Gervais makes Radio Two debut on Xmas Eve

LONDON - Comedian Ricky Gervais is making his BBC Radio Two debut on Christmas Eve with a two-hour show discussing rubbish presents.

Gervais will be joined by his 'Extras' and 'The Office' co-writer Stephen Merchant and their former Xfm producer-turned-sidekick Karl Pilkington for the 10am show.

A second stint on New Year's Eve is also in the pipeline, with the trio giving their own comedic take on the New Year's Honours list for three hours from 10am.

It follows Gervais, along with Merchant and Pilkington, launching their half-hour podcast, distributed through the Guardian Unlimited website, which was launched with resounding success. It has notched up as many as 130,000 downloads since its Monday launch.

In total, there are 12 weekly shows starring Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington.

The move to BBC Radio is a further blow to Xfm, which had the trio back for their Saturday afternoon show last year for six weeks. Xfm later offered these shows as MP3 downloads.

Prior to the six-week return to Xfm, where Gervais and Merchant had a long-running show, the pair had taken a break from radio to write BBC sitcom 'Extras', the much-anticipated follow-up to their hit 'The Office'.

Gervais said he would rather do a radio show "where I can say what I want... rather than a huge samey ineffectual broadcast" on leaving the station.

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