Ricky Gervais says After Life has been used by therapists to help their clients

28 September 2021, 14:14 | Updated: 28 September 2021, 14:16

Ricky Gervais and Penelope Wilton in After Life
Ricky Gervais and Penelope Wilton in After Life. Picture: Netflix

Gervais, the creator of the hit Netflix show, has revealed some therapists have reached out to him begging him not to kill off Tony.

Ricky Gervais' has revealed his dark comedy After Life has been used by therapists to help their clients.

The creator, writer, director and the star of the Netflix series has spoken about being reached out to by health care professionals, who he says have begged him not to kill off the main character Tony.

Speaking at Q&A event After Life: From Script To Screen at London’s Picturehouse Central, he said "I had therapists coming up to me and saying, 'I teach it to some of my people, please don’t let him die,' because it meant something".

He added: "Now I have this responsibility."

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The show tells the story of newspaper reporter Tony (Gervais), who is grieving the death of his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman), but the comedian revealed he was never concerned people wouldn't laugh at at the series because it deals with such a "real" subject head-on.

"Even though it is frivolous and funny, I needed to have the realism," he explained. People say it’s heavy or it’s difficult. It’s not, it is real. People aren’t used to seeing real.

"I was worried when I first did it. I thought, ‘How will people laugh?’ And they do, because it happens all the time.

"Every day you think of something bad or something good. People just don’t see it on telly."

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Ricky Gervais and Kerry Godliman star in Netflix's After Life season 2
Ricky Gervais and Kerry Godliman star in Netflix's After Life season 2. Picture: Netflix

Last year saw Gervais reveal that he would be writing a third season for After Life, but also vow that it would be its last.

Taking to his account on Twitter back in May 2020 he wrote: "Because so many of you watched #AfterLife2 so quickly and made it Number 1 again, the nice people at @Netflix have suggested that I get off my fat arse and do another season. This is all your fault."

Gervais also said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: "I was planning to retire soon and just wander around the house drunk until I die, but I’ve grown a bit tired of doing that during the lockdown, and also Netflix made me an offer I couldn’t refuse".

It marks the first time that Gervais plans to break from his "two seasons and a special tradition", which he did with his hit shows The Office, Extras and Derek.

However, fans shouldn't get too excited, as Gervais vowed that the third season would be the last, joking that he'd have to "take Tambury out with a meteor" to be sure it wouldn't come back.

Gervais also told Radio X what he'd been up to during lockdown and why you'll never hear him complain about social distancing rules.

Known for criticising celebrities during his past Golden Globe monologues, Gervais has recently blasted stars who complained about having to isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to to Radio X's Danny Wallace on The Important Broadcast, he said: "You’ll never hear me complain. Not when there’s nurses doing 40-hour shifts."

Briefly mocking Gal Gadot's viral video which saw her and a selection of A-List celebrities cover John Lennon's Imagine, he quipped: "I’d like to sing Imagine to you just to show you that I’m just like you."

Asked what he's been doing to pass the time, he said: "The only thing that really was affected in my working life was the fact that gigs were postponed... which is fine. We’ll do those later when people can enjoy it. It’s not the worst thing in the world to have a gig postponed..."

Watch his full interview on Radio X below:

Ricky Gervais chats to Danny Wallace

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