Ricky Gervais returns to Channel 4 to make “secret” comedy show

Gervais's producer confirms project but refuses to be drawn on subject matter

Ricky Gervais is going back to his Channel 4 roots to make and star in a new show for the broadcaster.

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Producer Charlie Hanson – who worked on Extras, Gervais’s new BBC2 sitcom Life’s Too Short and feature film Cemetery Junction – told the Cofilmic comedy film conference that a new project was afoot, but refused to reveal the subject matter.

“It may well change yet,” said Hanson, “[but] Ricky will be in it and be one of the main people, with a couple of others.”

Back in July, it was revealed that Gervais was working with Dexter producer Clyde Phillips on a pilot for a comedy called Afterlife, about an atheist who dies and goes to heaven.

He said on his blog at the time “We finally started working on an idea this year and we really hit it off. I am so excited about this project.”

But when asked if the Channel 4 show was the “atheist sitcom” in question, Hanson said it was not.

Gervais has worked with the BBC on The Office, Extras and now Life’s Too Short but his appearances on Channel 4’s 11 o’Clock Show were a springboard to success. 

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Hanson said the decision to return to Channel 4 was based on the fact that BBC2 would not want to run another Gervais project at the same time as Life’s Too Short, suggesting the secret show is not far from completion.