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Ricky Gervais sends Karl Pilkington on trip around the world

Karl Pilkington visits China to see The Great Wall in this shot from the TV series, 'An Idiot Abroad,' which airs in the U.S. on the Science Channel. (SKY1)

January 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Karl Pilkington, a former sound engineer often described by comedian Ricky Gervais as a real-life Homer Simpson, stars in a new TV series where he takes a trip around the world.

The series, "An Idiot Abroad," follows Pilkington on a trip to see the Seven Wonder of the World.

Gervais and comic partner Stephen Merchant have hosted a popular podcast series featuring Pilkington. Gervais says he wanted Pilkington to hate every minute of the trip, just so that Gervais himself could be amused.

The Science Channel series debuts on Jan. 22.

The Seven Wonders of the World Pilkington visits are:

  1. Great Wall of China
  2. Taj Mahal (in India)
  3. Petra (in Jordan)
  4. Chichen Itza (In Mexico)
  5. The Great Pyramids (in Egypt)
  6. Christ the Redeemer statue (in Rio de Janeiro)
  7. Machu Picchu (in Peru)

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, we described Pilkington as a former plumber, as had been reported by the Associated Press. The AP has since issued a correction. Pilkington was a sound engineer before going to work with Gervais.

Though as Gervais cheekily notes on his blog (in reference to this mistake), Pilkington always wanted to be a plumber. (Thanks to Ricky for pointing out our error!)