Between Life’s Too Short, An Idiot Abroad and The Ricky Gervais Show, it’s pretty hard to keep track of everything that Ricky Gervais has going on nowadays — or at least it would be, if he wasn’t so damn good at promoting himself every chance he gets. If you follow him on Twitter, read his blog or watch any of his public appearances, his blatant plugs can be a little obnoxious at times, but he seems to have found a way to make it part of his comedic persona. Anyway, the point is, I was very surprised when a trailer popped up online this week for a new project from Gervais that I hadn’t even heard of.
Derek is a one-off TV special that he did for Channel 4 about a sweet, somewhat simple-minded man who works at a retirement home. It co-stars Karl Pilkington in his first real acting role as his landlord and buddy Dougie, which is more than enough to get me to check it out. Strangely, the main character seems to based on the various goofy faces that Gervais has been making in photos posted on his blog for years now. I would almost think it was a joke if it wasn’t actually listed on Channel 4’s website. Derek airs next Thursday at 10 pm on Channel 4 in the U.K.; check out a series of TV spots and outtakes after the jump and see what you think.