Karl vs. Steve

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Throughout the years on the Xfm shows Karl would frequently have a go at Steve's looks, much to Ricky's amusement. Steve would sometimes counter by pointing out that Karl is a somewhat odd-looking person as well.

Steve was often annoyed that Karl would insult him instead of Ricky. Ricky was constantly squeezing Karl's head, insulting his intelligence, or inflicting some other form of abuse. Also, Steve would usually intervene when Ricky wound Karl up. Yet, most of Karl's attacks were aimed at Steve. Steve suspected this was because Ricky is Karl's "bread and butter," and thus Karl was afraid to stand up to him.

Below is a log of all the times Karl and Steve have had words.


  • 10 November 2001 - After Steve inquires about Suzanne, Karl lashes back at him bringing up his bachelor status. Steve diffuses the situation with sarcasm saying that it's the perfect material for a frothy Saturday afternoon talk show.
  • 17 November 2001 - Karl passive aggressively insults Steve, by having a go at his looks as he claims he doesn't intentionally have a go at his looks.
  • 24 November 2001 - The battle dies down a bit as Karl takes a small poke at Steve's looks and Ricky is caught red-handed asking Karl a loaded question about Steve.
  • 01 December 2001 - When discussing Steve's eligibility for a "Most Eligible Bachelor" contest, Karl asks, "Is there a height restriction?" Later, Karl defends Ricky's features, much to the annoyance of Steve.
  • 15 December 2001 - Karl calls Steve out for being ungrateful for a giftcard Xfm gave him. "From someone whose dad buys him a spade for Christmas, I thought you'd be grateful."
  • 12 January 2002 - Ricky baits Karl into having a go and Karl compares Steve "moves" to Blakey. Karl tries to redeem himself by pointing out career advantages of being tall, but Steve thinks the only skill is getting things off high shelves. Karl asks Steve if he was a tall baby, much to the confusion of the duo. Ricky then takes over and continues to wind up Steve.
  • 19 January 2002 - Karl disses Steve's west country roots. "Do they have cars there?"
  • 23 March 2002 - Karl says Steve has the right look to appear "goofy".
  • 20 April 2002 - Karl says that if he was gay, he would not go for Steve.
  • 26 October 2002 - Karl claims he had to go to the BAFTAs with Steve because no one else would go with him. In addition he criticizes his Springsteen ticket techniques and compares him to an owl.
  • 18 January 2003 - Steve asks Karl to recount the first time he saw him and Karl goes a bit overboard.
  • 08 February 2003 - Karl ponders over Steve's Valentine's Day situation.
  • 08 March 2003 - While sick at home, Karl phones in and compares Steve to an alien from Men In Black II.
  • 05 April 2003 - Karl kicks Steve off his pub quiz team.
  • 26 April 2003 - Karl has a go at Steve for having a sore throat.
  • 03 May 2003 - After failing to relay a phone message to Steve, Karl makes fun of Steve's voice and west country roots.
  • 10 May 2003 - Karl calls Steve an invalid at an attempt at humour, but the joke falls flat resulting in long awkward pause.
  • 21 June 2003 - Steve quips about Karl needing "another holiday", to which Karl retorts "but the only reason you don't go on holiday, is 'cause you have to spend money".


"He's done you again!" - A phrase Ricky Gervais often interjected during heated arguments between his two co-presenters

"It's like two blokes in a pub!" - Ricky

"Well, Karl, I’m glad you’ve brought this up. Because... for me... a lightweight frothy entertainment show on Xfm on a Saturday afternoon is exactly the place where I want to discuss the desperate lonely future that’s inevitably coming my way." - Steve (10 November 2001)

"I was more puzzled why they'd want you to voice anything. Listen to ya! I was thinking there must be a tractor sale on somewhere." - Karl is incredulous when Steve is offered voice-over work by a media company

"I'd think you'd be approached [by prostitutes] a lot because they tend to go for people who look like they haven't got much chance." - Karl

"He's done you and he's not even here!" - Ricky

"The only reason you don't go on holiday, is 'cause you have to spend money." - Karl


A compilation of arguments between Steve and Karl.