Ricky Gervais writes tribute to David Bowie: "I never forgot he was my hero"

14 January 2016, 14:36 | Updated: 14 January 2016, 14:43

David Bowie and Ricky Gervais

The comedian has written a heartfelt eulogy for his friend.

Ricky Gervais has written a moving tribute to David Bowie, who he calls his "friend" and "hero".

The comedian - who enlisted Bowie in Extras - posted a eulogy in the Hollywood Reporter, which praised the stars "dignified ending".

Read the full post below: 

"After the show (Golden Globes) I saw the tweets and was trying to find out if it were a hoax — and it wasn't. Our relationship was bizarre and surreal, and I felt so privileged to know him. I never forgot he was my hero, even when he became my friend. I somehow divorced the two concepts in my head. When I talked to people, I talked about this rock star who changed my whole outlook. He put my life in color. He made me believe: You can do anything; you're a working-class kid in Reading; creativity is freedom. Ability is a poor man's wealth. I loved everything he did. He never let me down, even at the end. I've never seen a more dignified ending.

I was looking at an email he sent me a few weeks ago. It was as funny and fresh and smart as any in the last 10 years I knew him. That's integrity. That's fucking privacy. All this about being one of the most worshipped artists in the world — he never fell for it. I remember the first time I went to see him, I didn't know what to say. 'You're here for Mr. Jones?' I smiled — of course I was. Right then, David Bowie didn't exist. His apartment was as amazing as you'd imagine. There was a 3D Picasso-esque sculpture in the middle — beautiful. He said, 'My daughter likes to hit that with a hammer'.

I wrote the Extras scene about meeting your hero and him not being what you thought. I wrote the lyrics and called him and he said, 'Sorry, I was eating a banana.' I thought that was funny. I asked if he could do something retro, something like Life on Mars? He said [sarcastically], 'Sure, I'll just knock off a quick little Life on Mars? for you.' We laughed. And then he came and did the show and gave us exactly what Bowie was.

Later he was doing a benefit in New York for The High Line [park] and wanted me to do the show in Madison Square Garden. I said yes, 'but only if you introduce me.' So he came out in a tuxedo, the crowd goes completely crazy, and then, a cappella, he started in with, 'Chubby little loser … Please welcome Ricky Gervais.' So that's two highlights of my career with the same man."

Watch Bowie being interviewed about Extras below: