PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Ricky Gervais has denied suggestions he is cruel to dwarves after it was claimed he loved to watch them fight on the set of his new sitcom.
The Office star and his comedy partner Stephen Merchant have written and directed new show Life's Too Short, starring Harry Potter's Warwick Davis, and it was reported Ricky had added extra fight scenes for his own amusement.
Ricky wrote to The Sun in response: "Dear Sun, Ricky Gervais here. I object to your claims of dwarf cruelty on the set of my new sitcom.
"I take their welfare very seriously and I even keep them in protective cases when they are not fighting."
Stephen, 36 had said: "I don't know how it came about, but during the end of one take I think Ricky shouted, 'Fight!' and they started fighting, and it was very, very funny and the two actors were very committed to that, and then subsequently, if a scene's slightly flagging we'll just shout, 'Fight!' and hopefully end the scene with a fight."
Ricky added: "We're not getting jokes out of him being short, we're getting jokes out of him being militant or ripping-off other dwarves."
The stand-up comedian also posted a response on his blog with a picture of Warwick in a glass box and joked: "Here's a dwarf I forced into a jar."
Willow star Warwick, 41, recently revealed he is loving working with Ricky and Stephen.
He said: "We're just having such fun working on the project as well. It's kind of not like a job, we go in and have some fun for a few hours and create entertaining television hopefully."