British funnyman Ricky Gervais has furiously denied employing A-list stars on hit show EXTRAS solely to improve ratings.
Although the comedian admits Hollywood actors like Samuel L Jackson and Ben Stiller pull in huge audiences, he insists their personalities are more important than the power they wield.
He says, "It was never about the names.
"They have to have something to deconstruct, whether they're a global superstar or not, something to play with.
"It's an ensemble piece - not just about one person."
The second series of Extras, featuring Chris Martin, Orlando Bloom and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, airs in the UK next week (begs11SEP06).