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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 14:05 GMT
Rose d'Or honour for TV's Gervais
Ricky Gervais
Gervais won a host of major awards for his hit comedy The Office
The Office star Ricky Gervais will receive the honorary Rose d'Or Award at this year's annual festival in the Swiss city of Lucerne.

The award recognises an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the global entertainment business.

Festival boss Georges Luks called Gervais, 44, "a comedy phenomenon".

"Ricky Gervais is hugely talented, spectacularly successful and seriously funny. We look forward to seeing him on stage in Lucerne."

Gervais, whose latest show Extras is nominated in the sitcom category, will receive the tribute at a gala ceremony on 29 April.

Previous recipients of the award include comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders and John De Mol, founder of Endemol.

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant on the set of Extras
Gervais co-created Extras and The Office with Stephen Merchant (l)

Extras goes head-to-head with the US remake of Gervais' global hit The Office at the festival, which runs from 25-30 April in Switzerland.

In its original format The Office gained Gervais a huge international following for his role as David Brent.

Other British comedy shows which have gained nominations at the 46th Rose d'Or festival include The Catherine Tate Show, The Thick of It and Channel 4's The IT Crowd.

A series of awards for individual performers will also be presented, including best comedian, best sitcom actor and actress and best gameshow host.

Last year's big British winner was Little Britain, which won the awards for best comedy and best male comedy performance for its stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams.

Strictly Come Dancing and sitcom Nighty Night were also successful, along with Zoe Wanamaker, best female comedy performer for her role in My Family.

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