David Earl (actor)

David Earl is a British actor and comedian, best known for his comedy character Brian Gittins. He has featured in several projects associated with Ricky Gervais, most notably as Kevin "Kev" Twine in the sitcom Derek, and in smaller roles in Extras, After Life and the film Cemetery Junction. He also co-wrote and starred in the sitcom Rovers for Sky 1 with Joe Wilkinson. He currently hosts the podcast Gossipmongers with Wilkinson and Poppy Hillstead.

Early life

Before undertaking any acting roles, Earl worked as a gardener[1] and as a van driver, delivering building tools.

Comedy career

One of Earl's earliest online videos featured him playing a character called Graham, which he sent to a friend who showed it to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. They liked the video and Gervais asked Earl to play an obsessive fan, based on the character from the video, who talks to Andy Millman in a pub in an episode of Extras. Around this time Earl played Tony Queen in the film The Penalty King.[2]

Earl went on to create a number of online videos in character as Brian Gittins and played this role in the film Cemetery Junction.[3] In 2012 a sitcom pilot entitled Gittins was broadcast on Channel 4.[4] In the pilot Gittins works as a taxi driver: previously the character had been a cafe owner and this discrepancy is highlighted in an episode of the podcast Flatshare Slamdown, in which Earl appears as Brian.[5] He currently releases regular Brian Gittins and Friends podcasts.[6]

Another of Earl's characters is Steve "Cumbo" Cumberland, who features in a number of online videos, including a Channel 4 Comedy Blaps series, co-written with Brett Goldstein.[7]

In 2011, David Earl was revealed to be the person behind the popular Twitter account of Dr Peter Thraft, a supposed sex therapist.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Extras Obsessive fan 1 episode
2012-2014 Derek Kevin "Kev" Twine 14 episodes
2016 Rovers Writer
2019-present After Life Brian 2 episodes
2019 The Cockfields Writer


  1. "David Earl interview for Derek". Channel 4 press. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  2. "The Penalty King (2006)". DigiGuide. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  3. Dowell, Ben; Frost, Vicky (20 May 2011). "Twitter sex therapist exposed". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  4. "Gittins". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  5. "Pappy's Flatshare Slamdown: Series 2, Episode 4 (Thermostat)". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  6. "Brian Gittins and Friends". PodBean. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  7. "Channel 4 comedy commissions Cumbo from Retort". Channel 4 press. Retrieved 24 October 2019.

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