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Ricky Gervais on hair loss, Celebrity Big Brother and Donald Trump

The comedian has a new stand-up show available on Netflix – but says there will always be a place for linear TV

Published: Friday, 16th March 2018 at 2:18 pm

What’s the view from your sofa? Can you see the screen through all your awards?

Obviously they’re a nuisance but a bigger problem is the cat. We’ve got a huge L-shaped sofa with Jane [Fallon, his partner] at one end and me at the other. It’s a nightly battle to see who can entice the cat away from the screen and onto their lap. Because then you can’t move, meaning the other one has to get up and make the drinks all night.


No cinema room chez Gervais?

Oh God, no! What an absolute folly that is. That’s what everyone does as soon as they get rich and famous – build a cinema and a subtle bowling alley. Then never set foot in either. No, our place is just your average, liveable house. Only much bigger.

Do you spend more time living in the UK or America?

I’ve got a house in the Upper East Side of New York and one in Hampstead, so I live between the two, but I’m in London more.

Which TV shows do you enjoy?

I virtually only watch box sets. I love a bit of Scandi noir or European crime drama. I’ve just finished a riveting Swedish thriller called Before We Die. Gomorrah was brilliant and now I’m bingeing on Nobel, a compelling Norwegian political thriller.

Any guilty pleasures for a bit of light relief?

We watch Celebrity Big Brother… ironically. I’ve no desire to be in it. I’d do it if I could go in, wind them all up, steal their fags and drinks and then leave before bedtime. That would be so much fun.

With everything that’s gone on in Hollywood, do you wish you’d presented this year’s Golden Globes?

Oh yeah. It’s nice being the most feared man in America for three hours but this year I’d probably still have to be in hiding now. With risky stuff, it’s all too tantalising – I love joking about the elephant in the room. Although the elephant wasn’t there this year, was he?

Why have you put your stand-up show Humanity out on Netflix?

It makes perfect sense for me because Netflix were happy to give me final edit, which other channels just won’t offer, and they’ve got 110 million subscribers. So creatively and commercially, I’ve really fallen on my feet.

Is linear TV dead?

No, there’ll always be a place for it. It’s like when people thought the internet would kill record companies. It didn’t, because they just got into bed with iTunes. So linear TV will still be embraced.

In your show, you mention the threat of hair loss. Would you shave it off or have a transplant?

You can shoot me if I ever have a hair transplant. I’d rather shave it off than go through that phase where men desperately hold on to their last tragic bit of fluff and end up looking like a baby owl.

Speaking of men with laughable hair…

I usually play this faux-arrogant, out-of-touch right-winger who says terrible things for comic effect. Now I think, “Hang on, there’s an actual person who’s in charge already doing that!” But I think this period is just a blip and, like scar tissue, society will heal.


Ricky Gervais: Humanity is now available on Netflix


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