Comedian Ricky Gervais

British comedian Ricky Gervais has scandalised Hollywood with his no-holds barred comments while hosting the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

This was the second time that Gervais was invited to host the glamorous event but he may have gone too far this time and most industry commentators doubt he’ll be invited back.

Presumably referring to John Travolta, he jibed: “I Love You Phillip Morris stars Jim Carey and Ewan McGregor – two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay. So, the complete opposite of some famous scientologists. Probably. My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke.”

The audience “oohed” after every biting comment, such as when he referenced actor Charlie Sheen’s recent shenanigans with porn stars in Las Vegas.

“It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking,” said Gervais, “or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast”.

He also targeted the stars of the Sex and the City franchise: “I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed [the Sex and the City 2] poster. Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza.”

Robert Downey Jr commented on stage: “Aside from the fact that it’s been hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones, I’d say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn’t you?”

Earlier, while introducing Downey Jr, Gervais noted his achievements and then added: “But many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail”.

Gervais seemingly disappeared for close to an hour during the ceremony, sparking rumours that he was fired or that he had been ordered to tone down his act. When he finally returned to the stage he did indeed seem tamer.

The US media described his jokes as “corrosive”, “merciless” and “snotty and abusive”.

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