Ricky Gervais has said he tries to make his scathing awards ceremony roasts “a spectator sport”.

The actor and comedian has become renowned for his merciless speeches at the Golden Globes.

He is set to host the awards for the fifth time, with no qualms about targeting his celebrity audience.

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show, Gervais said he has to check his speeches with a lawyer before he delivers them, but finds offending the rich and famous “no trouble”.

He said: “The first time I did it I thought, ‘Shall I do it for the 200 egos in the room or for the 200 million watching at home?’

“It’s no contest, and I try and make it a spectator sport.”

The comedian said that despite his merciless mockery, he has never libelled anyone.

He said: “I do have to show my script to a lawyer at the last minute. They don’t change anything because I know the law and what I can get away with.

“I’ve never libelled anyone, and I’ve never had a complaint upheld!

“People asked me why I go to so much trouble to offend people and I said, ‘It’s no trouble. It’s easy’.”

The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One tonight at 10.40pm.