Ricky Gervais (June 25, 1961–) is an English comedian, writer, director, actor, and self-described atheist. Already considered a comedy legend in his own country, he is probably most famous for his BBC sitcom The Office, a spoof of reality shows (and corporate culture), in which he starred as David Brent, the office manager of a paper supply company. Gervais co-wrote and co-directed the show with frequent collaborator Stephen Merchant. The two also wrote and directed the BBC and HBO series Extras, now in production on its second season, about the lives of "background artists". One of the episodes from the first season features the main character, played by Gervais, pretending to be Catholic to woo a fellow extra. Gervais has won numerous awards for his writing and two Golden Globes for his role as David Brent.
Gervais is the author of Flanimals, a series of children's books which use whimsical illustrations and humourous descriptions of fictitious animals to explain evolution to kids.