Stephen Merchant, writer, comedian and actor

Stephen Merchant, writer, comedian and actor

By BBC Radio 4

Stephen Merchant first came to fame with the TV sitcom The Office, which he co-wrote and co-directed with Ricky Gervais. He continued to work with Gervais on the series Extras, Life is Short and An Idiot Abroad. His comedy hero as a young man was John Cleese and as a fellow tall West Country boy, he felt he would try his hand at a comedy career.

As a teenager, he worked at Radio Bristol, was a wedding DJ and enjoyed drama at school. While at Warwick University, he created his own radio programme, The Steve Show. Those radio production skills encouraged him to send in his CV to a new London radio station, XFM, where the head of speech was Ricky Gervais. Following a successful interview – conducted in a pub – Stephen became Ricky’s assistant.

Stephen left XFM to join a BBC training scheme. It was the short film he made with Ricky as part of his course which would eventually lead to the creation of The Office.

Alongside his successful comedy partnership with Gervais, Stephen has pursued his acting and writing ambitions and this year wrote and directed his first film, Fighting with my Family, based on a family of wrestlers. His performance as a stand-up led to his HBO series Hello Ladies, and he starred in his first stage play, Richard Bean's The Mentalists, in London in 2015.

His work has earned him two Golden Globe Awards, three BAFTAs, a Primetime Emmy Award, and four British Comedy Awards.

DISC ONE: Whole of The Moon by The Waterboys DISC TWO: Raspberry Beret by Prince DISC THREE: Babies by Pulp DISC FOUR: Regulate (Jammin' Remix) by Warren G featuring Nate Dogg and Michael McDonald DISC FIVE: Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen DISC SIX: A Case of You by Joni Mitchell DISC SEVEN: Change of the Guard by Kamasi Washington DISC EIGHT: Love Letter by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds BOOK CHOICE: Roger's Profanisaurus by Viz and Roger Mellie LUXURY ITEM: A piano CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen

Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale

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