Ricky Gervais: Derek is my favourite thing I've ever done
Ricky Gervais says 'Derek' is his "favourite" project he has ever worked on because he loves playing such a kind and "sincere" character
Ricky Gervais says 'Derek' is his "favourite" project he has ever worked on.
The comedian embodies a retirement home worker on the Channel 4 show - which also stars his close friend and 'An Idiot Abroad' star Karl Pilkington - and Ricky is proud to leave behind his ironic approach to humour and play a role that's more "sincere".
He explained: "['Derek' is] my favourite thing I've ever done. I just love the character so much. I love all my characters but I literally love Derek. He's just perfect.
"And I've left behind that veil of irony in most stuff I've done, like 'The Office' - you're laughing at how the characters see themselves and how we see them, whereas here it's more sincere.
"Everyone says what they mean so it's more down the line, which makes it more dramatic than the average sitcom I think."
Although the show has received criticism, with people assuming Ricky is mocking people who are mentally handicapped, the 51-year-old actor insists Derek isn't disabled but simply a "sweet" and "odd" personality.
Speaking on ITV's 'This Morning', he added: "Well, there are two things about. One - it's not mocking anyone at all - if anything, it mocks a cruel harsh society outside the home.
"Two - I've never considered him disabled. I consider him different, a little bit odd, and sweet and lovely.
"And three - the people that said it was cruel hadn't seen it yet, which is always the case. That's why I put the pilot out. I shot that in three days, but I wanted it to go out so people saw it ... but there will always be criticism - hopefully that means you're doing something right."