Ricky Gervais is such a big fan of hit US cartoon series The Simpsons he didn't just write an episode - he gave himself a starring role.

The British funnyman leapt at the opportunity to get involved in the long running series, and couldn't resist writing himself in as a lovestruck admirer of blue-haired MARGE.

Gervais's episode will see HOMER and Marge going on a 'Wife Swap' reality show, but while Homer only enters it to win a widescreen television set, CHARLES, Gervais's character, is smitten by the raspy-voiced matriarch.

He explains, "I play this bloke who works in an office and is downtrodden by his wife.

"She goes to live with the Simpsons and she thinks they're monsters.

"But CHARLES can't believe he's met someone like Marge and he falls in love with her. He tries to woo her with a love song."

And fans of The Office won't be disappointed, Gervais promises there are elements of the irritating David Brent in his animated alter-ego.

21/07/2005 01:25