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From Life's Too Short to Derek

After the disappointing response to the lacklustre comedy series Life’s Too Short, Ricky Gervais has made a comedy pilot for Channel 4 in which he plays a care worker in a nursing home. Gervais plays Derek (which is also the name for the pilot). Derek is described as a spoof documentary, in the style of Extras and The Office.

The pilot for Derek was filmed last month in London. It is based on a sketch idea from Gervais from a decade ago about a man with learning difficulties, who lived with his grandmother and aspired to be a stand-up comedian. Once again, Ricky Gervais seems to be covering controversial themes in his comedy.

The Channel 4 project also stars Karl Pilkington, of An Idiot Abroad and the podcasts featuring Gervais and Stephen Merchant, in his first acting role.


Gervais said on his blog:

“It’s an ensemble piece which includes Karl in his first real acting role. He’s nervous but he shouldn’t be. He’s great and I’m only bringing out what’s already there, if you know what I mean.”

A Channel 4 spokesman said that a pilot had been commissioned but no decision had been made on whether it would be broadcast or turned into a full series.


Ricky Gervais also revealed on Twitter that he is working on a second series of Life’s Too Short. The BBC2 comedy series followed the life of showbiz dwarf Warwick Davies. However, it lost half of its audience during the course of a seven part run. The series started with an audience of 2.5 million but finished with an audience of 1.2 million.

A BBC spokesman said discussions have taken place about a second series of Life’s Too Short but no decision had yet been taken on a recommission.

The last episode of the series can be seen here

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