Ricky Gervais: 'I might attend the Golden Globes as Derek and hug everyone'

The comedian has been nominated for Best Actor in 'Derek'

Lizzie Dearden
Saturday 03 January 2015 13:57
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Ricky Gervais in Channel 4 show Derek
Ricky Gervais in Channel 4 show Derek

Ricky Gervais may be turning up to the 2015 Golden Globes dressed as “Derek”, the cardigan-loving title character of his latest television show.

The comedian has been nominated for the Best Actor award for his role in the mockumentary-style series, which first aired in 2012.

“Maybe I’ll attend as [Derek],” he wrote on the Golden Globes website. “Just hugging everyone on the red carpet. It’s a plan.”

The series has generated controversy over the characterisation of Derek Noakes, with critics accusing Gervais of mocking people with learning difficulties.

Ricky Gervais as downtrodden care-home worker Derek Noakes in comedy-drama Derek

“I've never thought of him as disabled,” he told The Independent’s Gerard Gilbert. “When I portray a disabled person I get a disabled person to play them – the woman who was wheelchair-bound in The Office, the guy in Extras with Down's syndrome was a Down's syndrome actor.”

That explanation was not enough for some detractors but despite the controversy, Derek continued for two series ending with the recent Christmas special.

Gervais said he was “over the moon” about the Golden Globes nod for Derek, which follows accolades for Extras and The Office.

"My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke": Ricky Gervais at 2011's Golden Globe Awards

“I've won three Golden Globes so far but this nomination for Derek is probably the one I’m most proud of,” he wrote. “I think it’s that deep down I think that ‘Derek’ is nominated as opposed to me.”

The Office creator said he was considering hosting the awards again in the future after a three-year run that managed to offend most of Hollywood.

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“Looking at all the wonderful faces here today reminds me of the great work that’s been done this year… by cosmetic surgeons,” he said, opening the awards in 2010.

Robert Downey Jr called his 2011 stint “hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones” after Gervais took aim at the Iron Man actor’s time in rehabilitation centres.

His final year as host saw the offensive remarks considerably toned down, apart from a joke about “Jodie Foster’s Beaver”, which some saw as a homophobic gag directed at the lesbian actress.

Gervais was optimistic about the experience in the blog, saying “I guess it went okay as they asked me to host it two more times”.

“It’s been three years since I last hosted and I’m starting to think I might even like to do it again one day,” he added. “But for now it will be nice to sit in the audience getting drunk while someone else has to work for the night.”

The 72nd Golden Globes will take place on 11 January.

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