No Ricky in sight as Merchant hits road

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STEPHEN Merchant – lofty Bristolian, film star and co-creator of The Office and Extras – has booked two nights in Sheffield on his first stand-up comedy tour.

The Emmy, BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning partner in crime to Ricky Gervais will be at Sheffield City Hall on September 23 and 24.

“Most people don’t realise that I was a stand-up comedian before I met Ricky Gervais and his coat-tails,” quips Merchant. “Life can be lonely as a TV writer so this tour is a great opportunity for me to get out there and meet my fans. And make at least one of them my wife.”

Merchant met Gervais in 2001 when they shared a bill with Jimmy Carr and Robin Ince at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Along with Gervais and Karl Pilkington, Merchant has since featured in the Guinness Book Of World Records for having the most downloaded internet show of all time and the trio have just been commissioned for a second series of Sky One’s An Idiot Abroad.

Merchant’s film credits include Tooth Fairy, cameos in Hot Fuzz and Run Fat Boy Run alongside Simon Pegg, directing Cemetery Junction with Gervais, and he also appears in the comedy movie Hall Pass with Owen Wilson, which is released today.