Ricky Gervais has criticised celebrities and the rich complaining about the lockdown while NHS staff risk their lives to treat COVID-19 patients.
The comedian spoke of his gratitude to healthcare workers fighting coronavirus on the front line in an interview.
It comes as Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson while he recovers from COVID-19, said the government does not expect to relax or lift the lockdown later this week and that the UK is still not “past the peak”.
“After this is over I never want to hear people moaning about the welfare state again, I never want to hear people moaning about nurses again. Or porters,” Gervais told The Sun.
“These people are doing 14-hour shifts and not complaining. Wearing masks, and being left with sores, after risking their own health and their families’ health selflessly.
“But then I see someone complaining about being in a mansion with a swimming pool. And, you know, honestly, I just don’t want to hear it.”
Gervais, who is currently promoting the second series of his Netflix show After Life, in which he plays a local journalist who decides to say and do whatever he wants following the death of his wife, also spoke about his upbringing, saying life was a “struggle” when he was younger.
He said he realised growing up that “all the best things were free – friends, nature, learning and healthcare” – which is why he applauds the NHS heroes as the coronavirus lockdown continues.
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“I was the fourth child of an immigrant labourer,” he said. “My dad worked on building sites all his life, until he was 70. He got up every day at 5.30am.
“Men worked hard, but women worked miracles. Because when my dad finished his work that was his own time.
“But my mum didn’t stop working, women didn’t stop working. Carers didn’t stop working; all the women in my family were carers in some respect.
“I had no money growing up, I didn’t have any until I was 40. But I still had everything.
“My mum, she gardened, she grew, she cooked, she sewed, she knitted, she decorated, she did everything she could. And she gave me everything I wanted except money.
“I also realised growing up that all the best things were free – friends, nature, learning and healthcare. And that’s why I gladly pay my taxes. And that’s why I clap the NHS.”
Last week, for the third Thursday evening in a row, people across the UK stepped out on to their doorsteps and balconies, or hung out of windows, to take part in the “#ClapForOurCarers” campaign.
The first Clap for our Carers took place on 26 March and is expected to continue on a weekly basis throughout lockdown.
The second series of After Life launches on Netflix on Friday 24 April