Ricky Gervais on his friendship with David Bowie: ‘We talk about music and comedy’

Comedian speaks about how he asked singer to record 'Little Fat Man' song

Ricky Gervais has spoken about his relationship with David Bowie, revealing how he approached his “musical hero” to ask him to record the song ‘Little Fat Man’ for TV show Extras.

Talking to US GQ about how came to be friends with Bowie and what they talk about, Gervais replied: “Music and comedy…I think I might have said what a huge fan I was. And I think he liked my stuff…I got him to do a little thing in Extras. I remember we went round his flat, and it’s exactly as you’d expect it to be – just beautiful and tasteful and modern, and there’s this wonderful statue. And I went, ‘Oh, that’s amazing’.”

Adopting the voice of David Bowie, Gervais continues: “Yeah, the artist, what he’s trying to do there is do the 3-D representation of Picasso’s 2-D representation of 3-D. My daughter likes to hit it with a hammer.” I love people like that, because they’re sort of aware of who they are. The first time he buzzed me in, the concierge called up and said, “Mr Jones?” Of course he’s Mr. Jones! He’s not fucking David Bowie! I met David Jones.”

Asked later on in the interview about Bowie’s turn on Extras, Gervais muses: “He’s been a musical hero of mine for 30 years. When I called him up and I’d written ‘Little Fat Man’, I said, ‘Have you got the lyrics?’ and he went, “Yeah.” I said, ‘Can you do something quite retro, like ‘Life on Mars?’?’ And he went [deadpan], “Oh, of course, yeah, sure. I’ll knock off a quick ‘Life On Mars?’, shall I?”

Ricky Gervais recently revived his David Brent character for a series of YouTube guitar tutorials.