How far would you go to achieve fame and fortune? For some the answer is not very, for others they’d do anything and then there is Karl Pilkington who agreed to be Ricky Gervais’ pet project. Mind you, he’s now worth a pretty cool £2.5 million so who cares if you’re portrayed as a moaning idiot?
Life off the Lens
Pilkington was born and raised on a council estate in Manchester, England where his mum and dad slogged away at their jobs to put food on the table for their three children – Karl and his siblings Mark and Jackie. Pilkington took the decision to drop out of Ashton on Mersey high school with no qualifications to his name but landed a printing job on apprentice terms. Of course, his career has shifted dramatically since those days (more on that later) but it’s those simplistic and down to earth roots that make him the character he is.
Beyond his childhood, Pilkington has been settled down with his partner Suzanne for near on 30 years and the pair now reside in Dorset.
XFM and a life changing team
Pilkington moved to London to take up a position as producer on an XFM radio show in 2002; it just so happened that the hosts of the show were Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Although the trio hit it off, Pilkington was just a voiceless producer – at least he was to begin with.
Pilkington started to make regular appearances on-air where his personality and comic views caused a stir and the trio went on to bigger things.
An Idiot Abroad
Although Pilkington had appeared on camera a few times for different things he truly became a recognised celeb for the hit series ‘An Idiot Abroad‘, which was a travel documentary created by Gervais and Merchant but starring Pilkington as very much himself. Pilkington was led to believe the series would be ‘Karl Pilkington’s Seven Wonders’ but Gervais had other ideas and, despite seemingly hating the rough and sometimes degrading travelling, Pilkington clearly loved it and the viewers lapped it up as the series ran for three successful series.
Pilkington has proved far from a one hit wonder though and his next series, The Moaning of Life, earned more rave reviews whilst his own creation – Sick of it, which aired on Sky One in 2018 and has recently began its second series.
More than a miseryguts
Pilkington’s persona on screen is one of a miserable middle-aged man who comes out with some comedic golden gems but don’t be fooled as he’s much more than that. Alongside playing the idiot – literally – Pilkington has seven books to his name, is co-founder of RiSK Productions and has been known to support various charity initiatives.
There you have it, a little insight into the man that is known to the nation as an idiot. We’d happily be labelled as one as well in exchange for a net worth of over £2.5 million.
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