Ricky Gervais shocked by Golden Globe controversy

Los Angeles - Ricky Gervais was "shocked"people found his Golden Globe jokes "shocking".

The 54-year-old comic - who is returning to present the ceremony this weekend for the first time in four years - can't understand why his quips about the Church of Scientology, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's president and other stars in attendance caused so much controversy when he hosted the show in 2012.

He said: "I've never understood the controversy around the Golden Globes. That stuff I did, I was shocked that people thought that was shocking. Genuinely. I thought, what have I said wrong? I didn't say anything outrageous or libelous. I didn't say anything against broadcasting rules. It was on network television, late afternoon, it couldn't have been that bad...

"I can justify every joke I've ever done and if the joke is about someone, I can do it in front of them and tell them after why it's justified."

The Derek star insisted he would rather make the ceremony entertaining for the audience watching on TV than the celebrities attending the glamorous event.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: "I wasn't trying to bring anyone down, I wasn't trying to undermine the moral fabric of America. I was making jokes. I suppose they weren't used to it being a bit of a tease and a bit of a roast. 

"But I made the decision: Do I pander to 200 fragile egos in the room or 200 million people watching at home? 

"There's nothing in it for the people watching at home. They're not winning awards. It's not a spectator sport watching other people win awards, so I tried to make it one."

Watch his opening monologue here:

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