EXC: Warwick Davis DEFENDS ‘nice guy’ Ricky Gervais’ controversial comedy about disabled people

Warwick Davis has hit back at criticism of Ricky Gervais’ comedy, as he insists his risqué jokes are without malice and are in fact educational. 

The Star Wars actor, 49, spoke candidly to MailOnline on Friday as he took on a unique work opportunity by working on the collection counter in Argos to mark the release of much-anticipated video game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. 

After working with The Office creator, 58, on a host of projects, including Life’s Too Short and Extras, Warwick defied the comedian’s critics surrounding his work regarding dwarfism as he insisted Ricky is ‘holding a mirror up to society’.  

Protective: Warwick Davis has hit back at criticism of Ricky Gervais’ comedy, as he insists his risqué jokes are without malice and are in fact educational (pictured in 2011)

In 2011, Warwick co-created and starred in mockumentary Life’s Too Short alongside Ricky and Stephen Merchant, in which he played an arrogant and rude version of himself, who runs a talent agency for dwarves.

Warwick was born with an extremely rare condition called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SED), where the bone endings fail to form. It meant he never grew taller than 3ft 6in. 

Despite Warwick’s involvement, Life’s Too Short came under fire for being ‘in poor taste and deeply offensive’ due to its shock jokes. 

At the time, Kristina Gray wrote for The Guardian: ‘I appreciate that this is a comedy, and that some people will find these jokes funny. But for me, they just make a mockery of the discrimination that little people face daily…

Hard at work: The Star Wars actor, 49, spoke candidly to MailOnline on Friday as he took on a unique work opportunity by working on the collection counter in Argos to mark the release of much-anticipated video game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Hard at work: The Star Wars actor, 49, spoke candidly to MailOnline on Friday as he took on a unique work opportunity by working on the collection counter in Argos to mark the release of much-anticipated video game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

‘There are dwarf hate groups on Facebook, and I’ve been contacted by little people telling me they’ve been spat at in the street, or insulted so constantly they have to walk around wearing earphones.’

The show was not renewed for a second season, and while critics panned the programme, Warwick staunchly defended both the show and Ricky. 

He said: ‘As with much of Ricky’s work it was ahead of it’s time. It was misunderstood as a sitcom and what we were trying to achieve… In time it settled in nicely. Some people really enjoyed it. There was no malice, I created it with [Ricky and Stephen]…

‘It’s not like there’s a manipulation, which some people thought, We were holding a mirror to society and saying this is what it can be like and this is what you can be like. Some of these things are a mis-reaction to what I’m saying.’

In 2005, Warwick played himself in Extras but again an inflated and arrogant version who winds up in a fight with Ricky’s character Andy Millman. 

Way back when: After working with The Office creator, 58, on a host of projects, including Life's Too Short and Extras, Warwick defied the comedian's critics (pictured with Ricky and Stephen Merchant in a promo shot for Life's Too Short in 2011)

Way back when: After working with The Office creator, 58, on a host of projects, including Life’s Too Short and Extras, Warwick defied the comedian’s critics (pictured with Ricky and Stephen Merchant in a promo shot for Life’s Too Short in 2011)

Way back when: In 2005, Warwick played himself in Extras but again an inflated and arrogant version who winds up in a fight with Ricky's character Andy Millman

Way back when: In 2005, Warwick played himself in Extras but again an inflated and arrogant version who winds up in a fight with Ricky’s character Andy Millman

Continuing, he said: ‘Ricky does push the boundaries but he’ll never make a joke and not be able to explain it or have an answer it. Whereas other comedy can be not so well thought through and cause real offence…

‘He is a much more intelligent comedian than to fall into that trap. He’s a really nice guy. I worked with him on various projects. I re-watched Extras recently and some of the issues he tackles are just oh so clever…

‘He’s still done that, there’s an element of educational in his work and I don’t know whether he means to do that but you come away feeling like enlightened and like a better person. You think I have thought that or I haven’t thought that and I think that’s a rare gift.’

Defensive: The show was not renewed for a second season, and while critics panned the programme, Warwick staunchly defended both the show and Ricky (pictured in 2012)

Defensive: The show was not renewed for a second season, and while critics panned the programme, Warwick staunchly defended both the show and Ricky (pictured in 2012)

Speaking of facing adversity in his career, Warwick said: ‘I haven’t noticed adversity but you wouldn’t know you’re up against it…

‘From my perspective I’ve enjoyed a really successful career. Any actor would know there’s parts they would like to have but it really is down to who’s right for that role. 

You think that way a bit but i never feel like I’m up against it. My whole life, whoever you are you have to fight for what you want to achieve in life…

‘You have to go out and get what you want in life. That was instilled in me from my parents. I have that get up and go attitude and if you believe in yourself enough you can achieve it. It’s the same in personal life as well. It’s an important attitude to have.’

Working hard: Warwick's chat with MailOnline came as he was working on the collection counter at Argos ahead of the launch of the new Star Wars film

Working hard: Warwick’s chat with MailOnline came as he was working on the collection counter at Argos ahead of the launch of the new Star Wars film

Warwick’s chat with MailOnline came as he was working on the collection counter at Argos ahead of the launch of the new Star Wars film.  

The star, who famously played Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi, sported an Argos uniform and name badge to help manage the R2-D-queue of excited customers attempting to get their hands on the new game. 

Peter Wray, Senior Gaming Buyer at Argos, said: ‘There was no better way to celebrate one of the biggest video game launches of 2019 than having Star Wars acting legend Warwick Davis behind the counter in our store today…

Shock: Speaking of facing adversity in his career, Warwick said: 'I haven't noticed adversity but you wouldn't know you're up against it'

Shock: Speaking of facing adversity in his career, Warwick said: ‘I haven’t noticed adversity but you wouldn’t know you’re up against it’

‘Warwick’s doing a stellar job in his new role and we hope fans have a blast meeting their hero while they pick up the game. With customer service skills that are out of this world, Warwick’s a contender for colleague of the month!’ 

Warwick said: ‘I’ve always loved Argos, their catalogues, and the magical way the stuff I’ve bought materialises on an adjacent counter.

‘It was brilliant to have the chance to go behind the scenes and see how it all happens. I also had fun interacting with customers and Star Wars fans eager to get their hands on all the latest Star Wars products.’

The long-awaited game is available to purchase from Friday 15 November as on PS4 and Xbox or as part of the Xbox One S or Xbox One X Star Wars bundles. 

The long-awaited game is available to purchase from Friday 15 November as on PS4 and Xbox or as part of the Xbox One S or Xbox One X Star Wars bundles

The long-awaited game is available to purchase from Friday 15 November as on PS4 and Xbox or as part of the Xbox One S or Xbox One X Star Wars bundles