A representative of London Zoo has responded to Ricky Gervais’s wish that his body be consumed by lions in the aftermath of his death.

The comedian and long-time animal rights campaigner had made the proposal to Conan O’Brien on the US late night chat show Conan, saying he wanted to “give back”.

“I thought it would be good to be just fed to the lions at London Zoo,” said Gervais. “That would be useful, isn’t it? We never give anything back. We take everything from this world…everything we do is for us, we’re not even food for other things.” 

“At least then…I’d like the look on the tourists’ faces when they throw this dead, fat, naked, 73-year-old, maybe, if I’m lucky, to the lions, and as it lands some people go, ‘is that the bloke from The Office?’”

Speaking to The Sun, London Zoo’s chief operating officer Kathryn England said: “I suspect Ricky may be a bit gristly for our lions.” 

She added: “We are struggling financially because of lockdown so if anyone wants to ‘give something back’ we welcome donations that will help us keep our lions fed on a more suitable diet.”

Comedian Frankie Boyle recently made reference to Gervais’s well-known fondness for animals during an appearance on Louis Theroux’s Grounded podcast, in which he criticised Gervais’s jokes about transgender people.

“I would like him to have the same respect for trans people as he has for animals,” said Boyle. “I think that’s not a lot to ask.”

Reference: Independent: Louis Chilton