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Ricky Gervais lands performance of the year for ‘dark’ role

RICKY GERVAIS will be honoured with a prestigious international award for his ‘standout’ performance as a bitter widowerer.

The Office star (pictured) both penned and starred in Netflix show After Life, which represents a darker turn for the man who brought us David Brent.

And it has paid off as Ricky is set to receive a performance of the year gong, presented to him by Sir Lenny Henry, at next month’s Rose d’Or awards, which celebrate international excellence in entertainment programming.

Ricky’s show, in which he plays bereaved local journalist Tony who has recently lost his wife and lashes out at everyone around him, doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs.

But it must be pretty good as it’s also been shortlisted for the comedy drama and sitcom prize alongside such gems as Derry Girls, Plebs, Sex Education, The Bisexual and Arde Madrid.

Even before news of this award, the concept was considered good enough for a second series to be commissioned — with the likes of Penelope Wilton, Kerry Godliman and Mandeep Dhillon on board.

Sofia Helin, chairwoman of the Rose d’Or jury, said: ‘After Life’s first season moves between dark comedy and affecting drama, Ricky gives a standout performance, bringing a new dimension to his talent.’

Interestingly, of all the roles he has played, Ricky says Tony is closest to him. Like Tony, Ricky has a long-term girlfriend — Jane Fallon, since 1982 — but unlike Tony’s wife, she is still very much alive.

Nevertheless, Ricky has said: ‘I do go round thinking like Tony does.’ Could this be the secret to his award-winning performance?

Ricky will receive his Rose d’Or award in London on December 1; The second series of After Life is due to launch on Netflix in 2020