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Ricky Gervais has proven himself in the TV making biz, so when we learned a couple of months back that he’d signed on to create, direct, executive produce and star in the new Netflix series After Life, we were confident a lot of stars would be lining up for a role.

And we weren’t wrong. The cast-list reads like a who’s who of modern British comedy and drama.

In a statement released today (July 5), Gervais said, “This cast combines the best of the new breed of great British comedy talent with some of the wonderful alumni of my previous shows.”

Okay, we’ll stop teasing you now. Who is he referring to exactly?

Well, there’s Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey; Doctor Who), David Bradley (Game of Thrones) and Ashley Jensen (Extras). Not to mention Tom Basden (David Brent: Life On the Road), Tony Way (Edge of Tomorrow), David Earl (Derek) and Joe Wilkinson (Him and Her). Then there’s Kerry Godliman (Derek), Mandeep Dhillon (24: Live Another Day), Jo Hartley (Eddie the Eagle), Roisin Conaty (Man Down), and Diane Morgan (Alan Partridge).

Phew!

So what exactly what is the show about? The title might be a little misleading, as it’s not about life after death in the traditional sense. Instead, it’s about a man called Tony (Gervais), whose wife dies unexpectedly, and his life after he loses her.

According to the official description, Tony simply gives up — not just on himself but on everyone around him. He starts saying and doing whatever he likes without worrying about the consequences. While he’s trying to push the world away, the people who know and love him are trying to bring back the man they once knew.

While this all sounds like a giant downer, it is indeed a comedy, or to be more precise, a dark comedy. The six-part series is heading to Netflix, although a premiere date is yet to be announced. This will be Gervais’ fifth collaboration with the streaming service.

Is After Life something you could get into?  

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By Brigid Brown