The leading British comic actor Ricky Gervais has hit out at his country's TV comedies and dramas, insisting they are lackluster and tired.
The outspoken creator of the wildly successful series "The Office", who recently taped a guest appearance on the animated show "The Simpsons", says he is perpetually underwhelmed by British comedy and complains about British TV comedy writers.
In a lengthy interview with GQ magazine, he said: "They're always the same people. The same people write for 'I Love The Seventies' as some new satirical show on BBC3. Hold on! Have we really only got ten people?"
"It's different in America. They're ambitious, they're good, they're funny. They do stand-up, and by the time they're 31 they've got their own sitcom because they're good. You don't see many 40-year-old hack writers in America. They get fired if they're no good. It's like natural selection."
Of US dramas, Gervais adds, "The Sopranos, 24, CSI, The Wire, bang! We've got nothing like that. Nothing! It's such a big gap."
Gervais even says that the notion of celebrity makes more sense in America: "Being famous in England is the worst thing to be," he says. "There's no way I could sit in England out in public smoking a cigar with shades on. I'd be asking for a lorry driver to gob on me. I couldn't do it. In America? Wouldn't think anything of it."
"England is funny." he continues. "Comparing our celebrities to America's is like comparing Blackpool to Las Vegas. It's division two."
Gervais fans can read the full interview at www.rickygervais.com .