Ricky Gervais is a prime example of perseverance, but chances are even Ricky Gervais himself would not have any idea of the kind of career that would follow. He was born in 1961 in Berkshire, England, the youngest of four siblings. Unlike many of his contemporaries in entertainment, Ricky studied biology and philosophy at the University College of London. It was while an undergraduate that Ricky launched a band Seona Dancing and managed to get signed by London Records. Despite their single “More to Lose” gaining a great following in the Philippines, Ricky folded the band in 1984.
It was music and radio that was the chief focus of Ricky’s young career. In addition to managing the band Suede, Ricky found steady employment at Xfm London, the city’s alternative music station, where his duties including serving as music adviser and occasional contributor to comedy skits for the station’s various programs. It was the sketch comedy show “The 11 O’Clock News” that garnered Ricky attention – primarily for his character, a reporter called Ricky Gervais. The show ran for two seasons from 1998 – 2000.
At around this time, Ricky started developing a comedy series idea designed to parody the reality bubble dominating television across the globe. The 2001 debut of “The Office” drew little notice, but by the next season and through 2004 it was hailed as the best show in the U.K. In addition to being the brains behind “The Office,” Ricky continued his work on radio with “The Ricky Gervais Show.” Also in the early 2000s, Ricky went on comedy tours, wrote a children’s book, and assumed the role of executive producer on the American version of “The Office” debuting on NBC in 2005.
Ricky was not content to let “The Office” be his only baby. In 2005, he launched “Extras,” another comedy series with himself as Andy Millman, a struggling British actor. It brought Ricky another Emmy and BAFTA. By the end of the show’s two-year run, Ricky was moving onto the big screen – “For Your Consideration,” “Valiant,” “A Night at the Museum,” “Stardust,” and the lead role in “Ghost Town.” This turn into feature film acting could prove a new avenue for Ricky into the next decade, and with his track record, it might be another gold mine.
Ricky on the Web
Ricky’s ultimate web resource.
TV Guide: Ricky Gervais
Photos, bio, news and video clips of Ricky.
Full bio, trivia and links to new films.
Extremely detailed biography covers every aspect of Ricky’s public life.
“The website of Ricky Gervais…obviously.”
Quick Stop Entertainment Interview
2007 lengthy sitdown with Ricky.
Ricky on Video
“Daily Show” Visit
Ricky chats with Jon in December 2006.
TV Guide Interview
2008 Screen Actors Guild awards red carpet interview.
Ricky on Letterman
Ricky visits “The Late Show” in September 2008.
Seona Dancing Clip
Excerpt from a music video for Ricky’s 1980s band Seona Dancing.
Ricky on the Screen
He’s David Brent in the original “The Office,” Daniel Ryan on the “Façade” episode of “Alias” in 2004, a special guest star on “The Simpsons,” British producer Martin Gibb in “For Your Consideration,” Dr. McPhee in “Night at the Museum,” Ferdy the Fence in “Stardust,” and Andy Millman on “Extras.”
Ricky will follow up his directorial debut, "The Invention of Lying," with the 1970s comedy "Cemetary Junction," alongside longtime writing partner Stephen Merchant. His children's book, "Flanimals," is also being adapted into an animated family film.
On his homeland:
“I’m from a little place called England…we used to run the world before you.”
“Why buy a book when you can join a library?”
On his appearance:
“People see me in the suit and they know I’m not fooling anyone, they know I’m rock and roll through and through.”