Ricky Gervais Was An '80s Pop Star In The Philippines, And This Music Video Is The Light That Will Guide You Through 2021

His band is famous in the Philippines.

Ricky Gervais Ron Adar / Shutterstock

Ricky Gervais is a comedian to many and a pop legend to a niche few. 

It’s hard to think of Ricky Gervais as anyone other than the wryly witty comedian making politically incorrect jokes on stage and screen, but did you know he had a short-lived music career back in the '80s? 

Before he created The Office and offended half of Hollywood at the 2020 Golden Globes, the British star was rocking a Bowie-esque mullet and eyeshadow ensemble and singing along to new wave pop melodies with romantic lyrics. 


After forming the pop duo Seona Dancing, Ricky Gervais had a brief music career before eventually finding mainstream success as a comedian. 

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He formed the group with a college friend.

Ricky Gervais launched his pop duo with his close friend Bill Macare who he met in college. The pair were both studying at University College London where Gervais obtained a philosophy degree.

Macare was behind the music and the keyboard while Gervais was in charge of the lyrics and singing. 

The duo were signed to a London-based record company and released two singles, “More To Lose” and “Bitter Heart” in 1983. Both songs failed to chart in any UK top 40 chart.

Gervais and Macare don’t appear to have remained friends after their music career came to a halt. When asked about his former bandmate, Gervais told Jimmy Kimmel, “I hope he got fat too”.


Seona Dancing was big in the Philipinnes.

Though they weren’t successful close to home, Seona Dancing did become a sensation amongst Filipino teens in the '80s. 

Their success in the South East Asian country is a story so bizarre, it sounds like something Gervais would have written into one of his sitcoms!

When a Manila-based radio presenter first played Seona Dancing’s catchy “More to Lose” in 1985, he deliberately fabricated an alternative name for the song and band to prevent other DJs from finding the record and stealing his listeners. 

The song blew up as many young pop fans became obsessed with the mysterious track. The real identity of the track was revealed a year later by which time it had already become a staple in the Manila party scene. 


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The group split up in 1984. 

Unfortunately, Gervais and Macare did not stick together long enough to perform for their Filipino fans, as Seona Dancing came to an end a year prior to their Asian success. 


Gervais doesn’t seem to have any regrets about the end of the band. When asked about his music career, he said, “I am almost glad [being a pop star] didn’t quite work out. If I was a rock star when I was 20, I would be dead now.”

Gervais once managed another band.

After Seona Dancing ended, Gervais remained in the music industry for a few years before The Office catapulted him to fame in the early 2000s. 

He acted as a manager to English rock band Suede in the early years of their career before they found success under new management in the 90s. Gervais remained a supporter of the band even after parting ways. 


All in all, Gervais seems to have moved on from the music industry quite happily, and he has said that his career as a comedian gives him just as much of a thrill: “I think we are rockstars. The fact that we’ve got a platform and go out there and say what you want as a stand-up, that’s pretty close.”

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. She is a generalist with an interest in lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.