01/02/2010 13:15 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Ricky Gervais Says 'Sterilise Bad Parents'

Ah, you've got to love celebrities haven't you? Give them some attention (or a lot), a few awards and rather more millions and they're experts on pretty much everything.

This time it's the turn of comedian Ricky Gervais, star of The Office, who apparently has called for irresponsible parents to be sterilised.

Gervais, who has chosen not to have children, gives an example of being an irresponsible parent as sending a child to a faith school where they can be "brainwashed".

In an interview with the Sunday Times he says that nowadays there are "too many unwanted children, too many people who were poor and struggling".

The 48-year-old star went on: "If there's a woman in leggings, eating chips with a fag in her mouth, sterilise her."

Of course, as long as she has what some would consider bad dress sense and an unhealthy lifestyle then she shouldn't have children – let's judge everyone on that flimsy criteria! The fact that she may be a brilliant, nurturing mother providing a healthy life for her children is ignored. I only hope he was joking.
Gervais, who grew up on a council estate in Reading, insisted his views were based on parenting style rather than class. "I described an irresponsible parent. I'd never impose someone not being able to have kids because they were poor."

Well, that's OK then. He does appear to contradict himself but if he ultimately believes people should be judged on their parenting style, there's not much difference. It's still judging. And who should set the ultimate benchmark against which all parents should be judged?

Perhaps not a man who wasn't keen on the selflessness that having children entails. "We just didn't fancy dedicating 16 years of our life to it," he says.

Not everyone wants children and they shouldn't be pressured into thinking otherwise. It's just that maybe Gervais hasn't much to base his views on apart from a few observations, a few snapshots of someone else's life.

We can all name some women who, thanks to horrific stories in the news, we now realise should never be left in charge of a goldfish let alone a child, but he doesn't seem to be talking about them.

What do you think, do you agree with Gervais?