Ricky Gervais has professed he thinks the world would be a better place without people.

Speaking on Nicky Campbell's pet-themed podcast One of the Family, Gervais claimed humans wouldn't be missed if they were to be wiped out - as the planet would have a chance to heal.

"We are part of nature - we are not above it - we are not in charge," he mused. Offering his opinion that humans are not the most important species, Gervais told Campbell: "If we were wiped out tomorrow the world would be a better place... it would go back and it would be perfect again."

The After Life star is a staunch supporter of animal rights, and recently signed a letter backing moves to ban the ownership of exotic pets in the U.K.

Describing humans' over-inflated sense of place in the scheme of things, Gervais added: "If bees are wiped out, we're all screwed. We're not as important as bees - we are one great ape, that's all we are."

The comedian continued: "What exists now, which may be between 5-10 million species of animal, including insects...they are only 1 per cent of the species that have ever existed."

Gervais said he blames humanity for much of the decimation of the natural world: "99 per cent of all species are now extinct, and we are responsible for a big chunk of them in the last 200 years."

However, Gervais went on to insist that he's not a misanthrope, saying: "I like people, they are just not my favourite animal."