A cartoon starring TV comics Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant is set to hit UK screens next year.

The Ricky Gervais Show is a 13-part series made by Gervais himself and MRC, who the comedian teamed up with to release film The Invention of Lying earlier this year.

The animated series is based on his award winning and record breaking audiobooks, which have been downloaded over 180 million times.

The show will be broadcast in March 2010 on Ghannel 4, a month after it is broadcast on HBO in the US.

Gervais said: “Channel 4, like HBO in the US, is the perfect home for this show, as they acquire innovative, cutting edge programmes such as Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Sopranos. Like The Sopranos, Channel 4 made me an offer I couldn’t refuse’.”

Ricky and Stephen will be joined by Karl Pilkington – who Gervais describes as ‘a global village idiot, but the funniest man alive’.

Ricky said: “He thinks that a seal is a cross between a fish and a dog. Karl is a bottomless well of stupidity, so unlike my other shows The Office and Extras, which I stopped prematurely through fear of going stale and running out of ideas, I want this to run and run like The Simpsons. The world has a new Homer, but this one is real.”