Karl Pilkington was born in 1972 and grew up on a council estate in Manchester. He had an unconventional upbringing. His brother was thrown out of the army for driving to the shops in a tank to buy a packet of fags, his uncle slept in a rubber dinghy instead of a bed; and his teachers told him that he would never be a high flyer. He, on the other hand, believed they were profiting from his education and filling his days with menial and pointless tasks, like attaching as many stickers to a Thomson brochure as possible in 30 minutes. Karl Pilkington disliked school.
Karl also had a number of near-death experiences as a child. He nearly choked to death on a freeze-pop, almost plummeted to the ground when climbing out of an upstairs window to do his paper round (it was blizzard conditions and Karl's mam had locked the door to stop him going out in such dangerous conditions) and then there was the 'bad cream incident', when he ate far too many doughnuts that had been thrown out the back of a local baker's shop.
Karl Pilkington survived into adulthood and after leaving school without his exam results (he got an E for History as Ricky Gervais revealed live on the radio, although Karl can’t actually recall taking the exam) he went through several jobs. Eventually he found gainful employment as a producer at the radio station XFM. But he didn’t stay off-air for long and his antics and opinions coupled with his fascination for odd stuff, distrust of animals and dislike of crowds, meant that he quickly became a much more vocal part of the show and a cult hero. High praise indeed came from Ricky himself, who proclaimed Karl Pilkington to be "the funniest man alive in Britain today".
A series of world record-breaking podcasts with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant followed. ‘The Ricky Gervais Show’ made Karl Pilkington a household name around the world and he’s even had his face graffited onto a garage door in Augusta, Georgia. The podcasts went to number 1 in 14 countries including America and have remained at the top of the charts for over two years. The Ricky Gervais Show has been downloaded 250 million times. The American cable TV channel HBO has made an award winning animated series using the original recordings. Karl has also written three books.
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