After the knife attack on Sir Salman Rushdie, Ricky Gervais is said to have beefed up his personal security during performances.
The 61-year-old comedian has reportedly made the move as he continues to play a series of intimate shows at London’s Leicester Square Theater to try out new material ahead of his next tour and Netflix special Armageddon.
The Sun On Sunday reports the “caring” stand-up last week added more members to his “small team” of bodyguards after Rushdie, 75, was stabbed in New York on August 12 as the author of the controversial Satanic Verses. prepared to give a lecture.
A source told The Sun On Sunday: “Ricky is taking no chances. He hired his own bodyguards for concerts so he could laugh and relax knowing he was safe.
“He spared no expense. They are real people and are stationed in the aisles and around the stage, keeping a close eye on the audience.
“The venue also does a lot for general security because spectators must be searched before entering and no glasses or bottles can be served in the venue. Everyone seems to be taking precautions. It is necessary in these times.”
Ricky came under fire earlier this year when he joked about transgender people in his Netflix show SuperNature, with US rights group Glaad calling it “dangerous”.
It comes after US comedian Dave Chappelle, 48, was attacked on stage by a knife-wielding man in May.
Ricky, who lives in an £11million mansion in Hampstead, north-west London, with his long-time writing partner Jane Fallon, 61, said he still had 20 minutes of his upcoming show to finish.
Rushdie is still recovering from a damaged liver and severed nerves in his arm and one eye.
Hadi Matar, 24, who was arrested for the attack, denies attempted murder.