Ricky Gervais has revealed filming of the third series of his smash-hit Netflix comedy After Life is set to begin.
The show has been streamed by more than 70 million people since it first aired in 2019, so the news was greeted with much joy.
It follows Tony Johnson, played by Gervais, a local journalist struggling to cope after wife, Lisa, Kerry Godliman, dies from cancer.
In a new picture shared on Twitter, Gervais was holding up a script with the title ” After Life – Series 3, Day 1 Slides, Monday 19th April 2021″ emblazoned across it.
‘I’d better learn my lines,’ Ricky wrote in the caption. The tweet soon racked up thousands of likes and comments.
“Literally might rewatch the first 2 seasons over again, back-to-back. Amazing that such a sad story can warm your heart so much. So excited for this!’ one said.
While another replied: “Yay!!!!!! My all time favorite show. It could have me laughing hysterically and then sobbing with minutes,”
Initially, there was some worry among viewers that season two may have been the last – as Gervais’s previous shows have ended after two series.
But in February , Gervais appeared on ITV show Lorraine to confirm filming would begin in April and it would appear on Netflix later this year.
Gervais said: “That’ll be the final instalment. It’s the first time I’ve done the third series of anything, but it felt right, and I fell in love with the characters. I think this should be it.”
The comedy has been widely praised thanks to its moving subject matter mixed with moments of humour – which has helped viewers deal with their own grief.
The comedian, who writes and directs the show, added: “When you deal with a taboo subject, people see themselves. I’ve never had a reaction like this. Even I was worried, this is about a guy who loses his wife to cancer, he’s suicidal and he treats the world terribly as a punishment.
“But when it went out, people went up to me on the street saying: ‘I lost my brother three weeks ago’ or: ‘I lost my mum this year’, and you realise everyone’s grieving.
“And so they like seeing themselves reflected, even if it’s bad news or taboo subjects. But no harm can come from discussing taboo subjects, it makes them less scary. And people have found this really helpful.”
The series stars former Extras co-star Ashley Jensen, as well as Penelope Wilton, Roisin Conaty and Joe Wilkinson.
Other actors include Tom Basden as Matt Braden, Tony’s brother-in-law and boss of the newspaper he works at, Tony Way, as Lenny the photographer, and Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy, a newly-hired journalist at the paper.