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After Life Bench Destroyed By 'Disgusting Vandals'

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After Life Bench Destroyed By 'Disgusting Vandals'

Vandals who destroyed a bench honouring Ricky Gervais’ After Life have been ‘disgusting’ by locals. 

The bench was installed at the Arboretum in Nottingham earlier this year, with the aim to provide a place for people struggling with bereavement or mental health to sit on and reflect. 

Donated by Netflix, the seat was one of 25 modelled on the same one used by Gervais’ Tony Johnson in the touching dramedy series as he mourns the loss of his wife. 

However, photos have emerged showing the fixture completely destroyed to a pile of planks and wood, with the sign ‘Hope is Everything’ remaining on top of the wreckage. 

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Locals were shocked to discover the bench had been destroyed. Credit: Nottingham Post
Locals were shocked to discover the bench had been destroyed. Credit: Nottingham Post

It’s not clear who’s responsible, but people strolling around the Nottingham park this morning were left shocked to discover the aftermath.

Vivian O'Boyle, 69, who lives in Highbury Vale, said: "My husband has just died, three weeks ago - I wanted to maybe donate a bench near here as we used to come and sit here every morning pretty much.

"I knew about the bench - I think it's disgusting, totally disgusting. I wonder what goes through people's heads, honestly. What is the need to do that?

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“I think in some ways you have got to pity these people. You don't know what is going on in their lives and so you shouldn't make judgements but it is a horrible thing to do. 

Ricky Gervais' After Life character Tony Johnson sat on the bench to reflect and share his experiences on bereavement. Credit: Netflix
Ricky Gervais' After Life character Tony Johnson sat on the bench to reflect and share his experiences on bereavement. Credit: Netflix

“I still come here because I'm still trying to do things I used to do with my husband, I don't want to try and avoid everything.

"This is such a lovely, peaceful place. To think we are so close to the city centre is amazing, you can come here and listen to the birds and the church bells. It's really lovely."

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One couple, who wished to remain anonymous, added: "We don't come here very often so we weren't aware of the bench, but it sounds like it was a wonderful idea. 

“It's hard to think why someone would want to do that. It's very sad."

Meanwhile, a man named Andy Church, 50, said: "I have just seen what is left of it - it's absolutely despicable. It's completely mindless.

"I loved the show when it was on and I used to like seeing people sat on that bench. I really don't know what the world is coming to."

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Netflix originally donated 25 benches in honour of the show. Credit: Netflix
Netflix originally donated 25 benches in honour of the show. Credit: Netflix

It’s unclear whether the benches will be replaced, but for now the other 24 remain across the UK for people to use.  

After the fixtures were donated, Gervais said: “We hope the benches will create a lasting legacy for After Life, as well as become a place for people to visit, and we are thrilled to be associated with [suicide prevention charity] CALM and the great work they do.”

Featured Image Credit: Nottingham Post/Netflix

Topics: Ricky Gervais, Netflix, Mental Health

Daisy Phillipson
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