Ricky Gervais will work on 3 new Netflix projects after finishing After Life

IT’S hard to believe After Life 2 only came out earlier this year as time has really dragged by since then.

But its creator and star Ricky Gervais has good news for the millions who follow his work — he has a new TV show in the pipeline.

Ricky, easily the greatest sitcom writer of my generation, says he has agreed with Netflix that once he’s finished with the next series of the morbid comedy, the streaming giant can have first dibs on his three untitled projects.

He revealed: “I’ve got it down to three totally different ideas and Netflix has already bought it because I told them I want to end After Life now and so they said, ‘OK, we want the next thing’.

“We will just start with the next thing, same deal.

“But I don’t know which one I’m going to go for. I can’t even think about it yet.

“I have got the outline of three completely different sorts of sitcoms and shows.

"One of them is a sitcom. One is probably more sitcommy than anything I’ve ever done.

“I don’t know what to do because again it will be three years of my life and then you go, ‘Oh, I wish I did the other thing’.”

After Life was such a smash hit for Netfix that it managed to convince Ricky to pen a third series.


He admits it would be much more straightforward to just keep going with the story of downbeat local newspaper reporter Tony, but he wants to challenge himself — despite the fact he could retire tomorrow.

Speaking to Jim and Sam on SiriusXM, he said: “It would be so much easier to do a fourth series of After Life, which is the same with all my shows.

“Starting again it’s hard but it’s more exciting, artistically.”

Asked what the plot of his new work is, he added: “I can’t tell you anything about it in case someone rips it off.”

Chel-see

AMID the annual festive misery in EastEnders, there is at least a new face on the Square, albeit it with a familiar name.

Zaraah Abrahams is introduced as Chelsea Fox – the daughter of Denise – on Christmas Day.

She was previously played by actress Tiana Benjamin but was recast this year.

Zaraah said: “Everyone looks forward to EastEnders on Christmas Day – it’s a lot of pressure!”


bizbit

BOND Girl Gemma Arterton has committed the cardinal sin of partying between takes on her latest drama – where she plays a nun.

The actress was filming in Nepal for new BBC1 show Black Narcissus, which starts on December 27.

She swears she didn’t drink, explaining: “We were having a party one night and we were all dancing outside.

"We all got really hyper – because the air is so thin – and you just get really dizzy.”

Think I’ll try the “thin air” excuse next time I return sozzled from the pub.

Jeremy: I started Top Gear on £180 a year

LONG before his megabucks deal with Amazon’s Prime Video, Jeremy Clarkson was paid peanuts.

The Grand Tour star says he got just £180 a year from Top Gear when he first started in 1988. 

He revived the series in 2002 after the Beeb cancelled it in 1998 and was host for 14 years.

By the end of that stint Jeremy is thought to have pocketed £1million a season.

Speaking on the Andy Jaye Podcast, he revealed: “For the first five years on Top Gear, the most I earned was £180 in a year.

"People say BBC people are overpaid – we weren’t then. We got paid nothing.

“While crews and producers would fly to locations, I’d be expected to drive.

"We were seen very much as the bottom rung of the ladder, the worst paid on the set and so on.

"But it put us in front of seven million people a week, which does put you on the radar.”

The Sun columnist said the price of success was his privacy, adding: “It’s very easy to say, ‘How could you be paid £100,000 for an hour’s work?’

“Well, it isn’t an hour’s work because every time you put your foot out the door, within a minute someone’s asking for a selfie . . . every restaurant you go to, every time you go for a wee in a service station someone’s trying to take a picture of you at a urinal.”

Ali has ally in Ainsley

HE is one of the nation’s favourite TV presenters, but Ainsley Harriott is not one to hog the limelight.

The former Ready Steady Cook host reached out to Alison Hammond after she was abused online following the announcement that she and Dermot O'Leary will be taking over from This Morning regulars Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.

The chef, who is fronting a Christmas Day ITV special called Ainsley’s Food We Love at 2pm, said: “She’s an incredible presenter and I have worked with her before.

“But that programme is such a tradition, people don’t like to see change.

“I work on it occasionally and people will have opinions.”

Ainsley compared the furore to English football in the Seventies and Eighties when there were very few black players.

He said: “It’s like Clyde Best playing football for West Ham all those years ago and the abuse he got, and what Ian Wright used to go through, but without them, we wouldn’t have what we have now.”

Alison put on a brave face, but has told bosses the abuse has taken a toll.

I love Alison and Ainsley, and they are both TV icons in their own right.

bizbit

GOOD news for His Dark Materials fans.

Just two days after the second series finished on BBC1, it has been announced that the show will return for a third season.

Filming on the popular fantasy drama – a co-production between the Beeb and US giant HBO – will start next year in Cardiff.

Stacey and Craig best of enemies

STRICTLY rivals Craig Revel Horwood and Stacey Dooley are supposed to be pals now. But they don’t put on a convincing performance on tomorrow’s festive celebrity edition of gameshow The Wall.

Craig refused to give Stacey top marks on 2018’s Strictly and suggested her relationship with dance partner Kevin Clifton had helped her win.

So when Craig enters a sound-proof booth on The Wall, Stacey shouts: “Thanks for nothing in 2018.”

Stacey describes how she always ended up sitting next to Craig on tour – to which he retorts: “I didn’t ask for that. In fact I asked for the opposite.”

If this is ‘friendly’ I wouldn’t want either as my enemy.

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