New TV series 'an expensive practical joke', says Gervais

Comic Ricky Gervais said he sent his much-mocked sidekick Karl Pilkington to see the seven wonders of the world as an “expensive practical joke”.

Comic Ricky Gervais said he sent his much-mocked sidekick Karl Pilkington to see the seven wonders of the world as an “expensive practical joke”.

Pilkington became a cult figure after appearing in a series of podcasts with Gervais and writing partner Stephen Merchant where they poked fun at him for his odd views on life.

His travels took him to destinations including the Great Wall of China which the underwhelmed Pilkington described as being like the M6 and renamed “the Alright Wall of China”.

Pilkington, often pilloried by his co-presenters for “having a head like an orange”, is described by Gervais as “a global village idiot, but the funniest man alive”.

His trips will be shown in an eight-part series on Sky1 called 'An Idiot Abroad'.

Gervais said: “It was a little bit of a practical joke on my part in the sense that I think Karl is fascinating.

“I want the world to see this man. I think he is the eighth wonder.”

In the first episode Pilkington spends a day training with kung-fu fighting monks, is set on fire while having a massage and is force-fed toad by a Chinese cook.

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