Kicking it with Karl | Both the ball and head are round

Karl Pilkington‘s book, with cover sketch by mate Ricky Gervais, becomes available in the United States on 1 October.

London | Talk on the world’s most downloaded podcast—some 8 million downloads confirmed by Guinness World Records—occasionally turns to sport. The Ricky Gervais Show co-host Stephen Merchant on 28 March 06 asked the third man of the trio—the world’s favorite Mancunian, Karl Pilkington—if he had been paying attention to the Commonwealth Games. Pilkington says he does not follow sports:

It just seems to be sort of wasted. If people are running fast, use it. Do you know what I mean? Rather than just trying to beat your own record or someone else’s do something where you do have to run. If you’re a good swimmer, be a lifeguard. Don’t be messing about going up and down.

Such unaffected stating of opinions, served with dollops of world-weariness, has endeared Pilkington, 34, to his followers. Yet he does not seem to regard football as wasted effort. His longtime girlfriend, Suzanne, has a connection to the game as a BBC employee working on Match of the Day. (See the profile by Nigel Farndale,The Idiot Philosopher,” Daily Telegraph, 17 Sept 06.)

And on a few occasions as Merchant and Gervais’s producer on London radio station Xfm, Pilkington plays football with Gervais in the office while the two are supposed to be getting ready for the show. On 7 Sept 02, Gervais and Pilkington play a variety of “bin football.” Each has five chances to flick the ball into a rubbish bin to save the world from apocalypse. They shift to a more conventional game. Gervais acknowledges Pilkington’s superior ball skills, but claims victory because Pilkington “hasn’t got the aggression or the weight.” (All shows are available for download via Pilkipedia, an obsessive’s chronicle of all things Pilkington.)

Copyright © Neil Drabble The K-Man

One of the most extensive conversations about soccer occurred earlier, on 16 Feb 02, after another pre-show Gervais-Pilkington hallway kickabout:

Gervais: I went, “I bet you were quite good at football, weren’t you?” And I actually thought he looked like quite a natural, I thought he’d be good, he’s from the North, and I thought that’s all he’d have.

Merchant: Exactly.

Page 1 of 3 | Next page