Ricky Gervais plans a lazy life of luxury after 'The Office' scoops two Golden Globe awards

Ricky Gervais, star of the hit BBC series The Office, said yesterday that he is planning a new life as an international celebrity after the British comedy show won two Golden Globe awards in Hollywood.

Gervais, who wrote the series and starred in it, said he planned to be "a little bit more arrogant and lazy, possibly send people out for pizzas that I probably wouldn't have had before. And just do voice-over work."

Gervais beat off competition from the Friends star Matt LeBlanc to pick up the award for best comedy actor.

The success of The Office, which won the award for best TV comedy, surprised many in the audience. It was the first time a British comedy has triumphed at the ceremony.

Gervais told the audience: "I'm not from these parts, I'm from a little place called England. We used to run the world before you."

Afterwards, he added: "It's absolutely fantastic - a highlight of my career.

"Here I am, this fat bloke from Reading sharing a room with Jack Nicholson, Bill Murray and Michael Douglas. It's fantastic."

He said that the new-found transatlantic fame would certainly change his life: "I don't want any more work. I'm going to live off this for about 10 years then do some bad stuff when I really need the money."

The show has not yet grown beyond a cult following in the United States, where it is shown on the BBC America channel, which is popular among opinion formers and expats but does not register in the mainstream. A typical broadcast of The Office US picks up an audience of 400,000.

But, next month, a pilot episode of a US remake, using American actors, is to be filmed. If successful, the series is likely to bring in millions of viewers - but there are fears that the show will lose its subtlety when it is moved 3,000 miles from the offices of the Wernham Hogg paper merchants in Slough.

Gervais, 42, is the son of a French-Canadian building labourer. He was born in Reading and studied philosophy at university, after switching from biology, which involved too much work.

Initially, he aimed to get into the music business. He started a band, Seona Dancing, which released two singles, one of which reached number 70. He went on to manage the rock group Suede, before being made head of speech at the London radio station Xfm, for whom he and co-writer Stephen Merchant still present a show.

The Broadcasting Standards Commission reprimanded Gervais after he launched into a long etymological debate on the meaning of the word "cock" on his Xfm show. The discussion was deemed "coarse sexual innuendo" unsuitable for broadcast.

A regular slot as a bigoted pub bore on The 11 o'Clock Show, the Channel 4 stand-up comedy programme that gave birth to Ali G, led to a little-noticed spin-off chat show, Meet Ricky Gervais.

It was then that he and Merchant sat down to create David Brent, the car crash of an office manager that made his fortune.

Also honoured at the Golden Globe awards was the final part of the epic fantasyThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won four awards, including best film drama.

Sofia Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, saw her tale of disenchanted and disoriented Americans in Japan, Lost In Translation, win best film comedy. She also was named best screenwriter, and Bill Murray was named best actor in a comedy.

Cold Mountain, which carries the hopes of Miramax Films for the forthcoming Oscars and which walked off with a host of Baftas last week, won only one of the eight awards it was nominated for, when Renée Zellweger was named best supporting actress.

THE WINNERS

MOTION PICTURES:

Picture, Drama: 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'

Actress, Drama: Charlize Theron, 'Monster'

Actor, Drama: Sean Penn, 'Mystic River'

Picture, Musical or Comedy: 'Lost in Translation'

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Diane Keaton, 'Something's Gotta Give'

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Bill Murray, 'Lost In Translation'

Foreign Language: 'Osama', Afghanistan

Supporting Actress: Renée Zellweger, 'Cold Mountain'

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Tim Robbins, 'Mystic River"

Director: Peter Jackson, 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'

SCREENPLAY: Sofia Coppola, 'Lost In Translation'

ORIGINAL SCORE: Howard Shore, 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'

ORIGINAL SONG: 'Into the West' from 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King', by Howard Shore, Fran Walsh and Annie Lennox

TELEVISION:

Drama Series: '24'

Actress, Drama: Frances Conroy, 'Six Feet Under'

Actor, Drama: Anthony LaPaglia, 'Without Trace'

Musical or Comedy Series: 'The Office'

Actress, Musical or Comedy Series: Sarah Jessica Parker, 'Sex And The City', above

Actor, Musical or Comedy Series: Ricky Gervais, 'The Office'

Mini-series or Movie Made for Television: 'Angels in America'

Actress, Mini-series or Movie Made for TV: Meryl Streep, 'Angels in America'

Actor, Mini-series or Movie Made for TV: Al Pacino, 'Angels in America'

Supporting Actress, Series, Mini-series or Movie Made for TV: Mary-Louise Parker, 'Angels in America'

Supporting Actor, Series, Mini-series or Movie Made for TV: Jeffrey Wright, 'Angels in America'

Cecil B. DeMille Award: Michael Douglas

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