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Bowie died Sunday after a 18-month battle with cancer. His representative confirmed the death to The Hollywood Reporter. Not long after news broke, Gervais tweeted to his more than 10.4 million followers.
I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) January 11, 2016
Later in the night, Gervais shared a column that he wrote in November 2010 about Bowie for ShorLlist, which the UK magazine called a “perfect” tribute to Bowie on Twitter. In the column, titled, “How David Bowie influenced my life and work by Ricky Gervais,” the British comedian wrote that he never had a role model that he could identify with when he was growing up until he discovered Bowie.
“I wore him like a badge of honour,” he wrote. “As it turned out, I’d backed the most important creative force in British rock since Lennon and McCartney.”
Gervais continues on, writing that he eventually became friends with Bowie, “wrote a song with him, acted opposite him, did interviews with him, performed on stage with him, got thinner, wrote this article about him.”
In 2006, Bowie appeared as himself on Gervais‘ British sitcom Extras in an episode titled “David Bowie.” In the episode, Gervais’ character approaches Bowie when he spots him in a bar and, after complaining about his life, ends up inspiring the musician to write and sing a song about a “pathetic little fat man” who “sold his soul” for fame. The entire bar ends up singing along to Bowie’s “Little Fat Man.”
Watch the clip below:
Jan. 11, 1:29 p.m. Updated with Gervais‘ column
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