26 SEPTEMBER 2008 The Office's David Brent would be green with envy. Sources on both sides of the pond are putting Ricky Gervais in the picture as the main candidate to host the biggest movie industry bash of them all - the Oscars.
Academy Awards bosses are apparently keen to sign the Reading-born star, who has forged a successful film career for himself in the US, after he impressed with his comic turn at the Emmys last week.
He shared a sketch with US comedian Steve Carrell - who collected Ricky's award in 2008 - and drew laughs when this year he quipped: "Couldn't actually win one of his own so he stole someone else's."
After the ceremony, the 47-year-old funnyman was approached by Oscars organisers about fixing up a meeting to discuss the possibility of him hosting the February ceremony. "Ricky caught the eye of the right people," a source tells The Sun.
While Ricky has been impressing Stateside, fellow British comedian Russell Brand - who also raised his profile in the US after presenting the MTV Awards this month - has been winning praise on home turf.
The acid-tongued comedian showed his kind side - and inadvertently ended up on camera - as he rushed to help a lady who'd tripped and fallen in the street near his North London home. Little did he know he had stepped into a GMTV investigation about strangers helping people in distress. "Don't help people if you see them in the street, it's probably a GMTV set-up," he joked after realising he was being filmed."