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Last Updated: Monday, 9 February, 2004, 11:42 GMT
Gervais added to Bafta longlist
Ricky Gervais
Gervais said his work was more important than accolades
Ricky Gervais has been added to the TV Bafta longlist for best comedy performer after the BBC had earlier failed to put his name forward.

Gervais, whose show The Office won two Golden Globes in the US, will now join 16 others in the running for the award. His name had been left off because of what the BBC called a "clerical error".

Gervais heard the news from BBC News Online on Monday, saying: "That's good - it's better to be on than off." The BBC said it was "delighted".

The BBC said it thanked Bafta for understanding it was a genuine mistake. Gervais will now compete for his third TV Bafta in succession.

Ricky Gervais
Gervais triumphed at the Golden Globes
He added: "It's very nice, it's very flattering, but I wasn't going to cause a fuss.

"I'm not in it for (prizes). I go along to these awards because it's a slap in the face if you don't. The work is so much more important than accolades."

Gervais had earlier made light of the BBC's mistake, calling it "a level of incompetence worthy of Wernham Hogg" in reference to his fictional Slough paper company.

The issue even made it to the House of Commons, with a Liberal Democrat MP tabling a motion asking for Bafta to overlook the error.

Gervais was named best comedy performer at the Bafta TV Awards in 2002 and 2003 for his performance as office manager David Brent.

The sitcom's Office's Martin Freeman and Mackenzie Crook are also in competition this year.

The final shortlist of four will be revealed next month, and the winner will be announced at the Bafta ceremony on 18 April.

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