Love him or hate him – and plenty of people hate him – comic Ricky Gervais is very hard to ignore. Or dismiss.
Gervais specialises in the comedy of embarrassment and the subverting of people's preconceptions about celebrities. In Extras, a host of well-known British celebs and Hollywood A-Listers queued up to portray themselves in less than flattering lights, and the result was comedy gold.
And if his detractors tend to stress Gervais's taste for mockery and shock, there is a decidedly soft side to the Berkshire-born comedian. The climaxes to both The Office and Extras were sentimental affairs and his most recent series, Derek, might have been criticised (mainly by people who hadn't watched it) for mocking the disabled but it was in reality a very soft-focus look at the lost and forgotten in society.
Gervais has also carved out a Film career in the US, penned the best-selling children's book series Flanimals and, with long-time collaborators Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, presented one of the most popular podcasts of all time.
Not bad for a chubby fella who first took a shot at fame in an 80s band called Seona Dancing, an outfit that made it big in...the Philippines.
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