Life's Too Short: The lowdown

Gervais speaks of new series

Ricky Gervais has said his new sitcom starring 3ft 6in actor Warwick Davis is the funniest thing he and Stephen Merchant have ever done.

The Office creator revealed more details about the upcoming BBC sitcom Life’s Too Short at the Banff TV festival in Canada, where he picked up a comedy award last night.

He said Davis’s character in the new show was a self-obsessed dwarf with ‘small-man complex’ who runs an employment agency called Dwarves For Hire – but steals all the jobs for himself.

Gervais said he and Merchant decided to make the sitcom after meeting Davis on the set of Extras, where he shared his experiences such as taking a broom handle to supermarket so he could knock products from high shelves onto the floor.

‘The real Warwick tells great stories,’ Gervais said. ‘They’re comedy gold.

‘He has been in the street and Japanese or Irish people will touch him because they think it’s lucky,’ Gervais told the press conference. ‘And he says that at parties he will be treated like a child, with people just standing in front of him or patting him on the head.’

He added that has been most influenced by the empathy Laurel and Hardy brought to comedy, and said on Extras, the character of Maggie was based on Laurel to the degree that actress Ashley Jensen was often given the stage direction: ‘More Stan.’

And he said that on The Office he ‘threw away loads of jokes’ as they were not true to the characters. ‘Half the jokes in The Office we cut out because it was either too smart for the character, it interfered with the story, or we took away a lot of jokes with Tim and Dawn because they weren’t meant to be having a good time unless they were together.’

Published: 16 Jun 2010

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.