THERE is no doubt many people would describe comedian Ricky Gervais as a ‘Marmite’ figure.
His near-the-mark humour pushes the boundaries of free speech and, arguably, brings with it a platform to make gags and assertions many would not dare to.
But off the stage, away from the limelight and aside from the popularity he has amassed as the pioneer of hit shows such as The Office, he has a deep respect for animals and their rights – and he does not hide it.
On the face of it, the star’s 13 million Twitter followers will be only too familiar with Mr Gervais’ Siamese cat, Ollie, which he often shares pictures of on Twitter – and they’ll be even more familiar with it if they follow its dedicated account (@myleftfang).
But his love for animals transcends domestic species and backs up the fight to save those which are endangered too – particularly by trophy hunters – for whom he has many a strong word for on Twitter.
He has also publicly supported an end to bullfighting, animal testing, keeping orca whales in amusement park tanks and straight-up cruelty.
But among his most recent campaigns, he used his following to offer little Alfie, left, a lifeline he has waited for since he was born.
And after sharing that now-successful appeal on Saturday, many asked why he didn’t just donate the £4,000 himself.
His reply was simple: ‘I donated £88,000 to the RSPCA this month but general awareness and the feeling of responsibility and involvement as a society is worth more than I could ever give.’
We’d say that that’s fair enough.