Ricky Dene Gervais (born 25 June 1961) is an English comedian, actor, director, producer, musician, writer, and former radio presenter. Gervais achieved mainstream fame with his television series The Office and the subsequent series Extras, both of which he co-wrote and co-directed with Stephen Merchant. In addition to writing and directing the shows, Gervais played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras. Gervais has also starred in Hollywood films, Ghost Town and The Invention of Lying. He has performed on four sell-out stand-up comedy tours, written the best-selling Flanimals book series and starred with Merchant and Karl Pilkington in the most downloaded podcast in the world as of March 2009, The Ricky Gervais Show. More recently, he hosted the Golden Globe Awards consecutively between 2010 and 2012. Gervais has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, two Emmy Awards and the 2006 Rose d'Or, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. In 2007 he was voted the 11th greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and again in the updated 2010 list as the 3rd greatest stand-up comic. In 2010 he was named on the TIME 100 list of the world's most influential people. Gervais made some attempts at stand-up in the late 1990s, but his first successful show took place at the Cafe Royal, as part of the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Titled Rubbernecker, the show also featured Jimmy Carr, Robin Ince and Stephen Merchant. Gervais later toured the UK in 2003 with his stand-up show Animals. The Politics tour followed a year later. Both of these shows were recorded for release on DVD and television broadcast. The third part of the themed live trilogy, Fame, took place in 2007. It started in Glasgow in January and ended in Sheffield in April. Blackpool reported selling out of tickets within 45 minutes of them going on sale. More dates were added. Newsnight Review's panel saw Animals during its Bloomsbury run and covered it in January 2003. They were not favourable, with Private Eye editor Ian Hislop being the most explicit in his criticism. After this, Gervais closed each show by calling Hislop an "ugly little pug-faced cunt". Further coverage on Newsnight Review has been overwhelmingly favourable, with the panellists playing themselves in promos for the second series of Extras. Panel regulars Germaine Greer, Mark Kermode and Mark Lawson also appeared as themselves reviewing When The Whistle Blows in a series episode. Critic Mark Lawson is a great admirer of Gervais and Merchant, having interviewed them extensively for television, print Front Row, and the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Fame was the subject of some controversy in January 2007 when Gervais told a story, ostensibly about how people will do anything to become famous, to a Scottish audience. The story referred to a question asked of Gervais five years earlier by a reporter: what could someone do to become famous like you? To which he replied, "Go out and kill a prostitute". He followed up with the punch line, "I won't do that bit in Ipswich", referring to the December 2006 murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich. The joke drew criticism from the father of victim Tania Nicol: "These days, they want to make a joke out of anything. I feel he's just being uncaring, quite honestly". Gervais defended himself: "I do want people to know that that happened five years ago and is not related to anything now. That is the problem with comedy, a joke that is funny today can be a terrible faux pas tomorrow". Gervais's fourth show was entitled Science, and commenced with an eleven date tour in August 2009 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow. The show opened to little critical praise. Writing for The Independent, Julian Hall gave Science two stars out of five, stating that it was Gervais's "most disappointing" offering yet. The DVD for Science was released on 15 November 2010. In November 2009 he headlined the sixth annual New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall, New York. Gervais has begun writing his fifth stand-up routine, to be titled Humanity.
Ricky Dene Gervais