Ricky Gervais encourages comedians to joke about taboo subjects

Ricky Gervais thinks comedians should feel free to joke about taboo subjects.

The 60-year-old star believes he's built a "connection" with the audience of 'After Life' because the Netflix series focuses on sensitive subjects, such as "suicide and cancer".

Ricky - who plays a suicidal man struggling to cope with his wife's death - explained: "People say you can’t do suicide and cancer. You can.

"People are proud they saw something they are scared of. They see a connection - I am proudest of that. There is this thing about how the truth can be terrible - it is not terrible. The truth can be uplifting, it can be liberating to know the truth."

Ricky - whose past successes include 'The Office' and 'Extras' - has never previously made more than two series of any show.

However, he struggled to walk away from the 'After Life' characters and so he decided to return for a third season.

Speaking at the 'After Life: From Script To Screen' Q&A at London’s Picturehouse Central, he explained: "I built up a world and it was the biggest I had ever built up.

"It was so much effort to get to this point about such a difficult subject I didn’t want to destroy it as quickly. I enjoyed it so much.

"Being honest, the success was such a surprise and relief and the fact that it was about emotional sides of things, I thought, ‘I have to do one more and see how far I can go with it’."

Despite this, Ricky doesn't see himself making a fourth series of the show.

He said: "I could do a fourth - it would not run out of ideas because it is about so much stuff. But I said I won’t, so I won’t.

"I think this is the best series. It gets better and better, as it should."