Ricky Gervais: New Hero of Comedy
In 2008, Channel 4 ran a three part documentary about new, highly influential British comedy acts of the modern day entitled New Hero of Comedy. Ricky Gervais was the first comedian to be featured in the show.
The show was done in a semi-biographical style, charting Ricky's rise to fame from his earliest works on radio and in the music industry to his modern day fame and international success. It does not, however, feature any information about Ricky's childhood or personal life. It was composed mostly of candid interviews with Ricky's friends, co-workers, peers, collaborators and admirers. Amid the interviews, the show contained selected clips of Ricky's works ranging from audio clips from Xfm, scenes from 11 O'Clock Show, assorted clips from both The Office and Extras, some more famous (or infamous) routines from his stand-up tours as well as a images from his best selling children's book Flanimals.
- Stand Up - Ricky's best selling tours Animals, Politics and Fame.
- Radio Work - Presumably to simplify the timeline, all of Ricky's radio work with Steve Merchant and Karl Pilkington, both pre and post-Capitol take-over was discussed in one segment of the show entitled "Before The Office...", despite the radio show running until mid-2005. The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts were not mentioned despite a brief sketch of the trio with a picture of the Guinness Book of Records in the opening titles.
- Before The Office - Ricky's meeting Stephen, work on The 11 O Clock Show and the taping of Seedy Boss (The Office demo tape). Seona Dancing was also mentioned briefly.
- The Office - Ricky's rise to household-status.
- Extras - The difficult second album.
- Flanimals - "Just bollocks with eyes". -Karl Pilkington
- Future - Ricky's peers mused on what awaits the chubby funster in the coming years.
The following people contributed interviews to the show:
- Stephen Merchant
- Karl Pilkington
- Russell Brand
- David Baddiel
- Ashley Jensen
- Nigel Williams (Ricky and Steve's editor)
- Chris Rock
- Billy Connolly
- Matt Groening
- Ricky said in various interviews, including one with Richard & Judy that he was approached by the show's makers to do an segment on the special, but he said he didn't want to "interrupt people saying nice things about [him]".
- Fans on the Pilkipedia Forum were surprised to see an image taken from Pilkipedia used during the playing of Xfm audio clips.
- Also featured in New Hero series was Ali G/Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen and Little Britain creators and stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas.