Friday, 13 April 2012


Fantasy Bob is no great fan of Ricky Gervais.  This is a pity because he believes that Gervais numbers himself among the keenest members of FB's world wide readership.

FB acknowledges that The Office was a quality production but Gervais' subsequent efforts have left him cold and the stand up sets that have been televised unwatchable.  A parade of the smug and the snide, devoid of wit or invention.  But Gervais is in the news again; for his latest production is causing controversy because disabled groups consider it makes cruel fun of disability.  Gervais denies the charge.  FB has no view on this, not having seen the show, but he notes that any publicity is good publicity.

Whatever the case may be as to whether the show ridicules disability, Gervais is to be congratulated in one important respect.  The show is called Derek.  So Gervais has performed a valuable function in rehabilitating that fine name.  For Dereks have become exceedingly thin on the ground.  There is nothing wrong with the name - it is the English language version of an old Germanic name Theoderic, which originally meant people-ruler.  But it is out of favour.

When Dereks were kings
Time was when Test cricket was a Derek rich environment.  It may actually have helped to be called Derek: Derek Underwood, Derek Randall, Deryck Murray, Derek Pringle, Derek Stirling, Derek Shackleton.  The Derek XI had the makings of a decent side.

But now cricket is Derek free.  Other areas of endeavour are similar - in football Derek Dougan, Derek Parlane, Derek Johnstone are all of a vintage.  Actors Derek Jacobi and Derek Nimmo similarly.  Where are the Dereks de nos jours?

Perhaps if Ricky Gervais' show is hugely successful, the world will see the return of Dereks to their rightful place in the batting orders of the future.  Then FB might revise his opinion of Ricky Gervais.

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