Stand-up runs for sitcom role
writer/actor Stephen Merchant (below) is following his pal Ricky Gervais to Hollywood. TV bosses want him to make a sitcom based on his stand-up comedy routine. Merchant teamed up with Gervais to help write hit shows The Office and Extras but branched out on his own in 2011 with a live comedy act called Hello Ladies. He has toured the one-man show, which examines his struggle to find love after splitting from his long-term girlfriend in 2009, around the UK and US and now he could be taking it to the small screen after bosses at HBO network approached Merchant about turning it into a sitcom. ‘‘I did the stand up in America and some people from HBO came and asked me if I would like to do a sitcom. The stand-up show is about my failure to find a wife and my pathetic life as a loser and they thought, ‘We want that on TV’,’’ he tells chat show host Graham Norton.