Ricky Gervais Pays Tribute to Christopher Hitchens on Twitter

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The Golden Globes troublemaker calls the late TV pundit a "brave man and a hero of mine."

Ricky Gervais took to Twitter on Friday following the death of his friend and fellow troublemaker, Christopher Hitchens.

"RIP Christopher Hitchens," wrote Gervais of the TV pundit and author. "The most honest and outspoken, bullshit-free thinker of our time. A brave man and a hero of mine." Added the comedian: "Just been reading through all my emails to and from Christopher H. (that's how he signed off) Had to stop as it was making me too sad."

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Hitchens died Thursday at a Houston hospital after a long battle with esophageal cancer. He was 62. Tributes came pouring in from Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter, Salman Rushdie and others.

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No stranger to controversy himself, Gervais incited fury this week for echoing a Hitchensian stance on religion on the social-networking site. "I don't believe in ANY god because it's Irrational, without basis and mental. But it is EVERYONE'S right to believe what they want. End of," he explained to readers, sparking online debate.

Gervais is poised to push more buttons as host of the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 11.