Stephen Merchant reveals if he’d work with Ricky Gervais again

Merchant responded when asked about future projects with his former 'Office' and 'Extras' partner

Steven Merchant has said that he would be happy to work with Ricky Gervais again in the future.

Speaking at the Oxford Union, the co-writer of Extras and The Office said “there was no reason not to” work with Gervais again but admitted that the two were at “different directions, creatively.”

As reported via Radio X, Merchant said: “If the right idea was there, it’d be good to do something. But at the moment, there’s nothing on the horizon.”


“We worked together for pretty much cheek-by-jowl for over ten years and I think it’s that feeling of being pulled in different directions creatively.”

Merchant added that he would also consider working with Karl Pilkington again in the future. Earlier this year, there were rumours that the trio had fallen out, especially when Merchant was not involved in 2016’s David Brent: Life on the Road.

However, Gervais quashed the rumours, telling NME earlier this year that “I’ve always been doing my own thing, and now they are as well. It’s not a divorce thing.”

Merchant added: “[Ricky] wants to perform in stuff he does, and I’m quite happy for neither of us to perform and to let other people perform…which is something that he’s not quite as interested in.”


“A lot of Ricky’s humour is about him putting it across, which is why he’s so good at stand-up. Also, he likes to get stuff done. He’s impatient. Whereas I’ll happily spend moths, years, grinding it out.”

Stephen Merchant, Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington

Despite the trio coming up with one of the most popular podcasts of all time, Merchant said he had no plans to return to podcasting anytime soon.

Merchant said: “Certainly with the radio stuff and the podcasts, we did a lot of hours of that in the end. I wouldn’t want to tot them up, but we did the radio show every week, that was two or three hours at a time and we did that for quite a few years, on and off. We did a lot of the podcasts.”

“That’s a lot of time, speaking in a room with each other. At some point you start to feel like you’re going over old ground…Even someone as rich and ‘genie-in-the-lamp’ as Karl, there’s only so many times you can go back to that well without it starting to feel like overkill.”

In his interview with NME earlier this year, Gervais revealed that we’d seen the last of David Brent, saying: “I think Brent at 60 being a tampon rep, still trying to be a pop star might just be too much.” He also admitted to being surprised by the success of The Office.

Gervais said:  “The success surprises me, obviously, but in retrospect I sort of know why it worked…the themes were universal: boy meets girl, bad boss trying to make a difference.”

“It was a show about fame and comedy, too. I watched a lot of those docusoups of the 1990s where a ordinary person would get their 15 minutes.”