The Ricky Gervais Show. Image shows from L to R: Stephen Merchant, Ricky Gervais. Image credit: Media Rights Capital.

The Ricky Gervais Show

An animated version of the comedy podcasts recorded by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington

Chat Show
2010 - 2012  (E4 / Channel 4)
39 (3 series)
Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Karl Pilkington
Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Karl Pilkington
Media Rights Capital
& Wildbrain

From the creators of The Office and Extras, this animated series using the original recordings of The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts comes to Channel 4.

Gervais's much loved podcasts have earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most downloads. The Ricky Gervais Show features the same banter between the comedian and his sidekicks Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, with animation accompanying the original recordings of the trio.

Storylines include the merits of 20th-century inventions; Karl's suggestion for population control; how philosophy has evolved through the ages; as what thoughts Karl has in his round head about charity.

Our Review: The original podcast series, made for The Guardian in 2005, was so popular that it made the Guinness Book of Records for "Most Downloaded Podcast".

The real star of the show is Karl Pilkington, whose appearances in the podcasts brought him cult fame, although whether we should be laughing at someone who appears to be a bit 'dim' is a matter for discussion (or is it an act?).

This animated version of the podcasts is actually an American creation. The show was first broadcast on HBO in February 2010, and the reaction to the first broadcasts was not great. Some critics complained that it is lazy for HBO to take an audio series and simply animate it, rather than create something fresh and original. Other critics were just annoyed by the sound of Gervais's laughing. However, viewing figures remained positive on both sides of the Atlantic, and the show has since run for two further series.

It now looks to be at an end though. Writing on his blog in June 2012, Gervais said: "So I don't think I'm going to do a fourth series of The Ricky Gervais Show. 39 episodes is more than I've ever done for any other project (Yes. I know that's pathetic but trust me) and I don't want to push my luck. I think the show has steadily grown in both quality and popularity and I'd love to go out on a high so to speak. My worry is that as we've used up all the best material we'd have to record hours and hours of new stuff and it might ruin the naivety of the whole thing. Never say never though, like The Office. But certainly for now."