Stephen James Merchant (born 24 November 1974) is an English writer, director, radio presenter, comedian and actor.
Merchant is best known for his collaborations with Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington, as the co-writer and co-director of the popular British sitcom The Office (2001–2003), co-writer and co-star of Extras (2005–2007) and co-host of The Ricky Gervais Show in its radio, podcast, audiobook and television formats; the radio version won a bronze Sony Award. He is also known for his voice role as Wheatley in the 2011 video game Portal 2.
Merchant co-developed the Sky1 travel series An Idiot Abroad (2010–2011), appeared as himself in the BBC series Life's Too Short (2011–2013), and performs as a stand-up comedian. He starred in his first play, Richard Bean's The Mentalists, at London's Wyndham's Theatre from July to August 2015. His varied endeavors have earned him three BAFTA Awards, four British Comedy Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award.
Merchant had his first dramatic role in a film when he was cast as Caliban in the superhero film Logan (2017).