Ricky Gervais reveals the joke he regrets telling most at the Golden Globes

Ben Arnold
Ricky Gervais hosts the 73rd Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, January 10, 2016. (Credit: Reuters/Paul Drinkwater/NBC Universal)

British actor and comedian Ricky Gervais will host the Golden Globes for the fifth time this weekend, as the movie and TV world assembles for the first big awards show of the year.

Gervais as ruffled feathers in the past, so his appointment seems somewhat risky in these times of Hollywood sensitivity.

Nonetheless, the creator of The Office will be on stage in Beverly Hills on Sunday night hopefully cutting a brutal swathe through the air kisses and insincerity.

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But there's one gag he's told which still makes him cringe, and that was back in 2011.

“Yeah, Tim Allen,” he told The Hollywood Reporter when asked if he regretted offending anyone in particular.

“Because I think he took it wrong. The joke was him and Tom Hanks. So I came out and said, 'Our next two presenters, the first has won five Oscars, combined box office of five billion dollars. And the other, Tim Allen.' Right? It's a fine joke. I'm teasing Tim Allen.

“But anyone standing next to Tom Hanks, unless it's Dustin Hoffman or Robert Redford or Robert De Niro, that could be me. But it happened to be Tim Allen. And I have nothing against Tim Allen. He's a good actor. He's probably a nice bloke.

Tim Allen and Ricky Gervais attend HBO's 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards Official After Party held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

“So even though there's no malice and I can justify it comedically and everyone laughed, I didn't want Tim Allen to think, 'Oh, that was written for me. Why me?' Well, because you were standing next to Tom Hanks.”

Gervais also pointed out another gag that went down badly, with Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall.

“I did a joke — again, this is my big point, this is the offence caused by them confusing the subject of the joke with the target of the joke — on that second Globes,” he said.

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“I said the [award] for special effects should go to the team who airbrushed the Sex and the City poster. It was ludicrous. And I said, 'We know how old you are, girls. I saw one of you on an episode of Bonanza.' And [Cattrall] said that was ageist.

“But my point was, no, it was the opposite. I was saying, what's wrong with being 50? Who's watching that film going, 'She's 49. I'm not watching that shit.' Why do we have to make them look 22? It's creepy. So my target was the opposite of what she thought it was.”

The Golden Globes take place at the Beverly Hilton, with Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story leading the nominations with eight nods in all, including Best Drama and Best Actor for Adam Driver and Best Actress for Scarlett Johansson.

You can find out how to watch it in the UK here...