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Ricky Gervais is a British comedian best known for co-writing and co-directing the television series The Office.
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Ricky Gervais is a British comedian and television producer. He co-created the popular mockumentary television series The Office with his friend Stephen Merchant. Gervais also created Extras, an American version of The Office. In 2005, he video podcast, The Ricky Gervais Show,
Where there's a will there's a relative.
became one of the most popular downloads on the Internet. Gervais has also written children's books, including Flanimals.
Born Ricky Dene Gervais on June 25, 1961, in Reading, England, Gervais grew up in a working-class neighborhood with three older siblings. His father worked as a day laborer, while his mother, a homemaker, was known for her wit. She helped make humor an integral part of Gervais' childhood. According to Gervais, teasing was the norm at the family dinner table. "The whole point of my family was taking the mickey out of the one sitting next to you," Gervais told The Sunday Times newspaper.
Excelling at school, Gervais went on to study at University College London where he earned a degree in philosophy. Gervais spent several of his post-graduate years working for the university, hiring bands to play there. For a while, he also pursued his own musical aspirations as the lead singer of a new-wave rock group called Seona Dancing. The band scored a minor hit in the Philippines with the 1985 single "More to Lose." Gervais also managed the yet-unsigned band Suede for a brief time.
In 1997, Gervais went to work for Xfm, a London radio station. There he hired future collaborator Stephen Merchant to work as his assistant. Gervais landed his own nightly program on the station, but he left after Xfm was bought out by another company. He then landed some comedy work, including writing and appearing in comedy sketches for the BBC TV shows Bruiser and Golden Years. He then began a regular role on the popular comedy series The 11 O'Clock Show. Buoyed by the success of his stint on the show, he got his own program: the talk show Meet Ricky Gervais. The program proved to be short lived, but during his run on the series Gervais started working with Merchant on an idea that would become his first smash hit.
Together they developed the idea for a sitcom called The Office, in which Gervais starred as David Brent, a clueless and self-deluded manager at an English paper company. Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker described the character as "the epitome of middle-management weaselliness. Brent is the sort of grinning, deluded guy who thinks his employees laugh at his awful jokes because they think he's a stitch rather than just the [guy] who signs their paychecks." The series examined the interactions between Brent and his colleagues using the comic innovation of the mockumentary—a spoof of documentary filming—with characters sometimes speaking directly to the camera, and sharing telling looks with the camera person.
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