Ricky Gervais only spends eight minutes a day writing scripts because his attention span is so short

Katie Archer
·Contributor
·2-min read
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He may have written some of TV’s most successful sitcoms, but Ricky Gervais has admitted his attention span is so short that he can only put in eight minutes of work a day.

The comedian has written a third series of his Netflix hit After Life, about a journalist struggling to cope with the death of his wife, but said he hadn’t spent hours agonising over scenes.

He told The Mirror: “I potter around, I have more than one thing on the go, so my attention span can be eight minutes at a time.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - JANUARY 5, 2020 -                          Ricky Gervais photographed on the red carpet of the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.- PHOTOGRAPH BY P. Lehman / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read P. Lehman / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Ricky Gervais says he's enjoying a more relaxed pace of working (Photo credit: P. Lehman / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

“I look at it like this – if I am writing a script and I have got six months to write, I only have to come up with a couple of minutes a day.

"That couple of minutes on screen is an afternoon’s filming.”

Gervais said that the process was made even more efficient by him also directing and starring in the sitcom.

His other hit series have included The Office, Extras and Derek.

Watch: Ricky Gervais on how After Life helps with real life grief

The star said his new approach to work had been “a revelation” and made him “very relaxed” about his work.

Kerry Godliman, who plays Gervais’ character’s late wife in After Life, has said she is as excited as the viewers to see what season three of the sitcom holds.

She told Kate Thornton’s podcast White Wine Question Time: “All I know for definite is I am still dead.

“I'm just as curious as the audience are to know what happens next.”

Kerry Godliman and Ricky Gervais in After Life. (Netflix)
Kerry Godliman and Ricky Gervais in After Life. (Netflix)

But Godliman also revealed that Gervais worked a bit harder than he has suggested, as she explained how he liked to “touch base” with each of the show’s stars during the writing process.

She said: “Sometimes we even have like workshops or chats where you can talk about stuff and read little scenes that he's written and things like that.”

Watch: Ricky Gervais plans a David Brent cover album