- Associated Press - Friday, January 7, 2011

PASADENA, CALIF. (AP) - Comic Ricky Gervais is turning one of his friends into a real-life science experiment.

For a Science Channel series that begins later this month, Gervais and comic partner Stephen Merchant sent their friend Karl Pilkington on a trip to see the Seven Wonders of the World. They describe Pilkington, who is a plumber, as a real-life Homer Simpson.

Gervais says he wanted Pilkington to hate every minute of it, just so that Gervais himself could be amused.

The travel series debuts on Jan. 22.

The Science Channel also announced on Thursday that filmmaker Ridley Scott has agreed to make an eight-episode series, “Prophets of Science Fiction.” The series will air later this year and include profiles of figures like Isaac Asimov and George Lucas.

(This version CORRECTS APNewsNow. Corrects to Pilkington throughout.)

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