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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2006, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Gervais claims new podcast record
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
Stephen Merchant (l) and Ricky Gervais star in the podcasts
Comedian Ricky Gervais claims to have beaten his own record for the most downloaded podcast ever.

His free weekly podcast landed a place in this year's Guinness Book of World Records with an average of 261,670 downloads per episode.

But that figure rose to 541,329 by the time the first series of The Ricky Gervais Show ended in February.

Gervais starred on the podcast along with The Office co-writer Stephen Merchant and producer Karl Pilkington.

'Little bald Manc'

The show largely consists of Gervais and Merchant teasing Pilkington for his idiotic ideas, including his regular Monkey News bulletin of news stories about apes.

At the start of the second series on 28 February, charges were introduced for the download, at 3.75 for the first six episodes or 95p per instalment.

No separate figures have been made available for the number of listeners who continued to subscribe once the charge was introduced.

Gervais, said: "I'm in the middle of filming Extras with some of the biggest stars on the planet; however none of them can compete with the little bald Manc [Pilkington] who I produce the podcast with."

A new series of The Ricky Gervais Show will be made available to buy on iTunes and Audible services in August.

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