Ricky Gervais reveals he was emailing David Bowie just weeks before his death

Gervais calls the late singer 'an amazing man'

Ricky Gervais has described how he became pen pals with David Bowie and how they continued to email each other right up until the singer’s death.

Bowie appeared in Gervais’ sitcom Extras in 2006 after the pair became friends. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Gervais explained: “I remember getting an email from him saying ‘I watched The Office, I laughed. What do I do now?’ Someone must have said to him ‘That’s the guy who done The Office‘ and gave him a DVD and he watched it. We sort of became pen pals. I hung out with him when I went to New York. I hung out with him here when he came to England.”

Gervais added that he was unaware of Bowie’s death, even though they were communicating via email just two weeks prior to his passing: “[Bowie’s death] was a total surprise. I was emailing him two weeks before, so he must have known. He was writing the funniest emails. He kept it from everyone. What dignity. He was an amazing man.”

Gervais told 5 Live that Bowie was “a fan of comedy” and that he was “amazing in Extras“. Speaking about Bowie’s cameo on the show, Gervais said: “I sent him the lyrics and I said: ‘Do something quite retro like ‘Life On Mars’ and he went: ‘Oh yeah, I’ll just knock off a quick ‘Life On Mars””.

Bowie passed away in January just two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his final studio album ‘Blackstar’.

Gervais, meanwhile, releases new film Special Correspondents via Netflix on Friday (April 29).

Earlier this year, Gervais revealed that he has completed a rough cut of this summer’s David Brent movie.