The Spectator

Ricky Gervais hasn’t lost it

Ricky Gervais hasn't lost it
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I rarely allow myself to be “Outraged of Westminster”, but this scandalous post by Jim Shelley, the Mirror’s TV critic, has forced me to make an exception. Ricky Gervais has not “lost it” or become a “tiresome embarrassment”. Indeed, the miracle of the man is that he has managed to escape the role of David Brent – one of the greatest comic characters of all time – to produce another excellent series (Extras), establish himself as a top-rank stand-up, produce the best podcasts I have ever heard, and write a series of splendid children’s books (the Flanimals). Having been at Live Earth on Saturday, I do not remotely recognise Shelley’s description of Gervais’s performance – nor did he “die on his feet” at the Diana Concert where, forced by technical trouble to improvise for much longer than he expected, he kept the stadium in stitches with – yes – the Brent dance. He is without question the most talented British comedian since Peter Cook and John Cleese and deserves better than this sort of nonsense.