Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Gervais says he's pro-euthanasia

Office star Ricky Gervais revealed he has been offered a Glastonbury Festival slot and that he is pro-euthanasia, joking that he hopes one day he can ask a chemist for a pill to die

Comedian Ricky Gervais has said he is pro-euthanasia, joking that he hopes one day he will be able to walk into a chemist and ask for a pill to end his life.

The Office star bemoaned the "out of sight, out of mind" culture towards old people in the UK and America, and speaking on the topic of assisted dying, he said: "Y ou should be allowed to die with dignity and say when you've had enough."

Gervais also revealed he has been offered a slot as alter ego David Brent at Glastonbury, although failed to say whether he will definitely appear at the world famous festival.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday's Event magazine, he spoke of the upcoming second series of Derek, his Channel 4 comedy that is set in a care home.

Explaining that his mother, sister and three nieces have all worked in retirement homes, providing him with "30 years of their anecdotes to draw on", Gervais said: " In Britain and America we don't really take care of our old people.

"We have the attitude of out of sight, out of mind. People used to live with their grandparents but now it's, 'Put them in a home; we want our own life.'"

The 52-year-old said he is not afraid of dying, but fears ill health and not having a decent quality of life, adding that he is " absolutely all for" euthanasia.

"I believe you're the master of your own body and you should be allowed to die with dignity and say when you've had enough," he said.

"By the time I want to go it'll be easy. I reckon I'll be able to pop into Boots and say, 'Give me the pill, I'm going.'"

The funnyman also spoke of the "incredible response" from fans after resurrecting the character of Brent with a series of sell-out shows after first bringing the Wernham Hogg boss to the nation's TV screens in 2001.

"I've been offered Glastonbury, which I'm thinking about," he said. "Suddenly Brent is like the Rolling Stones!"

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