Ricky Gervais doesn't intend to upset people with his comedy.

The comedian, writer and actor has insisted he doesn't intentionally load his TV shows with shock value amidst claims his latest sitcom 'Derek' - in which he plays a care home worker with child-like naivety - makes fun of people with mental disabilities.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, he pleaded: ''I have never gone out to offend for the sake of it. It's too easy. I'm not a comedian who wants to be the most shocking cutting-edge person, upsetting people. I would rather people laughed at my stuff than got angry.

''I will take the gasps as well - if it is a gasp from something I mean or there is irony to it, then I will stand by it.''

The 51-year-old star, who rose to fame as co-writer and star of hit series 'The Office', also insisted his latest work isn't a parody of disabled people and it is not as controversial as it has been made out to be.

He said: ''I have never thought of Derek as disabled. I never understood it when they started trying to second guess. Some are saying, 'He is autistic, no he has Down's Syndrome.' No. If I say he is not meant to be [disabled], he is not meant to be. It's as simple as that.

''I don't think this is controversial. I don't think 'Extras' was. There are some people who are controversial because they like the effect.''