Stephen James Merchant (born 24 November 1974) is an English writer, director, radio presenter, comedian, and actor. In collaboration with Ricky Gervais, he was the co-writer and co-director of the British TV comedy series The Office (2001–2003), and co-writer and co-star of both Extras (2005–2007) and Life's Too Short (2011–2013). With Gervais and Karl Pilkington, he hosted The Ricky Gervais Show in its radio, podcast, audiobook and television formats; the radio version won a bronze Sony Award. He also voiced Wheatley in the 2011 video game Portal 2.
Merchant co-developed the Sky1 travel series An Idiot Abroad (2010–2011) and co-created Lip Sync Battle. He has performed as a stand-up comedian, which led to his writing and starring in the HBO series Hello Ladies, which was based on his stand-up material. He starred in his first play, Richard Bean's The Mentalists, at London's Wyndham's Theatre in the summer of 2015. His various endeavours have earned him two Golden Globe Awards, three BAFTA TV Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and four British Comedy Awards. He appeared as the mutant Caliban in the 2017 superhero film Logan.
He is also known as Stephen James Merchant.