Ricky Dene Gervais (; born 25 June 1961) is an English stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, and singer.
Gervais worked initially in the music industry, attempting a career as a pop star in the 1980s as the singer of the new wave act Seona Dancing and working as the manager of the then-unknown band Suede before turning to comedy. Gervais appeared on The 11 O'Clock Show on Channel 4 between 1998 and 2000. In 2000, he was given a Channel 4 talk show, Meet Ricky Gervais, and then achieved greater mainstream fame a year later with his BBC television series The Office. It was followed by Extras in 2005. He co-wrote and co-directed both series with Stephen Merchant. In addition to writing and directing the shows, he played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras. He reprised his role as Brent in the comedy film Life on the Road.
Gervais began his stand-up career in the late 1990s. He has performed five multi-national stand-up comedy tours and wrote the Flanimals book series. Gervais, Merchant and Karl Pilkington created the podcast, The Ricky Gervais Show, which has spawned various spin-offs starring Pilkington and produced by Gervais and Merchant.
He has also starred in the Hollywood films Ghost Town, and Muppets Most Wanted, and wrote, directed and starred in The Invention of Lying and the Netflix released Special Correspondents. He hosted the Golden Globe Awards in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016, and appears on the game show Child Support.
Gervais has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and the 2006 Rose d'Or, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. In a 2004 poll for the BBC, he was named the third most influential person in British culture. In 2007, he was voted the 11th greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and again in the updated 2010 list as the 3rd greatest stand-up comic. In 2010, he was named on the Time 100 list of the world's most influential people.