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
Stephen Merchant (The Office, Extras, The Ricky Gervais Show) is an English writer, director, radio presenter, comedian and actor. Stephen sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the pros and cons of being tall and his philosophy on directing. Dax and Stephen reminisce on the pre-internet era when it was impossible to find answers to bizarre questions. They talk about the differences between English and American standards on alcohol consumption and mental health and Stephen talks about the success of The Office and its lasting impact. In the fact check, Monica and Dax reflect on past indiscretions at the bowling alley and they hope the statute of limitations is up.
Jonathan chats with Writer, Comedian, Actor and now Director, Stephen Merchant. They start with his hit movie Fighting with My family, which inevitably leads to wrestling, whether or not Stanley Kubrick is over-rated and working with The Rock. Enjoy!
Stephen Merchant is 2x GoldenGlobe-winning actor, writer and director. I’m a fan of everything he’s worked on (The Office, Office Space, Extras, Hello Ladies, etc.). And now he has a brand new movie coming out that I highly recommend called “Fighting With Family.” The Rock is in it. Stephen wrote and directed it. It’s based off of a real-life family who raised their kids to be professional wrestlers. And it tackles all of these real-life human experiences like the fear of not making it, the pressure to succeed, setting difficult expectations for ourselves and so on. This episode is both funny and totally relatable. Just like Stephen’s upcoming movie (coming out Feb. 14) I write about all my podcasts! Check out the full post and learn what I learned at jamesaltucher.com/podcast. Thanks so much for listening! If you like this episode, please subscribe to “The James Altucher Show” and rate and review wherever you get your podcasts: Apple Podcasts Stitcher iHeart Radio Spotify Follow me on Social Media: YouTube Twitter Facebook Linkedin Instagram