The new web series is called Learn English with Ricky Gervais, but from the looks of the first preview, the real star of this user-interactive venture is Karl Pilkington -- and his teaching credentials are just a little bit curious.
A former radio producer, Pilkington has become Gervais' muse, and his latest role comes in a new online venture announced earier this week. It has yet to find a home -- the series will premiere a free pilot, and then, as Gervais wrote in a blog post this week, either charge a few dollars per episode, or find a sponsor and stream for free.
Billed as a comedy language lesson that will be subtitled in many languages and offered on an open platform for even more fan subtitling, the series looks like another opportunity for Gervais to wind Pilkington up, and laugh as the conversation spins in all sorts of ridiculous directions.
Gervais trades between calling Pilkington an idiot, and his best friend. After the Emmy-winner brought Pilkington to the other side of the studio wall and gradually made him the center of a smash hit radio show and podcast, he has sent his famously bald buddy on trips around the world for the show An Idiot Abroad, and given him a starring role in his new upcoming TV dramedy series, Derek.
As for Pilkington's take on the friendship, he's a bit more circumspect.
"I'll say he is [my best friend], but mainly just down to the fact that I don't have many mates," he told this reporter last year. "That puts him as the default best mate, I suppose. Yeah, we get on. I suppose he calls me more than I call him, just because he can be pretty annoying. That's why it's good that he's doing well in America, because it means he's over there more often than he's here, so I'm happy about that. Not because I want his career to do good, but because it means he leaves me alone for a couple of weeks at a time."