Pilkington in January 2008
23 September 1972|
|Occupation||Television presenter, author, comedian, radio producer, actor, voice actor|
|Television||The Ricky Gervais Show, An Idiot Abroad, Derek, The Moaning of Life, Sick of It|
|Partner(s)||Suzanne Whiston (1990s–present)|
Karl Pilkington (born 23 September 1972) is an English television presenter, author, comedian, radio producer, actor, and voice actor.
Pilkington gained prominence as the producer of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's radio programme on XFM. He appeared on The Ricky Gervais Show, presented the Sky travel comedy series An Idiot Abroad, and made his full acting debut (following a cameo appearance in the final episode of Extras) on Gervais' 2012 comedy-drama series Derek. Pilkington is a co-founder, along with Gervais and Merchant, of RiSK Productions, a television production company. Pilkington also starred in the Sky 1 travel documentary comedy series The Moaning of Life (2013–2015). In 2018 Pilkington starred in a new scripted comedy series, Sick of It.
Pilkington moved to London from Manchester to work with XFM as a producer. While there, he unintentionally caused Gail Porter to leave the station in tears after only one show; he criticised her performance, which Pilkington says was an attempt to encourage improvement. After several years he began work on The Ricky Gervais Show. Initially, Pilkington was solely the programme's producer. As Gervais and Merchant began to frequently invite him to make a cameo appearance, Pilkington's persona came to light and his popularity increased. Pilkington was eventually included as a main presenter of the broadcasts, with large amounts of airtime devoted to his thoughts on various subjects, or various childhood stories. In December 2005, Pilkington stood in for two BBC 6 Music shows for Nemone, and co-presented the shows with Russell Brand.
Pilkington's presence on The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts significantly increased his fame. He has often been mentioned in interviews given by Gervais, and is often the victim of Gervais' practical jokes. After saying "I could eat a knob at night" on the podcast (in relation to I'm a Celebrity contestants eating a kangaroo penis), Gervais encouraged his listeners to sample the sound bite and mix it into dance music. The phrase spawned several dance music mixes, T-shirts, and other merchandise. Many of Pilkington's quotes have since gained publicity, particularly on the Internet. Reuters, commenting on this issue, described Pilkington as a "phenomenon" who had made "Internet history".
On 23 November 2010, while appearing live on Richard Bacon's Radio 5 Live afternoon show, Gervais surprised Pilkington with an on-air phone call. This led to a conversation where Pilkington, who claimed to have been interrupted while grouting his kitchen, said he had not yet been paid for his work on An Idiot Abroad and concluded the interview with an off-the-cuff link into the hourly news. Pilkington has worked independently of Gervais and Merchant on several projects. He appeared as a guest on the shows Flipside TV and The Culture Show, and appeared in several short films as part of the Channel 4 project 3 Minute Wonders.
Merchant and Gervais have repeatedly denied claims that Pilkington's persona is their creation. In an on-air response to similar claims made by Chris Campling during a broadcast on XFM, Merchant stated that he would be "ashamed" if the radio show was scripted, and added that "I would not have squandered a character that good on this poxy radio station". Gervais concurred, pointing out that writing a single series' worth of six half-hour episodes of shows such as The Office and Extras took the two of them up to a year. An interviewer for The Daily Telegraph concluded that Pilkington's persona is genuine.
Television and DVD
Pilkington appeared in an interview on Ricky Gervais's live stand-up comedy DVD, Politics. The DVD of Gervais's film The Invention of Lying contains a special feature called Meet Karl Pilkington which documents his participation in the movie as a non-speaking caveman in another special feature, The Dawn of Lying.[unreliable source?] He was given a small role in the final episode of Extras.
In September 2010, Pilkington presented An Idiot Abroad, a light-hearted travel documentary series that aired on Sky1 and that was produced by Gervais and Stephen Merchant, in which he visits the New 7 Wonders of the World while being directed by Gervais and Merchant into various activities along the way. He wrote a book to accompany the series.
Following the success of the first series, Pilkington starred in the second series subtitled The Bucket List, which debuted on 23 September 2011 on Sky 1. The premise of the series involves Pilkington trying to experience "ultimate things to do before you die" except that the list of activities is not entirely of his choosing. In June 2011, he won the Best Presenter award for An Idiot Abroad at the Factual Entertainment Awards. The third series of the show, An Idiot Abroad: The Short Way Round premiered in November 2012 and showed Pilkington and Warwick Davis travelling the Marco Polo route.
In 2014, Pilkington designed and signed his own card for UK charity Thomas Coram Foundation for Children. The campaign was launched by crafting company Stampin' Up! UK, and his card, along with those designed and signed by other celebrities, was auctioned off on eBay in May 2014.
Pilkington has been in a long-term relationship with Suzanne Whiston, a former producer at the BBC, since the 1990s. Pilkington has supported Manchester United since the 1990s, having previously supported Manchester City as a child. 
|2009||The Invention of Lying||Caveman||Cameo, cut from final release.|
|2006||3 Minute Wonder||Himself||Segment: "Some Thoughts by Karl Pilkington"|
|2007||Comedy Lab||Himself||Episode: "Karl Pilkington: Satisfied Fool"|
|2007||Extras||Autograph Hunter||Episode: "2007 Christmas Special"|
|2010–2012||The Ricky Gervais Show||Himself||Voice|
|2010–2012||An Idiot Abroad||Himself|
|2013–2015||The Moaning of Life||Himself|
|2018–present||Sick of It||Karl|
|2001–2011||The Ricky Gervais Show||Himself|
|2006||The World of Karl Pilkington||978-0007240272|
|2007||Happyslapped by a Jellyfish||978-1405328470|
|2008||Karlology: What I've Learnt So Far||978-1405333351|
|2010||An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington||978-1847679260|
|2012||The Further Adventures of An Idiot Abroad||978-0857867490|
|2013||The Moaning of Life: The Worldly Wisdom of Karl Pilkington||978-1782111511|
|2016||More Moaning: The Enlightened One Returns||978-1782117315|
- "Tonight's TV: The Ricky Gervais Show (XFM)". the times.co.uk. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "Sky1: An Idiot Abroad". Sky1.sky.com. 23 September 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "Idiot Abroad 3 in pre-production". Broadcast. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
Gervais set up Risk Productions along with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington to make the second series following the success of the first Mentorn Media-produced series.
- "The 'idiot' is back..." Chortle. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- "Karl Pilkington: Ricky Gervais's extra pair of hands", The Independent (London), 17 September 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Karl Pilkington: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant Conned Me Into TV Show - On The Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show - Video". Absolute Radio. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Ricky Gervais... Obviously". Rickygervais.com. August 2004. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- "Ricky Gervais makes a surprise call to Karl Pilkington". BBC News. 22 November 2010.
- "Releaselog | RLSLOG.net » The Culture Show S08E03 WS PDTV XviD-REMAX". RLSLOG.net. Archived from the original on 4 February 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Pilkington, K. (Producer) & Merchant, S., Gervais, R. (Presenters). (June 2005)
- "The idiot philosopher". The Daily Telegraph. 17 September 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- White, Cindy (2 December 2009). "Invention of Lying Comes Clean – Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Garner gracing DVD and Blu-ray". IGN.com.
- Gentry, Alexis (22 January 2010). "DVD Extras Better Than Movie on Invention of Lying Disc". voices.yahoo.com. Yahoo. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013.
- "An Idiot Abroad Official Site". Sky1.sky.com. 23 September 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "An Idiot Abroad". London: Waterstones. 2 September 2010. Archived from the original on 30 September 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- "An Idiot Abroad 2: About the Show – Sky1 HD". Sky1.sky.com. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- Benzine, Adam. ""Deadliest Catch"," Amazing Race" win big at Factual Entertainment Awards » Realscreen". Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- "Karl's mid-life crisis".
- Mitchell, Bea (September 21, 2017). "Karl Pilkington Sky 1 Sitcom Sick of it". digitalspy.com.
- Rebecca Pocklington (6 May 2014). "Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Jo Brand and more celebrities design and sign cards for UK's first children's charity". Mirror Online. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- James Robertson (19 September 2013). "Karl Pilkington claims girlfriend won't be upset at being described as "plump" in new show The Moaning of Life". Mirror. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Danielle Paquette (28 January 2011). "'Idiot Abroad' unimpressed by world's wonders". CNN. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- "Famous fan: Karl Pilkington - Official Manchester United Website". www.manutd.com. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- "Comedy Lab - Episode Guide - All 4". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Pilkington, Karl. "Karlology page at". Waterstones.com. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington page at". Waterstones.com. Archived from the original on 30 September 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- "The Further Adventures of An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "The Moaning of Life: The Worldly Wisdom of Karl Pilkington by Karl Pilkington — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
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