Ricky Gervais chides celebrities 'complaining' about coronavirus isolation

Ricky Gervais has condemned celebrities “complaining” about being in isolation in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 58-year-old comedian told U.K. tabloid the Sun on Monday that he “never wants to hear people moaning about nurses again” and commended front-line health-care workers who are part of the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS).

“These people are doing 14-hour shifts and not complaining,” he said, referring specifically to nurses and doctors fighting the novel coronavirus.

“ wearing masks and being left with sores after risking their own health and their families’ health selflessly.

“Then I see someone complaining about being in a mansion with a swimming pool,” Gervais continued. “Honestly, I just don’t want to hear it.”

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Gervais then opened up about how his upbringing and hard-working parents developed his morals.

“I was born in the beginning of the ’60s in Battle Hospital in Reading… and that should have been an omen,” he said. “Having gone by the title, I should have known life was going to be a struggle.  And it was,” he said.

“I was the fourth child of an immigrant labourer,” said Gervais. “My dad worked on building sites all his life, until he was 70. He got up every day at 5:30 a.m.”

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais attends Tribeca Talks after the movie 'Special Correspondents' at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival on April 22, 2016 in New York City.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The Office creator then shared that he came from a family of longtime health-care workers.

“Men worked hard, but women worked miracles,” he said. “Because when my dad finished his work that was his own time, but my mum didn’t stop working. Carers didn’t stop working, all the women in my family were carers in some respect.”

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Though Gervais said he “had no money growing up,” he said his mother, Eva, gave him “everything.”

“My mum gardened, she grew, she cooked, she sewed, she knitted, she decorated,” he said. “She did everything she could and she gave me everything I wanted except money.

“I also realized growing up that all the best things were free: friends, nature, learning and health care. That’s why I gladly pay my taxes.

“And that’s why I clap the NHS,” the comedian continued, referring to the tributes and cheers for health-care workers across the globe on a daily basis in the evenings.

“It showed me the value of everything,” Gervais said, reiterating his appreciation for what his family taught him.

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Despite his millionaire status, Gervais then revealed why he still dresses “like a tramp.”

“My clothes are clean and comfortable. Who am I trying to impress?” he said. “I don’t wear £50,000 watches. I don’t collect cars because I can’t drive.

“Nothing gives me more of a buzz than to help an animal. I don’t get excited about things. I’m not a hippie or communist, I think money’s for the safety of your family and friends, and you can’t take it with you.”

On how he is dealing with staying at home, Gervais joked: “I didn’t go out much anyway, and there’s always too much booze in the house.”

The Sun’s full interview with Gervais can be read here.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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