why:

“My dad, a wonderful father, left when I was seven. I never knew why. I'd played that scene in my mind my entire life. What would I say? How would I feel? Would the sound of his voice melt the years and pain away? Derek's anger, resistance...battling an underlying longing to connect.

“I was transfixed. Watching, begging Derek to accept him, forgive him while completely understanding the wall Derek had built. The wall won, his father walked away.

“When the car stopped I wept. I would have done the same thing. My dad died in 1992, I never had the chance.”

Thank you for sharing that with us Reid – a deserved winner. Ricky was looking for honesty, sincerity and a personal viewpoint, and he certainly felt that with your entry.

The runner-up in the competition, who will be sent the ‘crab’ print is Craig Wing, whose favourite scene was Kev’s final monologue:

"In an otherwise perfect series I'd often questioned Kev's behaviours/motives, thinking him too big a caricature to hold a place in my fanboy-heart. His final monologue however (episode-6), gave Kev context, proving me wrong. His confession to "failing because he never tried" reflected my own life. I re-watched the series, seeing depth and subtleties in Kev I'd initially missed; testimony to both a layered script and performance. It's my favourite scene because through Kev I saw myself. I'd become content with unhappiness and stuck in a rut. I'm yet to write "twat" on a crab though, so there's still hope."

Congratulations Craig and a big thank you to everybody who entered the competition. I know Ricky found it incredibly difficult to choose the winners, but like with every competition, a decision has to be made.




Week two hundred and fifty-four - April 2013


Went to my first and second ever basketball games this week.

I'm absolutely hooked. I'm now a devoted Knicks fan. I think I'll draw the line at dressing in blue & orange from head to toe like Spike Lee though.

Bought another guitar for my New York place. I've really got back into playing since bringing Brent back. I've got another 9 or 10 songs to record now, including the finished versions of "The Serpent Who Guards the Gates of Hell" and "Spaceman Came Down"; Racial...so...

Equality Street has had well over 3 million views now on YouTube and 600,000 downloads on iTunes. It's a monster hit. Time to get Foregone Conclusion back together for one last job.





Week two hundred and fifty-three - April 2013


The mighty Bullett Magazine visited me in L.A. The photo with the dogs may be my favourite photo (with me in it) ever taken.

Wrapped on the Muppets movie.




Mixed emotions. So glad we've finished making a great film, but really sad that I'll miss those crazy critters. And some of the humans too. Mainly the critters.

Off to New York next.




By the way, The Ricky Gervais Show Series 3 is out on May 13th. [Amazon UK link]

But you can get it early directly from Warners Archive if you can't wait.


The Derek fan site, Tadpole Hitler, ran a competition recently. The first prize was the bedpan that Derek kept his tadpoles in, of course. Now that doesn't seem like a particularly glamorous or life-changing gong; for a chance to win that Holy Grail you simply had to say why you liked Derek. The response was immense and heartwarming.

Here is the gist of it from the fan site blog...






Week two hundred and fifty-two - March 2013


Only David Brent would have enjoyed the last week more than me.




His self-financed video Equality Street has had over 2 million views on YouTube and has been downloaded more than any other track this week on iTunes. Ridiculous.

If you enjoyed the comeback you might enjoy this little "Making of" documentary here on my YouTube channel.




I had a blast bringing back Brent.




I must admit I have been writing a few more songs for him and I'm actually thinking of releasing another video or two, and maybe even performing some of them live. It might look a bit like this. Haha. The effort.

In other news... the Life's Too Short Special will air on Easter Saturday, 30th of March on BBC2 at 10pm.

Warwick has turned over a new leaf and become a better person, and a better agent. It must be karma, because with his change of attitude comes a change of fortune. Val Kilmer wants to do a sequel to Willow and Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin, and Shaun Williamson employ Warwick to get them back to the top.

What could go wrong?






Week two hundred and fifty-one - March 2013


So the first series of Derek had finished its run on UK TV.




The emotional response to the show grew steadily each week and the reaction to the finale is still going on. I've never had a reaction like it to be honest.

Not even The Office Xmas Special seemed to have people declaring that they cried their eyes out for the whole episode. Also, what's amazing about the response to Derek is all the admissions like, "I hated it at first and now it's my favourite thing you've done."

I think this may be a reflection of social media too, obviously. People know they are telling me what they feel directly so they want to be honest about a personal response as opposed to a colder critique. I must admit I am most proud of the emotional response to the characters and themes of the show as that was by far the most difficult thing about it.

It was nearly impossible to try to cram as much depth of character and story as The Office or Extras into 7 minutes less each week. I had to use broader brush strokes and cut to the chase. I did this by concentrating on one plot line and one main theme each week. I think the people who liked the show the most, understood this the most.

At the end of the day though, the average person doesn't sit and analyse if, and then why, they liked something or not. I liked it. I laughed. I cried. And that's the end of it for most. And why not? It's entertainment when all is said and done; not philosophy or religion. It filled half an hour and then I watched something else. That's good enough for me.

I started making notes for series 2 today. So exciting starting again. And daunting of course.

But anyway, before that we have the return of David Brent.




Watch clips here at youtube.com/rickygervais then check back for the whole sketch and Brent's self-financed pop video on Friday 15th March at midnight - after it's aired on Comic Relief.


Week two hundred and fifty - February/March 2013


You may have heard that I'm bringing back David Brent for Comic Relief. It's been 10 years since we last saw him, so I thought it was time to revisit my most famous comedy creation to find out what he's been up to for the last decade and most importantly what he's up to now.

In the new mini episode - The Office Revisited - we find out that David hasn't given up his dream of making it in the music business.

The documentary crew find Brent selling cleaning products to offices, pubs, restaurants and anywhere else with toilets, floors and staircases. It's not a glamorous job but it funds his real passion: music. Brent is managing acts now.

He's passing on his wisdom to younger would-be rockstars now and is living vicariously through a young performer, Dom Johnson. Well, really he is trying to worm his way back into rock and roll. Fans of The Office will be excited to know we finally get to hear the whole of ‘The Serpent who Guards the Gates of Hell' and an amazingly cringeworthy, self-funded video ‘Equality Street'. Horrendous.




The Office Revisited will be shown on Red Nose Day on Friday 15th March on BBC One. A trail of the new episode is on the new Ricky Gervais Youtube Channel. Watch the teaser trailer and an exclusive clip now... youtube.com/rickygervais


Week two hundred and forty-nine - February 2013


I never thought Twitter could be a full-time hobby. It's not my fault. Tweets to me have doubled since Derek started airing and I am so genuinely overwhelmed by people's comments that I'm trying to reply to all of them. It's nearly impossible but it's the thought that counts, right?

I've honestly never had a reaction like it. Maybe if Twitter had been around during The Office's heyday I might have experienced something close to this before, but it's been mental.

The fan art and all the strange little homage Twitter accounts are not only very flattering, but really creative and funny.




I would show you some but I'm too lazy. Luckily, the first and most eminent fan site "Tadpole Hitler", has done all the work for me. Enjoy.




The interviews with the cast are great, and yours truly is doing one next week.


Week two hundred and forty-eight - February 2013


So, The Muppet Movie is unbelievable fun. No surprise there. What is a surprise, is how you bond with puppets. I actually find myself thinking about them and laughing at something they've said. Like it was their idea to say it?




I know you shouldn't have favourites, but I love Pepe & Constantine. I've said too much.

Derek continues to pick up devoted fans. Thank you. There's a real cult nature to it. I don't mean in a scary "I take half their salary" way. I just mean, people are quoting it and starting their own fan sites and stuff. It's a nice feeling.

I'm picking up a vibe similar to half-way through the first series of The Office. Although the ratings are slightly better actually. The Office got an average of 1.5m for the first series, which is about what Derek is getting on the night. But because of 4OD (Channel 4's catch-up service) its episode average doubles that over the week.

TV habits are changing. Which is why Netflix is perfect for a show like Derek. For anything slightly fringe or culty or a just a bit different, word of mouth is everything.

One of the most frequently asked questions is "Is it scripted?" The answer is "Yes". A lot of people thought The Office was improvised too. This is a testament to the wonderful naturalist acting from the cast. Karl has surprised a lot of people. He's also caused the conspiracy theorists to raise their heads again, saying 'We knew it. An Idiot Abroad is scripted too then." Haha.

Here is a picture of Karl & David learning their lines.




Here's a sneak peek of Episode 3 (By the way, the frog in this clip actually belongs to Karl. He was showing Jane and me round his new house and I spotted it in the garden. I said "We're using that in Derek." And we did.)




Week two hundred and forty-seven - January/February 2013


As I am currently filming the new Muppet Movie I am unable to do any chat shows or radio interviews to publicise my new show, Derek. It starts on Channel 4 in the UK on Wednesday the 30th of January and airs later this year around the rest of the world on Netflix.

Luckily, we conducted an interview on set with the main cast and transcribed it into the following blog which The Huffington Post will now publish to its hundreds of millions of wonderful, intelligent, comedy-loving readers.

-----


I should start by saying it's very difficult to talk with any certainty of mutual understanding about a series which hasn't aired yet, but I'd like to give a couple of pointers. Here goes.

Is Derek a comedy or a drama? I get asked that a lot. Even after people have seen it.

I say, "What do you think it is?"

They say, "Well I laughed a lot but I cried as well. I'm just not sure if it was a drama with funny bits or a comedy with sad bits."

I usually then say, "Derek is whatever you think real life is. Is your life a drama with funny bits or a comedy with sad bits?"

The answer doesn't matter really. What matters is if you enjoy it... for whatever reason. Because it made you laugh, because it made you cry, because it made you think or even because it made you angry. Ha ha.

As long as it made you "something".

For me, personally, it's my favourite thing I've ever created or worked on. I love Derek more than any other character. In fact, I wish I were more like him.

I wish everyone was. It's a show about kindness. It's funny and sweet and deals with the real issues of everyday life. I don't think I've seen anything quite like it. The performance that Kerry Godliman gives as Hannah may be the finest piece of character acting I've seen. And Karl Pilkington as Dougie makes me laugh every second he is on screen. Kev played by David Earl is a lovable train wreck. You wont know whether to hug him or take him to the vet to have him put down. The uncaring outside world popping in and out will boil your blood and the residents will break your heart.

Ricky Gervais





Q: What inspired you to write Derek?

A: Everything comes from character. The Office came from David Brent, and Extras came from Andy Millman, and this comes from the character of Derek.

Q: Is his care home a world that you know well?

A: Yes. Half my family are care workers. My sister works with kids with learning difficulties. My sister-in-law works in a care home for people with Alzheimer's. And four or five of my nieces work in old people's homes. I always write about what I know. I worked in an office for 10 years, and so I wrote about it in The Office. For the last few years I've been working in the media and dealing with fame, and so I wrote about that in Extras. Cab drivers always say to me that there's a great comedy to be written about cabs. They're right. But they should write it, not me, because I don't work in a cab and they do. It's irresistible to want to talk about what you do.

Q: Where does the character of Derek come from?

A: He was originally a satirical stand-up device. He sees things very differently from the rest of us. He can say funny things because he does it will innocence and sincerity. He is like us when we were eight. He is like us before we discovered lying and competition and selfishness and started to shut up when we were excited in case it looked uncool. He has everything sorted.

Q: What are Derek's key qualities?

A: At one point, Kev says, "In the past, I lied, cheated and took the shortcut. But if it wasn't for Derek, I'd be dead." Derek is scruffy and people dismiss him. But he has taken the only shortcut that works: kindness. He is pretty perfect because he possesses the only thing that matters, which is kindness.

Q: Is kindness one of the predominant ideas behind this show?

A: Absolutely. If there is a theme, it's kindness. Kindness trumps everything. And that's why the main characters have to be outsiders and losers. They all have to be deficient in everything except doing the right thing. They're still better people than you if you're not kind. Derek is so non judgmental but he sees through bullshit too. He only has one agenda- "What's the right thing to do?" And he doesn't even know it's an agenda. He's just "good" and nothing takes his eye of the ball. He sums it up in episode 6 when he says "I don't think it matters if there is a god or not. I've met people who believe in God that are good and that are bad. And I've met people who don't believe in God that are good and that are bad. So, just be good. I'm good. Not cos I think I'll go to heaven but because when I do something bad, I feel bad. And when I do something good, I feel good."

Q: Can you please explain the situation of this comedy to us?

A: In any sitcom, there have to be two ingredients. The first is that the characters have to be trapped, either literally or psychologically. Look at Porridge or Bilko or Steptoe and Son. The other ingredient is that the characters have to be a family, either literally like The Royle Family or Only Fools and Horses, or metaphorically, as in Dad's Army. They have to be fighting outside forces together. In Bilko, for instance, they have the attitude that, "We're all in this together. It's us against the world." While in Only Fools, they are joining forces to fight the economy.

Q: So what are the characters in Derek struggling against?

A: They're fighting the outside world. They often say, "No one cares". So I have a lot of uncaring intruders coming into the care home. A council man comes in and he clearly doesn't care. And sons and daughters drop off their parents, and immediately start looking at their watches. They are all outsiders who don't care. They are a stark contrast to the people who work in the care home.

Q: What is the family at the heart of this show?

A: The residents and the care workers are one big family. Dougie is the dad, Hannah is the mum, Derek is the good son and Kev is the disappointing son.

Q: Did some reviewers' knee-jerk criticism of the pilot annoy you?

A: Yes. People criticised the show before the pilot, but that was because they hadn't seen it. Everything I have done has polarised people, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I hope that watching Derek might help viewers reassess their attitude to older people.

Q: Do you think Derek is a great role model?

A: Definitely. Superheroes fight evil, and in Derek I wanted to create a superhero who leads by example. He's terrified by spiders, but he would never harm one. He says, "I could never hurt a living thing." He is the same with people. He's so sweet - out of the mouth of babes.

Q: Should we all aspire to be like Derek then?

A: Absolutely. He is the best person I know. He's better than all of us. He's funny and sweet and kind and sincere and helpful and enthusiastic and honest, and that trumps everything he isn't. I love Derek!

Karl Pilkington





Q: How did Ricky recruit you to play the role of Dougie?

A: We were out having something to eat and he said to me, "I'm doing this new series called Derek. Do you fancy being in it?" He's always saying that – he got me to do a couple of lines in Extras. I replied, "It's nice of you to ask, but you know I'm not an actor. Why don't you get someone who knows how to do it?" I felt guilty about the idea of taking the job from a proper actor. But Ricky persisted, telling me, "All you have got to do is be yourself". I thought, "I can do that!"

Q: Please outline your character for us.

A: Dougie is me if I hadn't had any luck. Although he hasn't been very lucky, he always tries his best. Deep down he still knows that life is basically rubbish, but we can't do anything about it.

Q: How does he regard his job at the nursing home?

A: As much as he moans about his job, part of him likes it. It gives him a sense of worth. Like a lot of people, the highlight of his week is Friday when he gets paid. But despite his complaints, Dougie knows he has to keep working. In fact, he thinks that everyone should work. He hates scroungers and people who come to the nursing home hoping to benefit from their relatives' wills. He's always complaining about Britain's Got Talent and people who don't want to work for a living and just look for an easy life.

Q: How did people react to the pilot of Derek?

A: My dad is a pretty good critic – he is not afraid to tell me if he thinks something I'm in is bad. But he really liked the pilot. The show messes with your emotions – it makes you laugh and cry – and there is not much around like that.

Q: What is your take on Ricky as a director?

A: He's incredible. It's amazing how he knows exactly what he wants in every scene. He is able to explain what you're doing wrong, and you just get on with it. It's over before you realise you've done it. It never gets to the point of him screaming and shouting. When he says to me at the end of a scene, "That's all right", I think, "I got away with it again!"

Q: What do you think of Ricky as an actor?

A: Ricky is a brilliant actor. I find it odd watching him act because I know him so well. Even though I know what is coming in every scene, he still does things that leave me with a lump in my throat. I know it's only acting, but it still gets a great reaction. Whenever he does that, I always think, "I can't do that. I'm going to get found out here!"

Q: Do you think Derek can help change society's view of older people?

A: It's a nice thought that after watching this viewers might be more pleasant to old people all of a sudden. It's probably not going to happen. But if this show makes one or two people change their view of older people, that wouldn't be at all bad.

Q: Does this mean a new career for you as an actor?

A: No. This is not a new line of work from me. I'm not looking to become an actor. I still don't feel like a proper actor. Kerry is a proper actress. When you're doing a scene with her, you're looking over your shoulder and thinking, "Blimey, she's really good". The hardest part is remembering the lines and trying not to laugh. Ricky is determined to make me laugh all the time – that must drive the crew mad!

Q: Have you got a lot out of this job?

A: Yes. I've learnt a lot, and it's been a great experience. Ricky has been great. From the start, he's told me, "You can do it. What are you worried about?" I suppose I can't believe my luck. I've got no qualifications, but I've been given this great opportunity and I want to make the most of it. I suppose Ricky didn't go to drama school, either. In the end, if you can convincingly be that person onscreen, what does it matter?

Q: Finally, have you enjoyed working on Derek?

A: Yes. I'm a bit rubbish at knowing when something is good. But if it goes out and I can say, "I wasn't as bad as I thought I would be", then I'll be happy. Until then, I'll be thinking, "I shouldn't be here!"

Kerry Godliman





Q: Please describe your character to us.

A: Hannah is the manager of the care home. She is very passionate and devoted to her job. She's a very loving person who doesn't want to judge at all. That's quite a rare trait. It's sometimes difficult to manage not to be judgmental. But Hannah just doesn't judge people at all, and that makes her a very good carer. It also makes Kev's presence manageable!

Q: Are there any similarities between you and Hannah?

A: I'd like to be more like Hannah. It's nice to play her because she is so kind and non-judgmental. Those are characteristics I'm working on in myself!

Q: How would you characterise Hannah's relationship with Derek?

A: They are friends who go back many years and have always enjoyed working together. She adores Derek. They have a very lovely friendship, and she thinks he's a great bloke. Her affection for him is really sweet. What she adores above all else is his selflessness, and she wishes more people would be like him. She has developed this affection for him that he values enormously. They depend on each other - Hannah doesn't have anything outside work. She feels Derek is one of the kindest people she has ever met. There is an absence of that in society, and he should be celebrated.

Q: Could it ever develop into a romance?

A: No. It's a platonic marriage. His understanding of that is not the same as yours or mine, and she could never reciprocate it. But it remains a very sweet relationship.

Q: Is there another love in her life?

A: Hannah is a bit unlucky in love. She fancies Tom and fantasises about a relationship with him, but that doesn't exist beyond her imagination. It doesn't ever quite get going – sometimes things just don't have the wind behind them. She's not enormously confident and gets frustrated.

Q: Do you think it's a good thing that this show does not always deliver happy endings?

A: Yes. I love the fact that Ricky says things are not always going to turn out how you'd hope. That's true of a lot of relationships. It's not due to a lack of will, but sometimes it simply feels like pushing a boulder uphill. Tom and Hannah are very scared of jumping into a relationship, making a horrible mistake and hurting each other. You could have shot them running across Broadstairs beach and leaping into each other's arms like a glossy, traditional love story. But this show isn't like that.

Q: How have you found it working with Ricky?

A: It's been brilliant. He works really fast, so it can go by in the blink of an eye. But there are still tons of opportunities to try out new ideas. Overall, though, we don't take the mick because it's so precisely written. Ricky arrived with the characters really well formed – they were very well fleshed out from the beginning. But we are still able to do loads of improvising. Ricky is so creative – it's a pleasure being able to enjoy his whole world.

Q: What has it been like working on the care home set [in fact, a disused RAF base in Uxbridge]?

A: It's been great. Broad Hill Residential Care Home for the Elderly is a lovely world, and now it has started feel like my world. It felt very warm and magical and cosy. As the shoot has gone on, this has felt more and more like a real creative bubble. It's a very nourishing environment. You feel the benevolence and love and affection between the carers and the residents. There's a lot of tenderness and respect there. That's been great.

Q: Have you enjoyed working with Karl?

A: Yes, it's been really good fun. I didn't know him before, but he is the most unpretentious person I've ever met. I don't know how he has remained so unaffected.

Q: Do you think this series could help to overturn a few stereotypes about older people?

A: Yes, I think it could help audiences view older people differently and be more respectful towards them. I don't think we're very respectful towards the elderly at the moment. We're scared of old age. But people forget that old people were once young. Sometimes you hear youngsters say, "You mustn't swear in front of that old man," but the old man replies, "swearing was not invented just 20 years ago, you know. I wasn't always old." It's about keeping a young mind. We're obsessed with youth in this country, so it is great to see a show like this that celebrates older people.

Q: You also have a very successful career as a stand-up comedian, don't you?

A: Yes, it's great because it means I always have something to fall back on. It makes me more relaxed when I'm acting, because I know if I have a quiet period, I can always go back to stand up. They're both forms of performance, but very different worlds.

Q: You are recording an episode of Live at the Apollo soon. How will you prepare for that?



A: I'll sit on a tiny box in the foetal position for a day, dribbling [laughs]. No, I'm sure I'll have a mild panic attack and then just get on with it. I have played the Hammersmith Apollo before, when I supported Micky Flanagan, and it's a lovely room. Sometimes bigger crowds are nicer than smaller ones, because the laughs spread out across the venue. It can be tremendous fun. It's a great thing to do.

Q: Finally, do you see a long future for Derek?

A: Absolutely. It's not just about Derek and Hannah. It's about all the residents. So many lovely characters reside at the nursing home, and they all have amazing stories. It could go anywhere. There are endless tales still to be told.

David Earl





Q: You still occasionally work as a gardener. What made you switch to acting?

A: Ricky gave me an opportunity, and you have to give it a go, don't you? In my head, I'm still a gardener. So when you're offered a job in a sitcom, you think, "I'll give it a crack, and then I'll go back to the gardening!"

Q: We need to talk about Kevin.

A: Kev is a bullsh*itter. He's lazy, but quite confident. He's like a dog that no one strokes. He just sits in the corner and wants to be fondled, but just gets ignored. I wouldn't want to send my own parents to a place where someone like Kev worked! But he also has a softer side, and he looks out for Derek.

Q: Please tell us more.

A: Kev is also pretty seedy. I do a stand-up character called Brian, and he can be seen as quite sleazy. In his writing, Ricky has taken it to the next level with Kev. He is properly dirty! It's great fun talking about rude bits 24/7.

Q: Are there any similarities between you and Kev?

A: No, not now. But he does remind me of myself in my 20s, when I did virtually nothing, and came up with all these excuses. Then something clicked, and I realised that time was running out. I thought, "I'd best get on with it now", and I did.

Q: Did you do any research into the character?

A: No. Ricky asked me to do a bit of research, but I'm afraid I forgot! The character talks about a lot of dirty things, but don't worry, I didn't go on any unsuitable sites. I just imagine things!

Q: What is Kev's relationship with Dougie like?

A: Kev and Dougie argue all the time, but they're still like brothers. If someone is giving Dougie hard time, Kev will step in because it feels like the brotherly thing to do. They get on each other's nerves, but they will always defend each other.

Q: What are Ricky's strengths as a writer?

A: You just have to look at his past work. The Office is quite good – in fact, its pretty much perfection! Extras is great, too – I don't want to go on because Ricky will get a big head! He is simply very good at his job.

Q: How have you found it being directed by Ricky?

A: He's a brilliant director. I have mainly worked as a stand-up in the past, and I don't necessarily see myself as an actor. But he gives me a lot of room to play, and he doesn't mind if I mess things up from time to time. There's no pressure to nail it on the first take. Sometimes I might laugh instead of being serious, and Ricky will just make that part of the show. I can't imagine what it would be like to work with a stressful director. I think I would walk off and a huff and go home! But we have such a lot of fun making this – and that's all down to Ricky's great skill as a director.

Q: Do you think a nursing home is a good setting for a comedy?

A: Definitely. In fact, I can't believe there has never been a sitcom written about a nursing home before. It seems like the perfect situation. All the residents have these great stories. They're so interesting. They have lived the most amazing lives. They are also incredibly young at heart. One day I had to come in here and tell a lot of jokes from my stand-up set, and one 91-year-old resident in particular really loved it. Often older people are forgotten about. I hope this might help some people change their mind about the elderly.

Q: Do you feel there is potential for more series of Derek?

A: Absolutely. I think there would be lots of new places to take these characters. It would certainly be good fun to go deeper inside Kev's head and see more of what he thinks about. And the friendship between Derek, Dougie and Kev could definitely be expanded.

Q: Finally, what have you learned from doing this job?

A: The fact that you have to overcome your own fear. It's very easy to say no to lots of things. But I've discovered that you have to have a crack at things. You may fail at first, but then you realise that you're not dead and just have another go. I love acting. When you get it right, it's great fun. It's just playing. It also beats digging a ditch, which is what I do with the rest of my life. It's a lot easier than that, I can tell you. Week two hundred and forty-six - January 2013


So, not long now till Derek premieres on Channel 4.




The rest of the world will have to wait a little while and watch it on Netflix. If you missed the pilot or just feel like watching it again, you can now see it on 40D. We've also made a documentary about the making of the series...

The trailers have also started airing;

[Trailer 1 - YouTube]
[Trailer 2 - YouTube]
[Trailer 3 - YouTube]
[Trailer 4 - YouTube]

Hope you like it. I'm off to play with some Muppets.




Week two hundred and forty-five - January 2013


Spent the week in L.A. launching 'Derek' on Netflix and plugging An Idiot Abroad 3 which premieres on the Science Channel on 19th January.




I did the chat show circuit; Ellen, Conan etc, but it always seemed to descend into talk of Bath Pics. Here I am on Ellen .
On Conan we went a step further.

What a ridiculous job I have.



Week two hundred and forty-four - December/January 2012/13


You may have read that I have accepted the lead role in the next Muppet movie. I didn't so much accept it as jump at the chance. I fucking love The Muppets. (I'll probably have to tone down my language for Disney.)

We start filming in January. I can't wait. I'll be hangin' with those cuddly little critters all day.




Talking of Muppets, my little social experiment ended this Christmas. The Idiot Abroad specials went down a storm, becoming Sky One's biggest show of the year again.

If you haven't got Sky the DVD is out now in the UK. [Amazon link]




It premieres in the US on Science Channel, 19th January - then around the world in over 150 other territories. It's been a blast. Thank you.

Finally, I cut a little teaser trailer of Derek for the internet.




I tried to give a feel of the mood more than anything too specific. It's not that I didn't want to give too much away but rather that I didn't want to give people the wrong end of the stick so to speak. It's quite difficult to describe. Even in broad terms, to be honest.

Is Derek a comedy or a drama? I get asked that a lot. Even after people have seen it.

I say, "What do you think it is?"

They say, "Well I laughed a lot but I cried as well. I'm just not sure if it was a drama with funny bits or a comedy with sad bits."

I usually then say, "Derek is whatever you think real life is. Is your life a drama with funny bits or a comedy with sad bits?"

The answer doesn't matter really. What matters is if you enjoy it... for whatever reason. Because it made you laugh, because it made you cry, because it made you think or even because it made you angry. As long as it made you something.

For me, personally, it's my favourite thing I've ever created or worked on. I love Derek more than any other character. In fact, I wish I were more like him. I wish everyone was.

It's a show about kindness. It's funny and sweet and deals with the real issues of everyday life. I don't think I've seen anything quite like it. The performance that Kerry Godliman gives as Hannah may be the finest piece of character acting I've seen.

And Karl Pilkington as Dougie makes me laugh every second he is on screen. Kev played by David Earl is a lovable train wreck. You won't know whether to hug him or take him to the vet to have him put down. The uncaring outside world popping in and out will boil your blood and the residents will break your heart. Or you won't like it. Haha. One of the two.




Week two hundred and forty-three - December 2012


Did the latest of my Scandinavian Greatest Hits Tour gigs at this monster in Stockholm this week...







I also honoured the people of Sweden with a commemorative bath pic...




The finale of An Idiot Abroad 3 aired this week. That's all folks. Two series and a Christmas Special. Haha.
If you haven't got Sky you can buy the DVD here.

We even did some promo for it.

Anyway, so that's the end of An Idiot Abroad and The Ricky Gervais Show. The next time you'll get to see me and the little round headed buffoon in action is in Derek which starts in January.




Merry Christmas.




Week two hundred and forty-two - December 2012


I finished DEREK this week! Hooray! I should have an air date very soon. Late January is my best guess at the moment.




An Idiot Abroad 3 goes from strength to strength. Here's a few best bits from ep 2 and a fantastic deleted scene.

Some lovely people can't seem to get their head around the fact that scenes aren't necessarily deleted because they're no good. They're usually deleted because of time restrictions. We shot about 90 hours worth. That's a lot of great stuff that simply can't be used. DVD extras I say.

I was a surprise guest at The Sun Military Awards this week. I wasn't expecting it to be so overwhelmingly moving. I think I had something in my eye. Or I'm pregnant. Anyway, it was emotional. And fun actually. That my friends is what you call a great attitude. Humbling.




Week two hundred and forty-one - November/December 2012


Another week spent putting the final touches to Derek.




It's turned out very well indeed. You'll be the judge of that. I guess what I mean is, it turned out how I meant it to. That's all I can ask for. I can't really influence the vote any more than that. I can try to get as many people to see it as possible, but that's all. I would like to say that it's my personal favourite thing I've ever done. I can't explain why. It just is. Hope you like it.




Karl came into the edit to watch a bit and stayed and watched all six. I was so glad he loved it. He's great in it. Everyone is, but I'm very proud of his performance. I created the character of Dougie by imagining what Karl's life would be like if he hadn't got into media, came to London, and met me. Haha. Showing him it, I felt like the Ghost of Xmas 'Alternative Present.'

A lot of buzz about An Idiot Abroad 3 this week too.




It's slightly different from previous series in a few ways. Obviously Karl has got a little mate this time. It's a 3 part special. And it's one long journey: literally and emotionally. It also really ramps up from week to week. Ep 1 is quite gentle comparatively. They're sort of getting to know each other. It kicks off a bit in ep 2. And ep 3 is fucking mental. Best episode of every series I'd say. And quite sweet even. Anyway I hope you enjoy that too.

Right, I'm off to Scandinavia...







Week two hundred and forty - November 2012


Work really kicked in this last week.




I was in the edit trying to finish Derek, doing press for An Idiot Abroad 3, getting together the set for my little Scandanavian arena tour, starting a new movie script, and annoying fundamentalists on Twitter. The last one is more of a hobby, but very time consuming. Haha.

It's also shopping time. Jane's birthday in December starts the ball rolling then Christmas takes over. To make it easier, last year we initiated "the list". We have to do a long list of things we want and the other person buys some of them so you're still not sure what you're getting. It really helps. This was the list I made of presents I wanted...




Jane looked at it, laughed, and said, "Now do a proper one." Maybe she was just trying to throw me off the scent.
I pretended to fall for it. I am going to call my monkey butler Ernest by the way, and I will train it to carry stuff for me.






Week two hundred and thirty-nine - November 2012


I had a few days off from editing Derek to go and be one of the headline acts at The New York Comedy Festival.




I kicked off the festival with an Audience Q and A and a live interview with John Hodgman at The Town Hall. I enjoyed it so much that I'm thinking of doing a string of similar events across the country.

It was the armchairs that clinched the deal. "Stand Up" is fun but "Sit down" is more comfortable.

The following night I performed at the Stand Up For Heroes Benefit.

It's always an amazing night of music and comedy, and a truly humbling experience.




Springsteen played as usual and auctioned his guitar. He did an acoustic version of "Tougher than the rest" that sent a chill down the spine.

I was also in town plugging my new app JustSayin' and letting Americans know that 'Derek' is coming exclusively to Netflix next year.

The reason I went with Netflix is because I believe it's the future of TV. Viewing habits are changing and people are insisting on everything On Demand. Also, as an artist you want the maximum number of viewers with the minimum amount of interference from a broadcaster. The Netflix figures are really impressive and I have absolute artistic freedom. And finally, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I can't tell you the deal, but I worked it out at 28 times what I made from the first series of The Office. Ker-ching. I mean... art... Ker-Chart.

I did my 23rd Letterman appearance, (which was probably my favourite one so far), and The View. I told Barbara Walters to shut up. She took it well. They even invited me back to co-host. I said yes. I also promised the SNL lot that I'd host next year. I've been invited to do it so many times but I was never available, but I'm going to do it next year whether it coincides with me plugging something or not. It might even be better if I don't have to restrict it to jokes about the movie or TV show I'm flogging. Pure fun. You'll be the judge of that.




Week two hundred and thirty-eight - November 2012


Got to New York a couple of days after Sandy hit. My neighbourhood was completely unaffected but some parts are still without power and pretty devastated.




The attitude is fantastic though. People are getting together to help each other get back on their feet and saying stuff like "there are people a lot worse off than us." New York bounces back fast and stronger than ever.

If you fancy donating to you can text REDCROSS to 90999 which gives $10 to the American Red Cross. Thanks.

Central Park lost a few old trees but is back to its glorious self now. The first day it reopened it was just full of people running round enjoying life again. I'm sure I saw a dog laughing.

This little fella was assessing the damage to his home...




I'm making my 23rd appearance on Letterman this week. I hope to try to convince Americans that they can't vote for a man who believes the answers to all our problems can be found in a magic hat.




Week two hundred and thirty-seven- October/November 2012


The stats are in.




JustSayin' already has over 500,000 users, and we've only officially launched in the US.
Amazing. Thank you so much if you've downloaded it. If you haven't, why not? It's free, you gorp. [iTunes App store link]

Thanks for all your lovely comments about the little guinea pig viral too. We're thinking of doing another one soon.

Channel 4 are doing a late night repeat of The Ricky Gervais Show Season 3 starting Friday 9th of November at 12.30am.




Sky Plus it to save you having to buy the DVD. (PHILANTHROPIST!)

That should keep you going till the new series of An Idiot Abroad. I can't wait. It's the best one yet.




You'll be the judge of that.




Week two hundred and thirty-six- October 2012


Finished editing An Idiot Abroad 3.




It's great and builds nicely to the best episode of all three series I'd say. (You'll be the judge of that.)
It's a three-part epic adventure following the footsteps of Marco Polo from Venice to China. It's quite filmic in that there's an added element to the narrative with Karl and Warwick's relationship.

I'm thinking of doing an edit where you can watch it as one long movie. Maybe for the DVD.

My other job this week of course was editing Derek. I'd say it's 70% there. I have the same feeling I had when I was making The Office.




A mixture of excitement and fear. It's certainly a return to real observations about normal life.

It's probably even more real than The Office in some ways but with more drama. People keep asking me if it's a comedy, a drama or a comedy drama. I guess the answer is it's what ever you think real life is.

A lot of Ricky fans are screaming, "Is there anything that The Rickster used to wear (at either end of his body), that he has signed and put on ebay for auction?"

Well the answer is "Yes."

A wooly Pilky hat in aid of St. Mungos.

And some Puma trainers in aid of Small Steps Charity.

My old clothes should be very valuable now. Ever since I got voted Best Dressed Man in The Universe by the mighty E! Channel.




Dreams can come true. Thank you.




Week two hundred and thirty-five- October 2012


Spent another week editing Derek.




It's turning out swell, as they say in America. Well, they did in the 1930s anyway.

My first mistake was casting people who will beat me to the BAFTA this time. Imagine if Karl Pilkington won an award for acting. It would be a bigger travesty than when I did. He's great in it, I must say. Everyone is, but just his little gimp face makes me laugh before he even says anything.

Also finished An Idiot Abroad 3. We even started on the director's commentary for the DVD. At one point Karl said, "The Chinese language is just a noise." I quickly pointed out that Karl is a lovely bloke, without a malicious bone in his body, whose words sometimes bypass the brain. It's a very funny commentary though. Lots of arguing and moaning if you can imagine that. Haha.




The launch of my little app, Just Sayin', went very well and we've had hundreds of thousands of downloads already and we haven't even started the promotion properly yet. Thank you. I even got Karl on it. He moaned about apps, Twitter and fan sites and the internet in general. Nice target marketing there. Unbelievable.

I'm doing my 23rd Letterman appearance to talk about it next month, along with The View so it should really start taking off in a big way hopefully. Please download it here. [iTunes App store link]

Oh, and it's free by the way.
Ricky Gervais: PHILANTHROPIST






Week two hundred and thirty-four- September/October 2012


Spent the week editing Derek.




At first I was depressed about having so much wasted stuff, because each ep had to be cut from 40 or 50 minutes down to a measly 24. Then, not only did I remember how insatiable the appetite for DVD extras and exclusive web material is these days, but also that the more great stuff you have to throw out the better the finished product is. I went through the same with The Office. And that turned out quite well.

Karl came in to watch the rough edits. He loved them... He actually laughed all the way through. I've never seen him do that before. The only time I've even heard him say he liked something was the animation. I think he was also very relieved. He was very nervous about acting at all, and even though he got more confident during the filming, and even got to really like it, he was still very anxious about watching himself in the finished article. He had nothing to worry about. He's fucking brilliant in it.

Here he is all chuffed...




He had another little rant about the internet though. He said he wanted to "thump people who leave comments on forums in the 'ed." Haha. "I wish I could turn the internet off and see 'em panickin'."

He also got annoyed at people on X Factor: "They all say 'I'm different.' No you're not. You're the same as the last fuckin' nob 'ed that was just on."...

When he's right, he's right.

In general though he's the happiest I've ever seen him. He's buzzing about the new Idiot Abroad and says that meeting the conjoined twins in India was the best thing he's ever done. It is quite amazing TV. The questions he asked them are stunning. That's all I'm prepared to say for now.




So, I didn't win an Emmy. I was up for my Golden Globes hosting against LL Cool J (Grammys) & Neil Patrick Harris (Tonys) who won.

But I did hand a couple out. During one part of one of my presentations a big booming voice from the heavens said something like "cue FX"... someone had obviously faded up a live mic in the control room. It made me jump and so of course I said, "I'm an atheist, but that scared me". Always nice to say the A word on primetime US network TV.




Seeing this sign on the way didn't teach me anything




Fellow scumbag Jon Stewart won for the squillionth time and here he is after looking very pleased about it. I sent this picture to him and he said he looks like that because he just realised we all die. Haha.




After the show we were whisked off to the HBO party as usual. It's the only place to be.

I bumped into Michael J Fox and Jane Fonda. I know Michael but I'd never met Jane before. She introduced her self by saying, "Hello, I'm Jane Fonda." I laughed and said, "Yeah..I know." How sweet is that?




The next day I popped to New York.




I'm still there.




Week two hundred and thirty-three - September 2012


Spend the week in LA launching my app; JustSayin'

Please download it. It's free. [App Store link]

I launched a JustSayin' competition on Conan to find the next big stand up and also showed the world my hidden talents...

But the best thing about being a technology mogul is having my own business cards.




The logo reminds me of Karl. Round and simple.







Week two hundred and thirty-two - September 2012


Quite an amazing week.

Finished principal photography on Derek. Quiet simply the best shoot I've ever been a part of.




Ironed out the technology on JustSayin' in time for its world launch next week in California.

(I'm doing a few chat shows too - Ellen, Conan, Fallon... and also, I'm handing out a couple of gongs at The Emmys. Also I'll announce where America will be able to see the first series of Derek. Oooooh...???...)

And finished editing the An Idiot Abroad Specials. Three one-hour episodes. Out in December.




The first episode is funny but quite gentle - almost like a real travel documentary. The second episode starts heating up when the arguing starts. And episode 3 is fucking mental, and definitely the best episode of all the series so far.

It gets quite brutal under all the pressure, but it's an amazing view. Karl also asked one of the most stupid questions ever. He actually said to Warwick at one point, "Do you have knees?" Amazing.









The Derek experience just seems to get better and better. Another great week, culminated in two glorious days in Broadstairs, on the Kent coast.




Karl paddling in the sea, fully clothed, getting hit by a wave and losing his glasses was an amazing stroke of luck that we captured on camera. I nearly burst of course. Like an old pro, he swore and ranted in character. Or as close as damn it. Haha.




In my spare time I wrote a little piece for The Wall Street Journal about the creation of The Office.

Thanks to everyone on Twitter who gave me feedback for the prototype of my little app, JustSayin. Very useful indeed. We will be incorporating a few innovations in time for the official launch this month.

And finally, thank you to everyone of my 3 million followers. That's more than most newspapers. And yes, I understand that with great power comes great responsibility. So I'd like to say to all you kids out there, please don't try this at home...








I am a trained gimpologist.




Week two hundred and thirty-one - August/September 2012


A fun-packed week filming on Derek was only marred slightly by the fact that an emergency doctor was called after 24 hours of severe abdominal pain.

Examination, urine sample, and blood tests were taken and I was rushed to hospital for a scan. (I say rushed, they couldn't do the scan for 6 hours, in which time I was allowed only water. I also couldn't stop filming, so in some scenes, Derek will look a little paler and sweatier than usual.

Anyway, I had a form of gastric flu. Not what I first assumed; it was the second I had any sort of pain then - "cancer of the everything". As soon as a doctor tells me I'm not going to die, I feel better. They are true healers.

I called another Doc for help too this week - the mighty Doc Brown. A very funny man indeed.

Seriously though, who's better looking?




But this lot stole the show...




This wasn't just an excuse for me to play with dogs for the day. (Well it was, but it's sort of justified.) Some animal rescue centres get a little grant if they provide a pet therapy service. i.e. they take some pooches and moggies around to care homes and let the residents have a little cuddle. Very sweet. And it works. That was one of the days I was ill, and when I was filming with the critters the colour came back to my cheeks. They are true healers too. Ahh.




Week two hundred and thirty - August 2012


Filming Derek continues to be a dream job. I'm actually getting depressed that we've got way too much great stuff to cram into a measly 23 minutes per episode.




This is of course a lovely problem to have.
Expect a lot of lovely DVD extras and webisodes.




The US version of The Office is to end after its 9th season. I couldn't be prouder of its success story but all good things must come to an end. And with syndication it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Here's a little article I did about why Michael Scott had to be slightly different to David Brent for American audiences

Oh, and thank you to the mighty Shortlist and its readers for putting Brent at the top of their favourite sitcom characters of all time.




So the first week's filming on Derek went like a dream.




Definitely the most fun I've ever had on any production.
We laughed and ruined many takes and we also cried during some of the sweeter, dramatic moments.




The old actors (some are in their 90s) are all so lovely with amazing stories, and they bring such a weight and pathos to the whole thing.
It's also the best ensemble cast I've ever been apart of. Karl is fucking brilliant. So natural.
David Earl is a comedy megastar of the future. And Kerry Godliman is simply one of the best actresses I've ever worked with.

I somehow picked up every performance Globe, Emmy and Bafta, for The Office and Extras, with none of the other amazing cast getting a look in. I really hope that isn't the case with Derek. The performances from everyone are too good.

I couldn't believe my luck with this photo when I saw the sign in the background...




In other news...
My app has basically done its development period and we are ready for an official launch in the autumn. If all goes well I should have my animal sanctuary sooner than expected. (Or I may just spend it all on a battleship and invade a tiny island for a laugh.)

And the most amazing news of all is that the pilot episode of Learn English with Ricky Gervais has been downloaded 10 million times in a week! That's fucking mental. I mean, thank you.

Please have your translations ready for next week when we will release a clean version for you to add your own subtitles and post on Youtube.




Week two hundred and twenty-nine - August 2012





Thank you so much for making Learn English with Ricky Gervais the number 1 podcast in the world. It was downloaded over a million times in the first 24 hours. Fucking incredible.

And thank you to iTunes for such a wonderful launch. Brilliant job. But most of all, thank you for the most amazing reaction I've ever had.

iTunes have it exclusively for one week then we will post a clean version on YouTube so that people around the world can rip it, stick on their own language subtitles, and then re-post it.

When we have had 50 million views, we'll record a brand new one and start the whole process again. Deal?

The first few days filming on Derek have been the most fun I've ever had. Best line of the shoot so far is either Kev at a funeral saying, "This is a muff-free zone" or Dougie saying, "I'm jealous of the dead." Haha.







So principle photography has commenced on Derek.




As usual, six half-hour episodes to start with.
I'll do regular updates from the set with as many pictures of the dopey round headed chimp as possible.

The first volume of Learn English with Ricky Gervais is released exclusively on iTunes worldwide on Tuesday 14th August. It'll appear as a podcast here. And it's FREE!

ITunes are also giving me my own page by the way, to celebrate the fact that combined RG products have had 500 million downloads. It should also help launch the new video podcasts. Nice.

Thank you iTunes, but most of all, thank you to all the lovely people who have bought my stuff over the last few years.




Week two hundred and twenty-eight - August 2012


Twitter continues to be an anthropological playground for me.




I really don't understand why people get upset over morons talking bollocks. They can't really affect you. They don't really exist.

It's text. If you don't actually know that person it's like getting upset by graffiti in a public toilet that you never have to use again.

Twitter is like a dream that you can control. Have fun. Then wake up and live a real life. If someone tries to upset you for no reason, ignore it. Or better still, BLOCK. It's gone. They're still an unhappy twat and you're not.

I don't mean people actually breaking the law and threatening people's lives of course. They should be dealt with. But attention seeking idiots... let them find it somewhere else.

On a more positive note there are lots of nice sane people on twitter too, that can provide a few laughs and pearls of wisdom now and again.

My job is to embrace all aspects though. The good, the bad and the ugly.

The good you can learn from. The bad can provide me with hours of new stand up material. And the ugly... well that's not really their fault. It's also very subjective.

Karl loves freaks as you know. This is the first time I ever committed the little shaven chimp to video...




Week two hundred and twenty-seven - July/August 2012





My episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee was released this week. I really think internet-first shows are the future. TV habits have already changed drastically in the last 10 years and I think everyone will soon be demanding any show they want, any time they want.

They are also global which is very exciting if you have any profile around the world. Or not. That's what can build it, too. That was probably the most attractive thing to me about doing the Ricky Gervais podcasts in the first place.

Talking of which, the first instalment of Learn English with Ricky Gervais will be available for free on iTunes worldwide from August 14th.




Here's a little teaser.

The internet is pretty fucking amazing when you think about.
As you know, my return to Twitter was a bit of a social experiment. Partly to see if it was a useful marketing tool, (it most definitely is) and partly as research. Now, most people I think assumed it was research for a stand up show or a TV or Film project. Well, actually it was because I have been developing an app for the last year or so. It's called JustSayin' and I have partnered with some Californian internet boffins and we think we've come up with something quite exiting.
We did a very soft launch a few months ago to collect data as we are still developing the software, but we plan the real launch this autumn. It's so easy to use. You literally press "record" then post to Twitter/facebook and it's 'out there!'
It's a business and recreation program but I think its real power will be in media. Just in the same way that Twitter morphed from a social networking site into its own slice of news media, JustSayin' could be to radio what Twitter is to newsprint. Anyone can broadcast anything immediately. Anyway, it's very early days. You can download it here for free, if you're interested.

I should just say though, that even though my Twitter career started out as what seems like a cynical business venture, I have really enjoyed it and I'm going to continue with it for the pure fun of it all. JustSayin' (Sorry)




Spent the week putting the final touches to the Derek scripts and scouting locations.




Next week we start rehearsals and start principal photography two weeks after that.

You may have heard me talk about this on my Fame tour; actors have to have medicals for any significant filming jobs for insurance purposes. This is never extensive as they only really have to be sure you won't die in the next six weeks.

Karl called me, surprised that he had to have this done at all.

I said, "it's nothing and it takes about 15 minutes."

He called me yesterday and said, "Did he feel your bollocks?"

I said, "no, why?"

Karl said, "well he felt mine. He went 'pop your pants down', and he started 'avin' a feel. It was in front of a mirror too, so I could see myself and so it was degrading."

Hahaha. "Degrading."

I also finished editing the pilot episode of our new internet project. It will be called "Learn English with Ricky Gervais" and it's turned out great.




We hope to have it subtitled into as many languages as possible.

I'm going to put out the first one free as a taster then work out the best way to distribute. Might charge a small fee or get it sponsored. Unlike the audio podcasts this actually costs quite a bit to make, but even if we charge it will still only be a couple of quid.

I'm thinking of making a clean version of the pilot available for download so people can put their own subtitles on it and repost it. You can do a Klingon version if you want. Interactive...so...




Week two hundred and twenty-six - July 2012


It's great to be back in London after that awful 85 degree heat and relaxed cafe culture of the upper east side of Manhattan.

Although, I think this must be a strip joint...




This beautiful English summer is what it's all about. I've seen more snails than shadows in the garden this week. They fucking love a wet slidey patio. Wankers.




On a positive note, I've been nominated for another Emmy for my part in The Golden Globes. Award shows eating themselves.




Got nominated for this last year and lost. Second time lucky. (Not even a saying, and has absolutely no validity.)

Deep in pre-production for Derek now and loving every minute of it. I actually get an adrenaline rush thinking about filming it. That's a good sign. Or it could be stomachy AIDS cancer? Who knows?




Week two hundred and twenty-five - July 2012





A glorious week in New York has recharged my batteries and I'm now chomping at the bit to get started on Derek. (I'm an electric horse OK?)




The weather better improve soon in England by the way. What the fuck has happened to global warming? Let down.

Did a fantastic photo shoot with Karl and Warwick for the An Idiot Abroad Specials. Best one we've done I think. (You'll be the judge of that.)

We also filmed a three-way interview for the Sky website and at one point I couldn't breathe at something the two twonks were bickering about. (I think they love each other really.)

It's going to air before Xmas with the DVD release just after hopefully. So if you haven't got Sky you won't have to wait too long to watch the incredible journey.




Finally, The Ricky Gervais Show is drawing to a close. It's the end of an era. But that's why baby Jesus gave us DVDs to buy. That's my belief anyway. Please respect it!

Do you think this guy asked to move seats?







Week two hundred and twenty-four - July 2012


So pre-production of Derek is well under way. Only a few more roles left to cast and nearly all the locations sorted out. (It's amazing how many perfect locations are within walking distance of my house. Not that I walk. But I could if I wanted.)

Announced 3 dates in Scandinavia... [coverage in The Guardian and The Telegraph]

(I know it says it's my first arena tour but it's not obviously. My last two tours, 'Fame' and 'Science', were arena tours, but I quite like the way it makes me sound like an up and coming comedian. Haha.)




And finally, here's the first little teaser for my thing with Jerry Seinfeld. It doesn't give a lot away...




Week two hundred and twenty-three - June/July 2012


So the second series of The Ricky Gervais Show was released on DVD on my birthday.

Karl even got me a card...





We also did a few bits of press, and started pre production on Derek. Best week ever. Haha.
Ricky's Blog continues with Week One Hundred and Twenty-two here ...




 






The Improbable Success of Ricky Gervais
A marketeer's perspective on Ricky in the limelight.
Read here.



Ricky on his 21st Emmy Nomination
The Hollywood Reporter quizzes Ricky on his career to date.
Read here.



Ricky's Facebook Q and A
Ricky answers readers' questions via facebook.
Read here on Gervaisaholics.com.



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.