As the third and final season of After Life drops on Netflix, Ricky Gervais chatted with Graham Norton about the series on BBC One.
It might come as a surprise to some to learn that the comedian, perhaps best known for his TV show The Office, is not married – unlike his After Life character Tony Johnson.
But Gervais has had a long-term relationship with his partner, author Jane Fallon since 1982.
Jane is the award-winning author of best-selling novels such as Tell Me a Secret and My Sweet Revenge and has been a television producer with her works including the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders.
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The couple met while studying at University College London and have been together for 40 years.
They are not married – it’s not something they plan to do – and the couple have no children.
In 2017, Gervais told American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres that he would “worry” if he had a baby.
He added: “There are plenty of reasons why I don’t have kids. The world is overcrowded, no one sits around and says, ‘Oh Rick won’t have kids, we’re going. miss, there are plenty!”
However, the couple have shared pets throughout their relationship, including Ollie, a cat given to the couple by Jonathan Ross.
Ollie made regular appearances on Gervais and Fallon’s respective Twitter accounts before the feline died in 2020.
But animal lovers have found a new cat companion in the form of Pickle – a cat they originally raised, but ended up adopting.
Gervais previously pledged to leave a large percentage of his wealth to animal welfare charities upon his death and is also a vegetarian.
The couple own a £2.75million riverside home in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and live in a £10.8million London mansion which has its own swimming pool and summer house , reports Wales Online.
But that wasn’t always the case, and Fallon admitted the couple had ‘no money’ and lived above a brothel in Kings Cross, London before their luck.
In an earlier interview with the Daily Mail, Fallon said she was the sole earner, earning £40 a week at a theatrical agency, learning to be an editor.
They were too poor to afford the constant supply of 50p coins needed to keep the heating running, and froze every winter.
Today Gervais is valued at around £100m and reports suggest Fallon is worth around £3m.
But in the Daily Mail interview, Fallon said they pool all their income, “like an old married couple”.
Gervais is known for his professional relationships, notably with Stephen Merchant, with whom he co-created The Office and Extras.
Shortly after The Office was released, Gervais met Karl Pilkington and the trio started a weekly podcast called the Ricky Gervais Show.
It became hugely popular and was even made into an animated series for Channel 4 in 2010, Berkshire Live reports.
It then spawned An Idiot Abroad, a concept that saw Gervais and Merchant send an unassuming Pilkington to remote corners of the globe, setting up uncomfortable challenges for him to complete.
But neither Pilkington nor Merchant have toured with Gervais since 2013, when Pilkington starred in the first episode of Derek’s second series.
Gervais has denied this represents a split from the pair and in 2020 he said: “I’m not answering on purpose. [falling out rumours] because it annoys them [Pilkington and Merchant].
“But no no no, I haven’t [fallen out with them], I’ve always done my own thing, and now they do too. It’s not a divorce story.”
Pilkington revealed he left the show in 2013 after deciding acting just wasn’t for him. Merchant, however, has already welcomed the idea of collaborating with Gervais again.
“If the right idea was there, it would be nice to do something about it,” he said in 2018.
“But right now there’s nothing on the horizon. We’ve worked together for over 10 years and I think it’s that feeling of being pulled in different directions creatively.”
All three seasons of After Life are available to stream now on Netflix.