Date of Birth : Jun 25th 1961
Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA award-winning English comic writer and performer from Reading, Berkshire. Gervais found mainstream fame with his BBC Two television programme The Office and the series Extras which he co-wrote and co-directed with friend and collaborator, Stephen Merchant. Besides writing and directing the shows, Gervais also played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras.
In his final year in 1983 as a student at UCL , Gervais alongside his friend Bill Macrae formed a New Romantic duo, Seona Dancing, (named after a friend and fellow student Seona Myerscough), and were signed by record label London Records, which released two singles – “More to Lose” and “Bitter Heart” which failed to reach the top 40 UK singles charts, reaching only positions 117 and 70 in the United Kingdom. However, a year later, the song “More to lose” was re-marketed as “Medium” by “Fade” and played by a DJ from 99.5 DWRT-FM in Manila, and gained major success and recognition amongst Filipino teenagers.
Gervais contributed to the BAFTA winning The Sketch Show (ITV) penning several sketches. His mainstream TV debut came in September 1998 as part of Channel 4’s “Comedy Lab” series of pilots. His one-off show, Golden Years, focused on a David Bowie-obsessed character called Clive Meadows. He then came to much wider national attention with an obnoxious, cutting persona featured in a topical slot which replaced Ali G’s segments on the satirical Channel 4 comedy programme The 11 O’Clock Show in early 1999 where his character used as many expletives as was possible and produced an inordinate amount of politically incorrect statements. Two years later Gervais went on to present his own comedy chat show for Channel 4 called Meet Ricky Gervais which was poorly received and has since been mocked by Gervais himself.
Extras first aired from 21 July 2005 with an appearance by Ben Stiller. It features cameos from Patrick Stewart, Kate Winslet (who is also from Reading), Ross Kemp, Vinnie Jones, Les Dennis and Samuel L. Jackson. Gervais’s main character, Andy Millman, is more self-aware and intentionally humorous than David Brent.