Ricky Gervais: online viewing is “the future”

The comedian responds to the success of his YouTube channel in which he revives his Office character David Brent

Ricky Gervais has told RadioTimes.com that online viewing is the “future” after his YouTube channel notched up 17 million views and 200,000 subscribers in less than two months.


Gervais, who launched YouTube.com/rickygervais on March 16, said: “The internet has already been a game changer with things like iPlayer and 4OD being a significant part of programming.

“TV habits are nothing like they were even a few years ago and things like Netflix and YouTube are the future. I’m having fun and experimenting with original content. It’s a great way to get feedback directly from the viewer and part of the fun is not knowing where this could lead to.”

The site has already played host to the long-awaited return of David Brent, Gervais’ monstrous boss character from the hit BBC series The Office, in two short films in which he purports to teach guitar.

In Learn Guitar with David Brent, the teacher role is a sideline for a man who is in fact a salesman “repping” cleaning and toilet products door to door.

“I am up and down the country every day. Meetings, selling products, not just cleaning products, toilet needs, sanitary towel dispensers, urinal lozenges. Everything really,” he discloses.

The first episode of Learn Guitar with David Brent has had more than 1m views since it launched two weeks ago and the second episode has been viewed more than 100,000 times in less than two days.


In addition his Comic Relief sketch Equality Street has had over 3.5m views and been downloaded on iTunes more than 500,000 times.