“The Ricky Gervais Show” Returns
Hit animated Comedy “The Ricky Gervais Show” returns to UK screens this week for season 2. Staring Ricky Gervais (The Office) Stephen Merchant (The Office) Karl Pilkington (An Idiot Abroad).
Karl Pilkington the Star
Karl Pilkington has emerged as the star of the show taking the limelight away from mega famous Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Season 1 was loved throughout the UK and season 2 should prove a similar hit.
AOL TV caught up with Ricky, Steve and Karl to find out more on the new series, their working relationship, Karl’s peculiar ways and why Gervais is still laughing…
Are you complacent now that this new series is coming out because you know we all loved it last time?
Ricky: No, not complacent at all because we’re proud of this. We were worried because we didn’t want to try and add to the comedy and fail or move away from it. Now we’ve sort of hit the ground running – directorially it’s much better than before. They pushed the boundaries a little bit. In the first episode they’ve made it look like the film Karl’s talking about which was great, so no we’re very excited about this.
Karl: When we recorded all this the cartoon wasn’t even an idea. I’m talking about stuff like my Auntie Nora having wind for five minutes and I thought “She’s not going to hear this, she doesn’t have a computer”, and then suddenly there it is on the telly. So I’m always thinking “what have we talked about?”
Ricky: He was terrified. He gets few phone calls every now and again.
Had you known it was going to be animated would you have got Clive Owen’s name right?
Karl: There were some things I wouldn’t have talked about.
Ricky: We were excited and we wanted it to work, unlike every other thing me and Stephen have worked on, we don’t see this as two series and a special, this can run and run. It’s nice as well because like The Office it’s already going a bit global, which is very exciting, it’s not about how big it gets or how much money it makes. It’s just sort of nice to see things like that pop up around the world. That is still a buzz and you see these things.
Karl: I can’t get excited about the money yet. I never see it.
Ricky: I’ll explain, we own this product so it all goes into the pot.
Karl: He keeps talking about this pot, it’s like something from Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I can never quite get to it. I never see it and he won’t tell me how much is in the pot. I don’t want it now, I just want to know so I can plan my future or whatever.
Ricky: He said “can I take a photo of the pot”. OK let’s not talk about money, that is vulgar.
We’ve just recorded a podcast for Comic Relief that involves Karl’s idea for an even bigger star in a film and he thinks he can get this one made. To be honest it’s not dissimilar to this plot. It’s like this is your only area of interest.
This all started when Ricky said we want everyone calling you a bald headed Manc. How many people now come up to you and say that Karl?
Karl: Umm they don’t come up they sort of yell it. It’s normally blokes in vans and stuff.
Ricky: But they love you now blokes in vans, we’ve got a completely different demographic now since An Idiot Abroad. Now there there’s the homeless. “Alright Ricky, where’s the idiot?” they say. There was this time when there was a load of paparazzi shouting and taking pictures and then suddenly one went “is that the idiot?”. I said “that’s my best day ever, that’s my dream come true.”
Stephen: I had a text message from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, he’s a huge fan of the animated show and said he’s been watching it he said “you and Ricky and the bald bloke are hilarious.”
Ricky: I was in Rodeo Drive, we were looking around shopping for a watch and this guy said “oh Mr Gervais can I show you a watch there’s only 10 of in the world?” I said “yeah whatever” so he put it on my wrist and said that’s $250,000. I said “take it off my wrist carefully”. He told me Elton John had bought it last week. I went outside and this bus stopped one of those tour buses and the bus driver wound down his window and said “Karl Pilkington’s got a head like a f**king orange.” That is honestly a dream come true.
We’ve seen you three together quite a lot and it conjures up images of a bromance, would you ever introduce a woman in to your group?
Ricky: The thing is it would be cynical, this is a very organic dynamic. It’s not that we’re trying to do a format to tone down the ladishness, this happened just because we are three mates. To be honest this happened just so I could get in a room with Karl Pilkington, I can’t get enough of him. This is my best day. I try to persuade him to do stuff. Steve’s going “we should write another office”, but Karl’s sitting there saying “I like grouting.” I love having to do this now I used to hate it but now this is my gift to the world, so no I don’t think we should change a thing.
Karl at the first launch you seemed quite nervous and didn’t want to be there at all, has TV got any easier?
Karl: This is easy to tell you the truth because the work’s done already and someone draws it.
Ricky: You say that, I’m doing this every day. I show you the finished product and you say “yeah that’s good that”. I feared the press when I first started The Office but its like spiders – they’re more scared of you than you are of them. Some of them hide under the sink.
Karl: You do get a bit more used to it. But it’s more like when your mum and dad read something and because they believe everything.
Have you ever watched one of your shows with your parents?
Ricky: Firstly, the family are proud of you but then they get mildly disappointed saying “I see you didn’t win the Oscar”. Karl’s mum phoned him up the other day and said “they did a list of all the most famous people to come from Manchester you weren’t in it.”
Would you ever go on something like I’m A Celebrity to overcome your fear of spiders Karl?
Karl: I’m not a fan, but I don’t think anyone is.
Ricky: Your mum is. Tell her that story.
Karl: She loves insects all of those things.
Ricky: His mum had a spider and it lived under the telly and his dad threatened to kill it and she said “no it’s been there for so long it’s a pet now” so what she did, because she was scared she’d accidentally vac it up, she marked it with a little bit of Tipp-Ex so they’ve got a little spider that’s got a little bit of war paint so they know which spider not to kill.
Karl: I was offered to go in the jungle but no it’s not for me that sort of thing. It’s not the spiders, it’s being stuck with, not mentioning anyone, but whoever is there would do my head in. I’d always have this thing where Ricky would wind me up I’d turn up and he’d be there. To be stuck in a small space with him would be a nightmare.
Ricky: I love that I’m the worst possible scenario. I’ve always thought that If I did it (and I never will, I don’t know what would have to happen for me to do that) then my luxury item would be ear plugs. But he doesn’t wear earplugs because he doesn’t like hearing his heart beat.
Karl you swore you wouldn’t do a second series of an Idiot Abroad but you are. What changed your mind?
Karl: It’s a list of things to do before you die, I picked the ones I wanted to do, it was a big list. So I just thought it would be good. The wonders of the world I’m not that interested in anyway, so the end of the last trip I wasn’t looking forward to.
When I watched the last series back I moaned a lot so I should enjoy this one more. I hate surprises. It’s not just that, I’ve also got to pay bills like I say there’s nothing else going on. The pot’s there but I don’t know when I’m going to get there – I need money now
Ricky: Think of it as a trust fund. When you’re as old as you look you’re going to have billions.
The next Ricky Gervais Show can be seen on Thursday March 17 on Channel 4
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