Ricky Gervais: Give New Year's Honours to NHS heroes and ban celebrities awards

Danny Thompson
British host Ricky Gervais arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Ricky Gervais has demanded celebrities be banned from the New Year’s Honours list - with recognition instead going to NHS workers.

In his typical forthright manner, the comedian took aim at the way society heaps prestige on celebrities and fashionistas, while there are people “finding cures for cancer and AIDs” who don’t get the same admiration.

Read more: Ricky Gervais on gaining conservative fans after slamming celebrities at the Globes Globes

Gervais has been vocal supporter of frontline workers risking their lives during the coronavirus pandemic, and he now thinks such people should get the highest commendations available.

Talking on the Christian O'Connell radio show, he said: "I never want anyone to complain about the NHS again, or nurses or doctors or anyone on the front line.

"We’ve got to remember we clapped for them and that should always be there.

"The New Year’s Honours list should not go to celebrities this year. It should go to those people.

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"Give it to someone who gave a kidney to a stranger, not someone who invented a new type of mascara.

"I’ve seen people given a knighthood for services to fashion. What are you talking about, services to fashion?

Guest Ricky Gervais (left) with Absolute Radio Breakfast Show presenter Christian O'Connell at Absolute Radio in Golden Square, central London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

"Christ, it’s not that hard. People are finding cures for cancer and AIDs."

The After Life star has not been shy about his criticism of fellow celebrities complaining about being in lockdown - particularly those living in plush luxury pads - while NHS staff risk their lives.

He told The Sun last month: "These people are doing 14-hour shifts and not complaining. Wearing masks, and being left with sores, after risking their own health and their families’ health selflessly.

Read more: Ricky Gervais ‘trying to be more positive’

"But then I see someone complaining about being in a mansion with a swimming pool.

"And, you know, honestly, I just don’t want to hear it."

Series two of After Life is streaming on Netflix now.