RICKY GERVAIS, star of the original British version of “The Office” 

Ricky Gervais has revealed that he upset the vicar at both his parents’ funerals – by cracking jokes.

He admitted he and his elder brother Bob had ‘wound up’ the vicar of his mother Eva’s funeral and spent much of the occasion ‘crying with laughter’.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs today, Gervais said: ‘When my mum died, we were organising the funeral and the vicar said to my brother “So tell me about your mother, what was she like?” and my brother, just winding up the vicar, said “she was a keen racist”.

‘And the vicar said “I can’t say that”. So he went “Oh, OK then, she liked gardening”.

Bob also told the vicar their other brother was called Barry – rather than his real name, Larry.

Gervais, 45, said that when the wrong name was read out at the funeral: ‘We’re crying with laughter and the vicar thinks we’re crazy. We’re there crying, and crying with laughter.’

Gervais, an atheist, insisted the joking was not tasteless.

‘I remember at my dad’s funeral where we were mucking around and laughing and we had to go over to the vicar and say “Sorry about that. He was 83. If he was 50, there would have been less laughter”.

‘I wouldn’t do it at someone else’s mum’s funeral. I think that’s the difference. I don’t think there’s any taboos in humour.’

(Excerpted from CHORTLE, a UK Comedy Guide)