Ricky Gervais was delighted when British journalist Piers Morgan caused a storm over gun control laws in the U.S. because it took attention away from his Golden Globes controversy.

The Office creator risked outraging American Tv viewers when he hosted the 2010 and 2011 ceremonies by making a string of near-the-knuckle gags about some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

He admits the scandal turned him into "the most hated man in America" so he was delighted when Morgan took the spotlight off him over a gun crusade.

Morgan took over veteran host Larry King's chat show in January, 2011 but last year (13) he divided viewers by fiercely campaigning for gun control measures in the U.S. following a string of massacres - and the fallout eventually led to CNN producers axing the show this year (14).

Now Gervais has revealed he was secretly delighted with the furore as it turned the American public's attention away from him.

He tells rock magazine Q, "I find his existence quite entertaining, to be honest. We need people like Piers Morgan. Before him, I was the most hated man in America. Straight after the Golden Globes he got his job on Cnn, which took the heat off me a bit."