After Life series 2: Will Ricky Gervais’s comedy return? When is it released? What we know so far

The comedian has another sitcom hit on his hands with the bittersweet Netflix show about a struggling widower. But will we see more of Tony and his friends and colleagues?

If you’ve been trawling Netflix for another series to binge on recently, chances are you’ll have come across Ricky Gervais’ After Life.

Like many of the comedian’s shows, he both wrote and starred in it, and it features his style of humour at its melancholy best. 

But if six episodes proved too few for you, the great news is that there will be a second series.

When is After Life series 2 on Netflix?

Ricky Gervais has confirmed that there will definitely be a series two, and posted on social media at the end of March that he’d already started writing it.

The next episodes aren’t expected to appear on Netflix until 2020.

Previously, Ricky said: “I really would like to do a second series because I fell in love with the characters.

"I've got an idea of where it can go. And the second series is always better, usually because you know the actors.”

Who will it star?

Ricky, obviously – but there are plenty of other main characters we’re expecting to see more of, too.

His character Tony had fallen back in love with his job as a journalist at a local paper by the end of series one, so we’d expect to see more from his colleagues.

That includes Tom Basden as Matt, his brother-in-law and boss; Tony Way as the paper’s photographer and Tony’s mate Lenny; Diane Morgan as head of advertising Kath; and Mandeep Dhillon as new reporter Sandy who Tony took under his wing.

We’re also expecting flashbacks featuring Tony’s late wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman), scenes with his new love interest Emma (Ashley Jensen), and we’re hoping to see Tony’s new friends, prostitute Daphne (Roisin Conaty) and widow Anne (Penelope Wilton), make a return.

There could also be another appearance from comedian Joe Wilkinson as Tony’s inept postman, Pat.

What happened in series 1?

We first met Tony a few months after his beloved wife Lisa’s death from cancer, when he’d decided the best way of living was to do and say exactly what he wanted all of the time.

But erstwhile nice guy Tony was putting backs up at work, where his boss was also his late wife’s brother, and his social life had collapsed, with only a homeless drug addict for company.

His friendship with addict Julian deepened when they discovered they were both dealing with the deaths of the women they loved, but took a dark turn when Tony gave Julian enough money for the amount of drugs he would need to kill himself.

Meanwhile, Tony’s dad was suffering from Alzheimer’s, meaning that most of the time he couldn’t even remember who his son was.

But slowly, Tony started to pull himself out of the depths of his depression with help from old friends and new, including sex worker Daphne who he bonded with over Julian, widow Anne who he met at the graveyard, and cub reporter Sandy who decided she wanted to help her new colleague out.

By the end of the series, Tony had even got himself a date – with his dad’s care home nurse Emma, who was not afraid to call him out on being far too grumpy for his own good.

There’s no question that death and grieving is far from being the easiest subject for a sitcom, but Ricky and his co-stars managed to pull off a series that was uplifting as well as hilarious.

What could happen in series 2?

It may have looked like life was so much on the up for Tony by the end of series one that there weren’t too many other places it could go – but Ricky has assured fans that his character will still be capable of being as rude as ever.

He also teased that there was “a little clue” as to what would happen in series two during his final graveside heart-to-heart with Anne.


"Happiness is amazing. It's so amazing it doesn't matter if it's yours or not". #AfterLife

A post shared by Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) on

In the scene, Tony says: "I'm going to carry on saying and doing what I want and punishing the world, but I'm going to punish people who deserve it. I'm going to use my superpower for good."

Of course, we’re also waiting to see how things pan out between Tony and Emma, whether his little nephew George has an easier time at school, and if Matt manages to save his marriage and keep the paper going.

After Life series 2 is due to stream on Netflix in 2020.

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Images: Netflix