AceShowbiz - Ricky Gervais allegedly tightened his personal security in the wake of the knife attack on Sir Salman Rushdie. The 61-year-old comedian has reportedly taken the measure as he continues to perform a series of intimate shows at London's Leicester Square Theatre to trial new material ahead of his next tour and Netflix special "Armageddon".
The "concerned" stand-up last week added more members to his "small team" of guards, according to The Sun On Sunday, in the wake of the stabbing of Rushdie, 75, in New York on August 12 as the controversial "Satanic Verses" author prepared to give a lecture.
A source told The Sun On Sunday, "Ricky isn't taking any chances. He has employed his own security guards for the gigs so he can have a laugh and relax in the knowledge that he's safe. He hasn't wasted any expense. They're the real deal and are positioned in the aisles and around the stage, keeping a close eye on audience members."
"The venue is also doing a lot for general safety as audience members are to be searched before entry and no glasses or bottles are to be served by the venue. It seems like everyone is taking precautions. It's necessary in these times."
Ricky was under fire earlier this year when he joked about transgender people in his Netflix SuperNature show - with US LGBTQ rights group Glaad calling it "dangerous." It came after American comic Dave Chappelle, 48, was attacked on stage in May by a knife-wielding man.
Ricky, who lives in an £11 million mansion in Hampstead, north West London, with his long-term writer partner Jane Fallon, 61, said he still has 20 minutes of his upcoming show to finalise.
Rushdie is still recovering after being left with a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and one eye. Hadi Matar, 24, who was arrested for the attack, has denied attempted murder.