12 April 2012 9:24 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Creator of Channel 4's one-off show Derek also condemns horse-racing two days before the Grand National

Ricky Gervais has criticised the "six or seven journalists" who have been predicting the end of his career and launched an unlikely attack on horse-racing, which he said involved the animals being "slaughtered for fun".

Gervais was responding to criticism of his latest TV show, Derek, a one-off comedy drama which will air on Channel 4 on Thursday evening, two days before the Grand National in Aintree.

Derek, an autograph hunter who works in a care home, a character Gervais first performed a decade ago, has been criticised ahead of its broadcast for mocking people with learning disabilities.

Gervais said he "never considered him disabled", describing him as a "funny little nerd". The creator of Extras and The Office added that he was "bored" by the controversy which has been generated by his latest project. »

- John Plunkett

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