Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have worked on many productions together, including:

But recently they seem to have had a fallout, and are no longer working together.

Stephen does not appear and is not involved in any way in Ricky's show, Derek; and likewise with Ricky in Stephen's show, Hello Ladies.

What happened to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's relationship?

  • 7
    And more importantly, who gets Karl? ;)
    – Walt
    Apr 20, 2015 at 11:12
  • 2
    @Walt Evidently, Ricky got him. It's always the kids who get hurt the most.
    – Möoz
    Apr 20, 2015 at 11:32
  • 1
    Gervais is labeled as Merchant's "former partner" in an interview with the New York Times last November.
    – BCdotWEB
    May 31, 2015 at 19:41
  • There's a reddit thread about this too reddit.com/r/rickygervais/comments/3dpovu/… There's links there from the last time they spoke and how merchant had not heard of the brent project at first.
    – user23143
    Jul 19, 2015 at 8:05
  • I find it odd that Ricky (on his blog/twitter) didn't congratulate Stephen on his Emmy nomination for Hello Ladies: The Movie. I guess we'll see them in the same room for the awards ceremony.
    – user23164
    Jul 20, 2015 at 3:09

4 Answers 4


While it's possible that the two have had a falling out, the official word is that they are just working on their own projects.

This started with Hello Ladies, which is about terrible dating experiences in Merchant's life. Since Gervais has been with his girlfriend for 30 years, Merchant felt that he wouldn't be able to relate to the story, and decided to do the project solo.

Here is what he told Splitsider when they asked about Gervais:

What made you guys decide to try to go your own way this time?

Well I don’t know if it was that premeditated, really. I did the standup show which was about these experiences, and HBO approached me and said maybe there’s some sitcom material in there. And Ricky has been in a relationship with the same woman, lucky for him, since he was in college; he’d never been in the dating world or the dating scene. It’s not something that resonates with him. So it just didn’t seem like a fit for the two of us. It didn’t seem like an obvious role for him. I think he would have felt like what am I doing if I can’t plug into the sort of meat of the subject? It just didn’t seem like a fit for the two of us, really. So that sort of explains that.

Do you guys have plans to work together in the future on any projects?

We’re sort of on different time frames because I was doing that and he’s doing his stuff, Derek and stuff like that, so we’re in two different time tables. It’s proven a bit frustrating to try to get back into it but I’m sure there’ll be something down the road.

  • That's incorrect. If you look gervais and merchant are no longer even following each other on twitter so obviously the split was not amicable.
    – user21691
    May 31, 2015 at 15:26
  • 5
    I'm not sure how two people not following one another on Twitter is sufficient evidence to show they don't like one another.
    – MattD
    May 31, 2015 at 16:03
  • Since the question is time-related might be worth saying when that quote is from (Nov 2014) Jul 19, 2015 at 17:12

I Googled for "ricky gervais stephen merchant", restricting results to the past year.

Amongst the first 100 results, the only ones suggesting even a whiff of a rumor of a possible fallout between them are (1) Hit #5: this movies.stackexchange page; (2) Hit #16: another internet forum asking pretty much exactly the same question; (3) Way down the list: yet another internet forum asking a similar question.

Similarly, nothing else appears when you looks at Google News.

I'd imagine that if there were even a remote rumour of any possible split, it would have been reported by some British tabloid. It is possible that they have secretly had some sort of a fallout. But based on what is known to the public, the conclusion must therefore be that this is pure speculation, unsubstantiated by any evidence other than two observations:

(1) They have not collaborated in perhaps a few years; and (2) They are not following each other on Twitter.

More updates (July 2015):

Telegraph interview with Stephen merchant (published 27 Jun 2015)

More recently, their work has taken Gervais and Merchant in separate directions. Are they still friends? “Yeah.” Can he see them writing together again, or was it time to move on? “I think we could go back to it definitely, I think it’s just, I remember hearing Fry and Laurie talk about once how you get to a point where you get on two different tracks, and it’s quite hard to get back on the same track.”

On the other hand, the Office movie spin-off (Life on the Road) will not involve Merchant, leading to these remarks in the Daily Star:

The pair have yet to work with each other since the last episode of Life's Too Short in 2013.

Both have since focussed on individual projects, like Merchant's US sitcom Hello Ladies and Gervais' channel 4 show Derek, but fans are speculating that their parting may be more than professional as neither follow the other on Twitter anymore.

Oh and by the way this very StackExchange page now appears as the first hit if you google "Ricky Gervais Stephen Merchant" (wasn't the case just a month ago).


If you look at gaps between previous Gervais/Merchant projects this one isn't very significant (especially considering how they're both in very high demand on separate projects now).


The significant aspect about this story is that for the last four years Gervais has never been asked this question about Merchant or Pilkington....he has simply referred to the past shows as if he was exclusively responsible for them. And he has given some very in-depth interviews with serious questions. But not regarding this subject. So I believe that his people for want of a better word have asked that the names of his previous collaborators not be mentioned in questions. Journos from magazines, tv and newspapers have happily gone along with this proviso because it offers to them an interview with him and it offers to Gervais no potentially difficult questions regarding his co-writer from the past. It is a very relevant question to Gervais, that is simply not being asked by anyone in the media who interviews him.....i.e why are you ignoring Steven Merchant in your history, have you fallen out with him and are there any plans to collaborate again.

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