Gervais’ emotional holiday season

The British funnyman lost both his parents in the early 2000s and he takes time out every year to visit his surviving relatives and honour the memory of those who have passed away.

And Gervais admits the sadness is sometimes overwhelming. In a message posted on the Wall Street Journal’s online blog, he writes, “(I will spend Christmas) eating and drinking too much with friends and family. Celebrating life and remembering those that did, but can no longer.

“They are not looking down on me but they live in my mind and heart more than they ever did probably. Some, I was lucky enough to bump into on this planet of six billion people. Others shared much of my genetic material. One selflessly did her best for me all my life. That’s what mums do though. They do it for no other reason than love… I am crying as I write this.

“It usually gets me this time of year. That’s what’s special about Christmas. It’s when you visit or reminisce about the ones you love. And reflect on how lucky you are. How they helped shape you.”

And the comic reveals his fondest memory of his late mum is when she took him to see The Jungle Book as a child.

He adds, “I haven’t seen the film for 40 years so I’m not sure how good it is but it’s still one of my fondest memories because it was a gift from my mum. My mum died when I was 40… But luckily 35 five years before, I’d learnt the bear necessities to get me through. Just like Baloo, she’s still with me.”