Sometimes a person becomes famous without trying, or even wanting it. As seems to be the case with Karl Pilkington. Born and raised in Manchester, UK, Karl was quite content working as a radio producer for small station. Then one fateful day he crossed paths with two individuals who came to shape the bigger part of his future life, whether he agreed with their decisions or not. When Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, fresh off their major success with the Office and Extras, decided to host one of XML’s weekly features with Karl as the producer, they soon discovered a little round-headed diamond in the rough. Karl’s inane outlook on life and outlandish comments quickly made him one of the show’s highlights and it wasn’t long before we was abducted by the dynamic duo to be a part of their podcast project. It was a massive hit, propelling the soft-spoken Manc native into the spotlight of instant stardom. While both Ricky and Steve seem to endlessly revel in their new discovery, Karl himself appear to be more annoyed than amused with his fame. To his big dismay the podcast was turned into an animated show by HBO, and after that there was no going back.
Since then, Karl has been featured in several of Gervais’ endeavours, such as Life’s Too Short (featuring Star Wars favourite Warwick Davis) and Derek, as well as being the reluctant host of his own two series, An Idiot Abroad and The Moaning of Life. The idea of sending a most unwilling participant around the world to see some of its most spectacular wonders was simply a stroke of genius. We watched, laughed and cringed as Karl had to travel to the most exotic place he never wanted to visit, while performing extravagant mandatory tasks like swimming with dolphins, rooming with a Brazilian transvestite and bungee jumping. The bungee jumping was a bit of a let-down, as Karl simply refused when posed up on the platform. He later lied to Ricky on the phone in front of rolling cameras, saying that he’d gone through with it. As a means of redemption, he was later put outside a plane with a close-up camera recording his face as the pilot performed the most daredevil maneuvers.
Karl’s comment? “AAAAHHHHH! YOU WANKERS!”
When he’s not forced into the everyday tasks of a British celebrity, Karl seems happiest spending time with his longtime and mysterious girlfriend, Suzanne, who at one point received a two-pack of condoms as an anniversary gift. The couple spend their days discussing fascinating facts like ghosts, house flies and the human immune system, all while having tea, watching tele and playing scrabble.
With such a huge fan base around the globe, nobody was hardly surprised when Karl got his own online encyclopedia. When paying a visit to Pilkipedia, members of Karl’s fan club can look at orange-like pictures, read up on his biography, or check some of his most rememberable words of wisdom:
“Does the brain control you or are you controlling the brain? I don’t know if I’m in charge of mine.”
“I could eat a knob at night.”
“That impresses me more, inventin’ electricity”[Talking about Benjamin Franklin]
“Just been into the zoo, ‘avin a look round an that. Went into the, er, into the aquarium. Mental, the amount of fish that are knockin’ about.”
Don’t miss out on a chance to treat yourself to bit of goodness (with a needed addendum of badness), and go check out the phenomenon that is Karl Pilkington.