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Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant to star in Science travel docu-series

UPI News Service, 01/07/2011 

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant will soon be seen in an eight-part travel docu-series called "An Idiot Abroad," Science Channel said Friday.

The writers and comic actors previously collaborated on the popular sitcoms "The Office" and "Extras."

Their latest effort is to start airing on Jan. 22. In it, Gervais and Merchant surprise their close friend -- and close-minded curmudgeon -- Karl Pilkington with a forced trip around the globe to visit the Seven Wonders of the World. A dream come true for most, this adventure is a nightmare for Pilkington, who has no interest at all in ever leaving his comfort zone in the United Kingdom.

"Will Pilkington, who Ricky calls 'the real-life Homer Simpson,' broaden his perspective or trigger an international incident?" the channel said in a news release.

"It's great to have 'An Idiot Abroad' on such a prestigious and innovative outlet," Gervais said in a statement. "Karl didn't even go to school and now look at him. I can't wait to hear how they announce it on air. 'And now on Science Channel, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send a chimp around the world to annoy it.'"

"Science Channel is television's home for the thought provocateur -- and no one provokes like Ricky Gervais. He's the perfect fit for our network," said Debbie Myers, executive vice president and general manager of Science Channel.

"Karl Pilkington gives 'An Idiot Abroad' a real heart. He has a fearless, childlike wonder that allows him to ask the questions that others are afraid to. His fish-out-of-water experiences in these new, mysterious worlds make him the epitome of an 'accidental scientist.'"

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