Ricky Gervais joins Alex Jones and Michael Ball in the studio to talk Humanity and Adam Hargreaves tells the story of his father, Mr Men creator Roger Hargreaves.
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Hello and welcome to your Friday One
Show with Alex Jones.
daydream and it came true, it is
Michael Ball. Nice to see you.
Joining us tonight, I guess two has
it all, wit, charm, humour. Talent,
money. Charisma and good looks but
you would not know it from the
selfies that he pose. Here he is on
his way to New York recently.
there was Berlin. Oslo. Here he is
Please welcome, Ricky
I have been travelling
around the world, in the loveliest
cities and playing arenas and I
thought, give a little bit back, a
little souvenir. I liked to do a bad
picture. I thought I was too
irrelevant one and that is
Where did you get the
I went into a fancy dress
shop, I made Jane go up and she
said, have you got a mermaid outfit
and she said it was for her. Then,
well, no. It is for an adult. He
gave it to her and he said, someone
is going to have a nice weekend! She
had to take all that and she wanted
to go, it is for him, he is hiding
You take the phone into
the bath with you.
Jane had to take
that. Sometimes I like to enhance my
cleavage and I needed both hands. It
is all me.
Yeah! It is getting ever
Also tonight, it is Alex's
last show before she and these
heroic mothers take on Mayor.
-- take on The Mother Of All
Challenges. It is going to be a long
I might never come back. I
will be fine.
It is Mother's Day on
Sunday. We want to hear from mothers
who want to tell their families what
they do not want for Mother's Day
And then what they do
want. It does not have to be a gift
or anything material, what do you
Key ring. I was thinking
today, I really need a key ring.
I carry my keys
You get them in a
Let us move on.
Send a picture of you with your
family and what you do and do not
want to the usual addressed. Time
for the first film and for us to get
This is unusual.
great. Thank you, Mr Musicals, we
need to make sense of this. A new
Little Miss was launched for
International woman's Day and we got
the opportunity to meet their men
behind the Mr Men.
When I was very
young, I asked my dad an impossible
question that children love to pose
to their parents, what does a tickle
look like? This is what he came up
Tickles our small and round
and they have arms that stretch and
My dad was Roger
Hargreaves, he created the Little
Miss and Mr Men series.
This is the
sad story of Mr Bump. If there was
something for him to bump into, you
would bump into it.
My dad was a
larger than life character,
physically, because he was six foot
five and his personality, he loved
practical jokes, he was Mr silly. He
was just fundamentally silly.
nonsense land, everything is as
silly as it can be.
I grew up, most
of my childhood in a village in
Surrey. We moved around 1982 to this
farm which is on the border of
Sussex and Kent. I was the
first-born and then my brother Giles
and twin sisters, Sophie and Amelia.
Dad worked as a copywriter, commuted
to London every day, he was always
looking for something to allow him
to work from home. This is the
original Mr Tickle book that he
knocked up when he was first trying
to sell the idea. In his mind, if
you could personify a tickle, you
could personify any human emotional
characteristic and turn those into
characters in their own right.
Massey was messy by name, messy by
My father created a poster
of Viagra the back of books, I don't
think he ever imagined how
successful that was going to be and
he ended up with hundreds of
requests coming through the post
every week and he set up a
production line on the dining room
table with all of us, I was writing
out labours, Giles was rolling out
posters and my sisters were sticking
labels on them. Little Miss came
about because my father realised
that it was a rather one-sided
project that he had created and he
needed to rebalance things properly.
Obviously the twins were based on my
sisters and the one character that
is me is Mr forgetful. I had always
loved drawing but I felt I wanted to
go in a different direction and
ended up working in farming. As a
shy child, I liked being on my own
and I loved being outside. I think
it bemused my father, the idea of
getting up at five in the morning
and milking clowns would have been
an anathema to him. Sadly, my father
died while we were living here in
1988 -- milking cows. He was only
53. He had a number of strokes, it
was a terrible shock. I decided to
help my mother take over the
business and that evolved into a
more creative role. It is funny,
drawing, the smell of these parents
takes me straight back to my
childhood because one of my abiding
memories was the smell in his office
of his magic markers -- the smell of
these markers. Little Miss Inventor
is the latest new character. She
invents crazy gadgets for the other
characters. The only thing I now
regret is that I never got the
opportunity to tell my dad what a
wonderful idea he came up with,
there is something brilliantly
simple in terms of its concept and
the humour and fun that it throws
up, it moment of genius that he had,
That is a nice film.
Beautiful. Thanks to Adam Hargreaves
for sharing his story and the Little
Miss Inventor is available now.
Thank you to Adam, he made our day,
for creating Little Miss One-der and
You look exotic. I
looked like I have a blood pressure
Where are you a fan? I was
a bit too old for it but my oldest
nephew who is about eight years
younger than me, and he loved them.
They have the books. Mr tickle had
extraordinarily long arms, it is so
sweet. I thought it was so
simplistic, one idea.
always identify with one. Did you?
Mr Bump looked good.
Mr Bump looked good. There was Mr
Messy as well. I loved all Pirlo as
I have extraordinarily short
arms. Which you talk about in your
Humanity tour. The last time you are
here, you were about to start the
tour, that was last February and now
you have done it.
It was one year
and it ended last week in Amsterdam.
One whole year. Honestly, my
favourite so far, I think it is my
best and it takes 15 years to get
good at it and I think I am good
now. It was seven years, you have
got something to talk about. Your
first tour is your life and only
have a year to do another one. The
world has changed so much. The
audience know me now and I can go
further and they know what I am
doing. It was a joy, an absolute
joy. It started off Azmi whingeing
about the world and by the end, it
reminded me what a brilliant place
Did it bring out a softer
Judging by the performers, I
would say probably not.
I am playing
and much more confident, harsher
persona. I am a nice cuddly little
chap. I talk about a very
contentious subjects. I think people
will get it. It is explained. It is
not just me trying to be crass and
annoying. I talk about taboo
subjects for a reason. If you talk
about them, they are not as scary.
You let us look at the trailer.
it is. Lovely welcome, just for that
I will try my hardest tonight. I
know what you're thinking, relax, we
have already had our monies were
read just seen you. You are a
legend. Shut up! I am just an
ordinary guy, going around talking
to people, sort of like Jesus. But
better. I have actually turned up.
APPLAUSE. I have got to say, it is
But very shocking.
If you say
something is controversial, then it
is by definition. I can say it
isn't, then you will say it is, then
it is. It is about a fence and
freedom of speech and this culture
where people do not look at the
argument, they look at who is saying
it. It is about prejudice and this
post-truth era and propaganda and it
is about stupidity, really. It is
about ignorance and all those things
and exposing these taboo subjects,
all these sacred cows and there
should not be any. I think it should
be allowed to talk about any subject
but it depends what are. No subject
is horrifying, it depends on the
joke and the target and who is the
victim. I almost challenge people to
be offended and they are not,
because they get what I am doing.
is interesting the way that explain
a joke. You explain what it is and
why you should not be offended.
use example, social media, how
people get the wrong end of the
stick and how things are blown out
of proportion. I think people
identify with it, everything that
happened to me would have probably
happen to them in some way. I am
holding the mirror up to me, I am
the butt of most jokes, I think. It
is about me being a privileged
It is an Netflix. Netflix
unbelievably has 27,000 categories,
amongst our favourites are Comedies
About Horses, Revenge Musicals.
About Horses, Revenge Musicals. What
category are going to find your
Humanity tour under?
funny in the worst situations on
Arab, I think. I do talk about the
most contentious and scary subjects
on the planet and thinks that people
do not talk about. It is like I am
guided people through a scary forest
and it all turns out OK. I'm telling
people to look at the joke, not the
subject. In fact, annoying
comedians, that is another category.
Ricky's stand-up show is an Netflix
from next Tuesday. We have mentioned
it is a big week for Alex.
what you are doing. Myself, Debbie,
Jodie, Amal and Leigh will be taking
on the The Mother Of All Challenges
for Sport Relief. Cycling across the
lake district, cycling Helvellyn
Mountain, swimming in Loch Ness and
finishing with a marathon in
Swansea, to raise money and
awareness for maternal health and
highlight what mums go through. One
of our mums, Jodie, visited a
project in Skipton to find out just
how important your donations really
As you will be a child will grow up
happy, confident and with lots of
friends. For a child with a
disability this can be extra
challenging. I have come to meet a
boy called Oliver and his mum and
Oliver is 11 and Owen
is nine months. Oliver has a
syndrome. Oh and has the same. It
affects Oliver's ability to get
around. Delayed development.
Epilepsy. He has now got some benign
tumours. He has got fumbling on the
bones of his hip. If you were to
break is it it may never be
replaced. He would be in his
wheelchair full-time. It is getting
tougher because he is 11 now and I
can't lift him like I used to.
together have you dealt with all of
Days can be very stressful. I
can take it out on Dave. Dave can
take it out on me. It has put a huge
strain on the relationship.
Stacey heard about a project funded
by Sport Relief donations that
supports children through clubs,
workshops and trips, which help them
socialise and develop life skills.
We try and include the whole family.
Children come along, would also
siblings. It gives them a sense of
belonging and hope for the future.
Oliver has been coming for seven
years, as have many of the children.
Life has its ups and downs but we
will always be there for those
How our Sport Relief
It is at the
heart of our organisation,
supporting the children we work with
to access more clubs and helping us
to reach more children.
and the parents clearly get so much
out of it, and to hear the mums
talking about how much their
children love it here and how much
it also gives them some time for
themselves. Yeah, enjoying getting
involved. This project doesn't just
support children. It makes a
difference to the parents, too.
Riley is nine and has Asperger's
syndrome. He comes here weekly to
hang out with his friends while his
mum gets a moment to herself.
both need a wrong time. He needs to
play with children his own age. It
is good phrase socialisation skills.
It is going out with other children
that have the same sort of issues.
If he has a blip, or a melt down, I
know that he is in safe hands. They
are just amazing.
Riley, what are
your favourite things about the
I like the games and when we
Where do you go?
we go to parks and places.
play with your friends?
don't think he would have thrived as
well as we have -- he has done if we
hadn't got this.
Oliver loves it. I don't need to
worry because everybody loves
You can see why the work of
this project is so important. Just a
£10 donation can help a train leader
Ron these after-school sessions.
Without your generosity, these
projects cannot go ahead. So please,
give whatever you can.
Thanks Jodie and thanks to Stacey,
Oliver and Erin and Sarah and Riley
for sharing their stories.
To support the Mother of All
Challenges and make a donation, you
can donate £5...
It is. You have
heard about this Mother of All
Challenges. Any advice?
Don't do it!
Just give the money to not do it.
The hiking boots are in the bags. We
need to reserves.
No. Never going to
I have done my bit. I did
baking. I did baking for Sport
Relief. I absolutely went for it.
Greece to your own dish.
Not for the
first time, I might add.
That is the
Because you are taking on
the Mother of All Challenges,
tonight we wanted to give Alex is
much motherly advice as possible. To
wish you luck we have a special
family joining us from Suffolk. A
family of five generations. Hello to
the Darton family.
both the youngest of five
generations. How will you be
celebrating Mother's Day?
first Mother's Day this year. It
will be extra special. We are going
to do it all together, all of us
just going to go out together.
is the best piece of advice your
mother passed on to you?
piece of advice would be to always
stay true to yourself and to always
be happy in every circumstance.
advice. What is your mum's name?
Can we speak to Kirsty?
Thank you. Kirsty. There you are.
What is the best piece of advice
your mother gave?
My mum always said
to me when I first had Katie, if she
was coming to see me not to worry
about tidying the house and cleaning
up because she was coming to see me
and Katie and nothing else matters.
What is a name?
Merrill. What is the best piece of
advice your mother gave you?
told me to live life with enthusiasm
and just enjoy yourself.
She is so
right. What is her name?
My mum is
Stella and she is 89.
Can we speak
mother of all mothers. How are you,
What advise will you
give to your
up and be as beautiful as her mum,
her grandmother and her
Can we get
everybody on the sofa? A family
Thank you, ladies.
Happy Mother's Day to you all.
Mother's Day. What a smashing
We talked about Humanity.
You are thinking about the next
Yeah. The title I
thought of at first was maybe super
nature, because I can talk about how
I don't believe in anything
supernatural. And I can tell people
how super nature is. Just how
beautiful the world is.
You are kind
of obsessed with it on Twitter,
I suppose I've always
been at heart a scientist. I'm
fascinated by the world, people and
animals. One of the most exciting
things in life is to learn as much
as you can and do eat as much cheese
I certainly agree with one
of your things! There is another
project you are working on?
just gone into preproduction now. I
have written a six part story. It is
sort of a comedy but a dark comedy.
It is not a sitcom. I start work on
that in the summer. I can't wish to
do another tour. I am just hooked.
You like people again.
I like people
again, I do. If they are paying.
There is always a caveat.
Is it easy
to write for yourself?
first couple of tours I wrote like a
stand-up. This show I went out with
Nothing at all?
idea. I whinged and talked. That is
the great thing. The audience choose
your best stuff. It is instant. You
put a sitcom out and there's nothing
you can do to change it. With this
every night it evolves. When it is
perfect it never goes away.
why live is best. We couldn't resist
hearing from comedian Mark Nelson
and his four-year-old daughter's
thought on Mother's Day.
Dad, have you got mum's Mother's Day
Me? Have you not but
You but her birthday
present at the garage. It was a
bottle of screen wash.
I get it
Don't get her flowers.
She'll think you have done something
I got her a card that
says, happy Mother's Day.
That is a
What is in front of
Glitter and it is beautiful.
I was thinking we should make
breakfast in bed as well.
that. We want to wake up with a
smile, not food poisoning.
down, it's only Mother's Day.
is such an important day. Mothers do
absolutely everything. They take
care of us, feed us, talk or sin.
And go a whole nine months without a
glass of wine.
I suppose you're
Behold they must be about
I should get hurt those fancy
chocolates as well.
No, I don't like
them. Get her chocolate buttons as
I hope you put as much effort
into Father's Day.
When is that?
Considering how much mums do, pretty
much every day is Father's Day.
She is gorgeous. Tights and after
What you mean?
Mother's Day and birthday dad would
get is tights and after eights
forever. She was thrilled.
you to get in touch earlier.
got a special grandmother, Jean
Harcourt, a black belt in karate and
she is running the London Marathon.
Take a seat.
Take a seat.
It is a rude question
to ask but how old are you?
old. I'm training for the London
Marathon. I'm doing about eight
miles a day at the moment. Leading
up to 11, six days a week. I've got
a good incentive. I want to raise
awareness of Parkinson's disease,
which is a very, very cruel disease.
I'm trying to raise as much money as
possible for this charity.
brilliant effort. You did run the
marathon a long time ago. You
decided to do it again for the
charity. How are you finding it?
Well, fine. But 15 years ago when I
ran it, when I finished I said,
never again will I do that, when I
go through all that training or that
work that raising funds. But this
time I thought, well, I don't work
any more, I'm retired, I'll do. So
here I am. Trying to raise awareness
Do you think it
is important to get a lot of
I do get a lot of
He came in his tracksuit.
You cannot imagine what I would look
like if I didn't exercise every day.
This is just to keep the status quo
and then I wear black.
to tell her family that all she
wanted everybody to be no presence.
Amanda does want breakfast in bed
but doesn't want to be woken up
early. That is lovely. One more
here. Hannah in Sheffield with
Robert and dad Bob once a lion. She
does not want any heart attacks.
key ring would be lovely.
you point to him when you said any
Big thank you to Ricky.
Lovely to see you again.
Thank you to all the mums we have
met this evening. Happy Mother's Day
for the weekend.
On Monday, a trio
of stars, Oprah Winfrey, Reese
Witherspoon and Mindi Kelling.