The Ricky Gervais Show

11:30pm – Sunday, January 1 on TV 3

This week sees comedy genius, Ricky Gervais getting animated for 3’s brand new series, The Ricky Gervais Show, premiering on Sunday, January 1 st at 11:30pm on 3.

The Ricky Gervais Show features Gervais and his long-time collaborator Stephen Merchant (The Office, Extras), and revolves around the world of their unusual friend, Karl Pilkington (An Idiot Abroad).

Originally starting out as a radio program in the U.K. in 2005, Gervais and Merchant decided to turn the show into a podcast, bringing Pilkington, a radio producer they had met years earlier, along. Soon the podcasts began to focus particularly on the eccentric mind of Pilkington.

“They find him to be the funniest person in the world,” The Ricky Gervais Show producer Modi Wiczyk explains. “Ricky says Karl is like crack to him.”

According to Gervais and Merchant, “Karl is a man who believes that a sea lion is a cross between a fish and a dog. Hopefully, Karl will enter the pantheon of animated greats.”

The podcast became wildly popular, gaining a Guinness World Record in 2007 for being the most-downloaded podcast on the Internet.

Fans even began animating some of Pilkington’s musings themselves, uploading the shorts to the Internet. But it was animation house Wildbrain’s Vice President, Lisa Ullmann who first put the idea of an animated series in Gervais’ head.

“It’s such a natural for animation,” Ullmann explains. “We worked closely with Gervais figuring out how he wanted himself to look, as well as Steven and Karl.”

The series utilises the audio from the podcasts and opens each week with an animated version of the trio. Then, once Pilkington begins telling one of his unusual stories, the animation delves into those worlds.

Make sure not to miss the first of these crazy adventures when The Ricky Gervais Show premieres on Sunday, January 1 st at 11:30pm on 3.