Ricky Gervais stays healthy because he wants to die as ''slowly'' as possible.

The 55-year-old comedian has taken up a regular rigorous exercise routine in recent years so he can continue to enjoy many of the finer things in life without getting piling on the pounds or letting the indulgences have a detrimental effect on his body.

Ricky readily admits his motivation for hitting the gym is so he can eat dishes like ''pasta with half a pound of Parmesan'' and drink red wine and is fine about the fact one day he will die - he just hopes that it is in the distant future.

Speaking to the new issue of Esquire magazine, he said: ''It doesn't worry me that one day I'm not going to exist anymore. I cherish being alive. I'm like a dog. Every day is my best day ... I enjoy food because it tastes good. I don't enjoy food that's good for me. I don't enjoy lettuce. I don't enjoy pure protein. I enjoy pasta with half a pound of Parmesan on it and a bottle of red wine; if I didn't then I wouldn't have to work out like Rocky every day. Being healthy, to me, is dying as slowly as you can. That's all it is.''

Ricky has had a career which has earned him fame, acclaim and fortune due his hit sitcoms 'The Office' and 'Extras', from his big screen roles in movies such as 'Night at the Museum', 'Muppets Most Wanted' and 'David Brent: Life on the Road' and from four stints hosting the Golden Globe Awards, at which he has always caused controversy with his acerbic style of humour.

Despite his accomplishments, Ricky insists each person should measure success based on how happy they are in their lives as that's the motto he follows.

The British comic star - who has been with his partner Jane Fallon for 33 years - mused: ''No one needs to work. You work because you want the things it gives you. I don't just mean the ability to buy mansions and boats; I mean self-worth and fun. There's nothing I'd rather be doing than writing and directing and stand-up. I mean, that's allowed me to buy mansions and boats but when I'm in the mansion or the boat I'm thinking of a funny joke ... Don't view success as anything other than happiness. If you're happy then nothing else matters.''