Ricky Gervais told Piers Morgan, on US talk show Tonight, that he had nothing to apologise for over his Golden Globes performance and that if people didn’t like him, he shouldn’t have been hired.

Chatting to Morgan over a pint on the former tabloid editor’s new show, Gervais claimed that he was only “being true to himself” when he roasted the assembled Hollywood stars at this years Golden Globe Awards.

He expressed surprise that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association should hire him to present the awards if they weren’t prepared for a dose of his humour.

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“If they didn’t want me, they shouldn’t have hired me,” Gervais said.

“I don’t think I did anything wrong. I’m not going to apologise for being true to myself.”

Gervais continued to tell Piers Morgan that he was not judging people but merely confronting issues which are already public knowledge. Stand up Robert Downey Jr, who Gervais introduced with:

“Many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail.”

Defending this, Gervais told Morgan:

“I’m not judging them for what they did. I’m confronting the elephant in the room.”

Gervais said that as he sees it, comedy is an intellectual not emotional pursuit and therefore there’s nothing that you shouldn’t joke about as the true purpose of comedy is to make people think, not laugh.

Gervais also opened up to Morgan about his upbringing, saying he grew up in a family where he would have been considered a success simply for avoiding being killed in a bar fight.

On being named in the ‘100 most influential artists’ list of a US magazine, Gervais quipped: “I wanted to know why Nelson Mandela was ahead of me when he spent 25 years doing nothing.”