Ricky Gervais debunks theory ‘After Life’ character is based on James Corden

Some fans have drawn parallels to the James character

Ricky Gervais has dismissed fan speculation that a character from Netflix series After Life is based on James Corden.

In the show, Ethan Lawrence plays a character called James – with some fans noticing a resemblance to the chat show host.

One viewer on Twitter wrote: “I’ve already laughed and cried more times I can remember over anything in a long long time. James ‘clearly Corden’ is stealing the show at this point.”


Another wrote: “Will have to get on After Life season three this weekend. Always curious to see what James Corden is up to in it, sorry I mean just James.”

Gervais, however, has said the likeness wasn’t intentional, explaining that the character made a cameo in the first season before he was even named.

Speaking to Ladbible about the comparisons, Gervais said: “Well, he was in it before I named him actually. The answer is no. No, I didn’t, no. I just wanted them to  have ordinary names.


“He had a little cameo in series one where he played the recorder, and I don’t think I’d even named him then.”

Gervais has previously mocked Corden while hosting the Golden Globes, joking that he was a “fat pussy” following his role in Cats.

Created by and starring Gervais, After Life follows local newspaper journalist Tony who is dealing with intense grief following the death of his wife. The third and final season released on Netflix earlier this month.

Speaking to NME about the reaction to the series, Gervais said: “I’ve never had a reaction, emotionally, to anything I’ve done like I have had with After Life. Everyone has lost someone. Everyone knows what that’s like.

“It’s why I think fiction is so important,” he continued. “We create our own heroes and villains as roleplay for the soul. Bad people get their comeuppance. Hopefully, good people get rewarded. And no one really gets hurt. You might cry watching a show. But you can turn it off.

“I think we’re so worried, as broadcasters, in asking ourselves if the viewer can take what we’re giving to them.”