An audience of 8,000? That's nothing

Gervais cool over castle gig

Ricky Gervais has said the prospect of playing to 8,000 people at the Edinburgh Fringe ‘doesn’t mean much’ to him.

The Office star has faced criticism from other comedians, who claim such a huge gig is not in the spirit of the festival – and will take thousands of punters away from shows that more desperately need the audience.

But Gervais says the size of the audience is meaningless to him, and that he was only driven to come to the Fringe because he would go into the history books as the first comic to play the castle.

He told the Daily Record: ‘It's the biggest single date I have done with just me, but I've played bigger scale things with other people, such as Live 8.

‘But 8,000 tickets, I do that in two days anyway. I think I've done 100,000 tickets in London. It doesn't mean much.

‘What is impressive for me is that I am the first comedian to do the castle. It was the castle or nothing.’

He said that he was initially refused permission to play there, but then called castle bosses directly to secure the gig.

And despite his August 26 gig technically being part of the Fringe programme, he said: ‘I wouldn't see a lot of point in coming up here and playing the Fringe.’

Before he hit the big time, Gervais performed at the Pleasance in 2001 in a show called Rubbernecker with Stephen Merchant, Jimmy Carr and Robin Ince.

Click here to read the interview in full.

Published: 31 Jul 2007

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