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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 April, 2003, 20:43 GMT 21:43 UK
Ricky Gervais: Office worker
Ricky Gervais
Gervais made his name as David Brent
For award-winning comedian Ricky Gervais, success has come somewhat late in life.

But now he has found it, he is making sure he enjoys every last moment.

Gervais has made history in becoming the first British actor to win a comedy prize at the US Golden Globe awards.

A self-confessed sloth and late-starter, having flitted from job to job, he only found his niche in comedy at the age of 36.

His original fantasy was to be a musician.

He played in an 1980s band called Seona Dancing and then managed the band Suede, but left before they hit the big time.

After trying, and giving-up, stand-up, Gervais was hired to be "head of speech" on independent radio station XFM - a mainly music-based station.

The job led to a presenting role and he still does a Saturday show.

Ricky Gervais
The Office has won Bafta success

"I'm not very good at music and find stand-up just too hard," Gervais has said.

"But comedy, I find easy, and everyone knows I would rather get money for old rope than hard rock."

His TV breakthrough was on the 11 O'Clock Show, playing an ignorant and bigoted reporter.

After a short-lived chat show, Meet Ricky Gervais, the actor teamed up with Stephen Merchant to write The Office.

"It's a comedy of recognition and observation and everyone can see something in it," he has said.

Certainly, the essential truth of what happens in the programme makes many people squirm as much as they laugh.

Set in a fictional paper merchants in Slough, the sitcom highlights incompetent manager David Brent, played by Gervais and the almost-fantasy world he lives in.

He was born in Reading, a few short miles from Slough, in a working class home.

Ricky Gervais
Gervais fought in a celebrity boxing match
He studied biology at the University College of London, switching to philosophy because, it is reported, he thought it would be less work.

His success with The Office has brought him widespread plaudits, including double, double Bafta awards.

In 2002 and 2003 Gervais won best comedy performance and best sitcom, for The Office.

He has made his name with sitcom and apart from a celebrity boxing match there is little indication of what he will do next.

He is currently working on a US version of The Office - although given his Globe success he may feel it is not worth the effort.

His antics as the Slough paper merchant have clearly struck a chord with American audiences.

As to whether he can repeat the success elsewhere, he himself is unsure.

But as he has said himself: "It's better to do only one good thing in life than 18 average ones.

"So many people end up regretting their lives but at the end of day you realise so little actually matters."


In pictures
The winners and losers at the Golden Globe awards








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