The Office creator and star Ricky Gervais is a "better writer" than legendary playwright William Shakespeare, according to his TV co-star Mackenzie Crook.

Pirates Of The Caribbean actor Crook played down-trodden office worker GARETH KEENEN in Gervais' award-winning sitcom and has lauded his talents as surpassing Shakespeare's.

At Monday's (29NOV04) London premiere of the new film version of Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice, Crook said, "I think that, by a hair's breadth, Ricky is the better writer. I reckon if there was a TV survey today, Ricky would win over Shakespeare."

Crook plays LAUNCELOT GOBBO opposite Al Pacino and Joseph Fiennes in the MICHAEL RADFORD-directed big screen version of the classic play.

01/12/2004 13:43