I'm away from The Office

Ricky's 'guilt' over first live show

Ricky Gevais says he feels guilty about his comedy success because he hasn't worked his way through the stand-up circuit.

He says comics achieve great things in small clubs, yet he landed TV fame with much less effort.

And although he is about to embark on his first live show, he maintains that he is not a stand-up.

"I haven't worked my way through the ranks," The Office star told London's Time Out magazine. "I feel a little bit guilty that I haven't paid my dues."

Gervais is particular in his comedy tastes, which leans toward natural performers with clever material, rather than "everyman" observational comics or gagsmiths "who rattle through 50 or 100 one-liners ­ OK you laugh, but the laughter doesn't resonate".

Citing Stewart Lee as one of his favourites, he says: "Some comedians reach sublime heights over 40 minutes - and some of those are trying like mad to get a TV show."

Gervais - a former university entertainments manager and radio station runner - landed The Office after sending a tape of himself as David Brent to the BBC.

His live show, Animals, runs at the Soho Theatre from July 1 to 13. It has already sold out.

Published: 25 Jun 2002

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