After Life could become the first Ricky Gervais show to get a third series...
Ricky Gervais has a host of prestigious awards on his shelf and some of TV's most successful comedies on his CV, but when he looks back at his career he says After Life is the thing he's most proud of.
The man who created The Office was blown away by the reception the first series of his poignant black comedy received on Netflix last year and says the show will always hold a special place in his heart.
Viewers watched as local news reporter Tony Johnson fell into depression after his wife Lisa died from cancer. Despite the best efforts of his friends and colleagues at The Tambury Gazette, he's still struggling when the show show returns for a new six-part series on Friday 24th April.
Yet this might not be the last we've seen of Tony and his pals, as Ricky Gervais says he has plenty of ideas for a third series...
"I’ve never loved a world I've created as much as this one," he says. "There shouldn’t be a series three of anything, but this could be the first! The village is another character now and every time you go down a little road it opens up. As we delve deeper we realise we’re all screwed up and that’s fine!"
With a support cast including Penelope Wilton, Joe Wilkinson, David Bradley and Paul Kaye all playing key roles, there are plenty of tales left to tell and Ricky is delighted that viewers have taken the storylines to heart.
"With the first series I was worried about whether people would be able to cry about someone losing their wife to cancer, and then laugh a split second later," he explains. "And of course they can because everyone gets it. That’s what life is. I was still surprised by how well it went down though. It was the biggest reaction – bigger than The Office. The way people connected with it makes it the thing I'm most proud of as well - by a whisker!"
Ricky has hinted that Tony's relationship with Emma (Ashley Jensen), a nurse at his father's care home, could be a big part of the new series, yet never worries that there's too much sadness in the show.
"I had the same with Derek – people ask if it's a comedy or a drama?" says Ricky. "And I’d say, 'well it’s a fake documentary so what’s your life?' Every day you’re a comedy and a drama, they're different branches of the same tree."
The second series of After Life comes to Netflix on Friday 24 April
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