Stephen Merchant takes a swipe at Ricky Gervais with sly joke about After Life

STEPHEN Merchant has taken a jokey swipe at his old pal Ricky Gervais' hit Netflix show After Life.

The actor was answering a question posed by ITV movie critic James King on Twitter.

The film buff asked followers what their least favourite bit of movie shorthand was.

Comedian Stephen was among those to reply writing: "Watching old home movies of dead child/wife = inability to move on."

Many were quick to say the dig was aimed at Gervais' latest show which centres on a man struggling to come to terms with the loss of his wife.

Hundreds of followers couldn't believe Merchant's apparent swipe at the Netflix series.

One said: "Shots fired!"

Another wrote: "Merchant destroying After Life with one tweet.

"Glad it's been acknowledged, not that they've fallen out, but that After Life is massively overrated."

A third observer simply tweeted: "The team is over."

Another wrote: "I really hope this is a joke and not a dig."

One fan added: "Maybe Merchant was the real genius behind The Office and Extras, which explains Derek and After Life and almost every film Gervais has done."

Merchant and Gervais first met in 1997 while working at London radio station XFM before going on to make The Office, Extras and Life's Too Short together.

The pair are thought to have gone their separate ways in 2013 after creative differences.

Ricky recently explained he, Merchant and frequent collaborator Karl Pilkington are still pals saying: “I purposely don’t answer [falling out rumours] because it annoys them.”

"But no no no, I haven't [fallen out with them], I've always been doing my own thing, and now they are as well. It's not a divorce thing."

Merchant said in 2018 about the duo collaborating : "If the right idea was there, it'd be good to do something.

"But at the moment, there's nothing on the horizon.

"We worked together cheek-by-jowl for over 10 years and I think it's that feeling of being pulled in different directions creatively."

"Ricky wants to perform in stuff he does, and I'm quite happy for neither of us to perform and to let other people perform…

"It's not quite something that he's interested in.

"A lot of Ricky's humour is about him putting it across, which is why he's so good at stand-up.

"Also, he likes to get stuff done. He's impatient. Whereas I'll happily spend months, years, grinding it out."

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