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Ricky Gervais - Biography

Ricky Gervais shot to fame in 2001 with his portrayal of David Brent - 

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Faye James
Senior Editor
Updated: 19 June 2023
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Who is Ricky Gervais?

Ricky Dene Gervais, the renowned English comedian, actor, director, producer, and singer, has achieved remarkable success throughout his career. His journey began with a philosophy degree from University College London, where he initially pursued a career as a singer. However, his musical aspirations led him to work as an assistant events manager at the University of London Union while managing the band Suede during its early days.


Gervais eventually found his true calling in comedy and joined the newly established radio station Xfm as the head of speech. It was there that he crossed paths with Stephen Merchant, his long-time collaborator. Their creative partnership flourished, and together they achieved widespread recognition with the mockumentary sitcom "The Office," which garnered numerous awards and critical acclaim.

Following the success of "The Office," Gervais and Merchant continued their collaborative journey. They created "The Ricky Gervais Show" on Xfm, which enjoyed immense popularity, and went on to create the hit sitcom "Extras" on BBC Two. Gervais's international fame opened doors to Hollywood, where he starred in films like "Ghost Town" and "Muppets Most Wanted." He also ventured into writing, directing, and starring in films such as "The Invention of Lying," "Cemetery Junction," and "Special Correspondents."

Recognitions and Awards

Gervais's talent and influence have been widely acknowledged. He hosted the Golden Globe Awards multiple times, showcasing his wit and humor on a global stage. In 2010, he was named one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine. Throughout his career, Gervais has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry, earning the admiration and respect of his peers and fans alike.


Ricky was born on June 25, 1961, in Reading, England. Growing up on a council estate in the southern suburb of Whitney, he enjoyed a happy childhood filled with humor and constant teasing among family members. Gervais's inquisitive nature led him to question his beliefs at an early age, eventually leading him to become an atheist.


After completing his education at Whitney Junior School and Ashmead Comprehensive School, Gervais joined University College London to study biology. However, his practicality and desire for a lighter workload led him to switch to philosophy, earning an upper second-class honors degree. He later worked as an assistant events manager at the University of London Union while pursuing his creative endeavors in music and comedy.

The Office and beyond

Gervais's breakthrough came with the creation of "The Office," a groundbreaking mockumentary that propelled him to stardom. The success of the show paved the way for various projects, including stand-up comedy tours, book publications, and the creation of other successful sitcoms like "Extras" and "Life's Too Short." Gervais's versatility and unique comedic style continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

Personal Life and Philanthropy

Ricky Gervais has been in a long-term relationship with producer and author Jane Fallon since 1984. Although they have chosen not to marry or have children, their relationship has remained strong. Gervais is known for his atheism, humanist beliefs, and advocacy for equality and LGBTQ+ rights. He actively supports organizations such as Humanist UK and uses his platform to raise awareness and promote social causes.

Continued Success and Future Projects

With a prolific career spanning music, comedy, acting, writing, and directing, Ricky Gervais has solidified his position as one of the industry's most talented and influential figures. As he continues to captivate audiences with his unique brand of humor, fans eagerly anticipate his upcoming projects, including the release of 'Blazing Samurai' and further explorations of his creative genius.

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