Ricky Gervais (Career)

In 1983, Ricky Gervais’ final year as a student at UCL (University College London), Gervais and his friend Bill Macrae released two singles “More to Lose” and “Bitter Heart”. The band was called Seona Dancing and they were signed by London Records.

After the music attempt, he remained in the media working as an events manager for the University Of London Union (ULU). Ricky Gervais then took a similar job as "head of speech" at Xfm London along with fellow assistant Stephen Merchant. In 1998, Gervais was made redundant when the station was taken over by the Capital group.

Later on, Ricky Gervais was music adviser for the BBC drama This Life, which was being produced by his girlfriend, Jane Fallon. He and Merchant also contributed sketches to BBC Radio 1's The Breezeblock in 1999 and 2000.

In August 1999, while still working for BBC, Merchant started writing his own short movie, a docu-soap parody, set in an office. The tape ended in the hands of John Plowman, the BBC’s Head of Comedy and he eventually commissioned a full-pilot script from Merchant and Gervais. The first six-episode series of The Office aired in the UK in July and August 2001.

The fame spread little by little to the word, building up huge momentum and anticipation for the second series, in September 2002. The second series topped the BBC Two ratings, and the show then switched to BBC One in December 2003 for its final two special episodes. The show is currently airing on Adult Swim on Fridays, and prior to the show's airing, Gervais appears as himself talking about the episode that will air.

After the first series of The Office, Gervais and Merchant returned to Xfm in November 2001 for a Saturday radio show. The show ran intermittently until January 2004 with breaks of 1–3 months between new shows.

On 5 December 2005 Guardian Unlimited began offering free weekly podcasts featuring Gervais, Merchant, and Pilkington. Throughout January and February 2006, the podcast was consistently ranked the number-one podcast in the world; it also appeared in the 2007 Guinness World Record for the world's most-downloaded podcast, having gained an average of 261,670 downloads per episode during its first month. On 20 February 2006, it was announced that all future episodes would be available from Audible.com at a "nominal fee" (later, these had to be called audio books in accordance with iTunes policy). Two more series—-each with six podcasts—-were released between February and September 2006.

In late 2006 three more free podcasts were released. Together called "The Podfather Trilogy", they debuted individually at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. In October 2007 another free full-length podcast was released through iTunes. On 25 November 2007 Gervais, Merchant, and Pilkington released another free full-length podcast, which lasted just over an hour.

In August 2008 the three recorded their fifth season of audio books, totaling 4 chapters, which were released on 16 September 2008. These audio books were described as the 'guide to...' series, covering several topics.

Beside radio and podcast, Ricky Gervais also did a great job in television by acting, writing and producing. His mainstream-TV debut came in September 1998 as part of Channel 4's "Comedy Lab" series of pilots. In early 1999, he starred in Channel 4 comedy programme The 11 O'Clock Show , in which 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; it was poorly received and has since been mocked by Gervais himself.

Throughout this time, Ricky Gervais also wrote for the BBC sketch show Bruiser and The Jim Tavare Show, and he had cameo roles in Channel 4's sitcom Spaced; Gervais also appeared in a few of Channel 4's 'Top 100...' list programmes, and he voiced the character of Penguin in Robbie the Reindeer's Legend of the Lost Tribe. His voice was redubbed for the US market.

On 5 January 2006, he interviewed Larry David in a one off special, Ricky Gervais Meets... Larry David. On 25 and 26 December of the same year Channel 4 aired similar specials in which he interviewed the actor/comedian Christopher Guest and comedian Garry Shandling.

Ricky Gervais guest-starred in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife", which aired on 26 March 2006 in the United States, on 23 April 2006 in the United Kingdom, and on 18 July 2006 in Australia. He is the only British comic to write and star in a Simpsons episode. Gervais, a Simpsons fan, presented a segment to mark the show's 20th anniversary on BBC Two's The Culture Show on 16 June 2007. Gervais has also guest-starred on Alias (appearing in the third-season episode "Façade").

On 21 July 2005, Extras had its debut on the BBC; it received its premiere on HBO in the United States in September 2005. Written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the sitcom ran for twelve episodes. A second series began on 14 September 2006 in the UK and was followed by a Christmas special which aired on 27 December 2007 in the UK and on 16 December 2007 in the US. Extras was awarded the Golden Globe award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy on 14 January 2008. Gervais also won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Another notorious show, The Ricky Gervais Show, an animated TV show, debuted on US cable network HBO on 19 February 2010. In the UK, the first season began airing on 23 April 2010 on Channel Four. After receiving a loyal and enthusiastic following in the US, Cable channel HBO recommissioned the show for a second season, due to air in 2011.

Regarding his career as a stand-up comedian, Ricky Gervais made a few 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.

Stand-up comedian Ricky Gervais’ latest show is entitled Science, with an eleven date tour that commenced in August 2009 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow. The DVD for this show was released on 15 November 2010. On the This Morning show Gervais revealed that he had already began writing his fifth stand-up routine and is titled People.

Ricky Gervais released a children's book in 2004, Flanimals. After the success of this book, he released its sequel More Flanimals in 2005, with Flanimals of the Deep coming the next year. A new Flanimals book, Day of the Bletching, was released in October 2007. Flanimals: Pop Up is also due to be published. The Office scripts have been released in book form, with Series 1 issued in 2002, and the remaining episodes following in 2003. In late 2006, the Extras script book was released, as well as The World of Karl Pilkington presented by Gervais and Merchant.

Gervais’ film career has included small roles as the voice of a pigeon in 2005's Valiant, as a studio executive in 2006's For Your Consideration, as museum director Dr. McPhee in 2006's Night at the Museum and its sequel Night at the Museum 2, and as "Ferdy the Fence" in the 2007 film Stardust. His role in Night at the Museum has proven to be one of Gervais’ most popular roles, with the movie grossing $570 million worldwide.

Comedian Ricky Gervais starred in Ghost Town, on 19 September 2008, and in 2009 in The Invention of Lying. Gervais and co-writer Stephen Merchant made a film called Cemetery Junction, set in 1970s England, about class, love and fulfillment. The film was released in April 2010.

In 2002, Gervais took part in a charity boxing match against entrepreneur Grant Bovey and On 1 July 2007, Gervais performed at the Concert for Diana in Wembley Stadium, a music event celebrating the life of the late Princess of Wales. Ricky Gervais has also hosted the 2010 and 2011 Golden Globe Awards.

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