Comedian and distinguished supporter of the British Humanist Association
Ricky Gervais is best known for his television comedies The Office and Extras, and for stand-up comedy, but he has also been a musician and worked in radio.
He is a philosophy graduate (London University), and after graduation worked at the University as entertainment manager for the Students Union, where he began developing the character of “Seedy Boss”, later to become David Brent in The Office.
His comedy is often controversial, and he has managed to offend a wide range of people, including celebrities and film stars in his hosting of the Golden Globe Awards, the disabled, and religious believers – but he has also managed to coax self-deprecating and very funny performances from stars who can take a joke against themselves such as Kate Winslet (in Extras) and Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter (in Small People).
He told Kirsty Young that he is an atheist during his 2007 interview for BBC Radio 4′s Desert Island Discs (you can listen to his interview here), and later said that he had lost his faith at the age of eight. He has also said that he and his long-term partner chose not to marry because “there’s no point in us having an actual ceremony before the eyes of God because there is no God”, and has defended his atheism in the Wall Street Journal.
Ricky Gervais is also an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and has appeared in the Rationalist Association’s Christmas show Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People.