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Pilkington co-founded RiSK Ltd a television production company with Gervais and Merchant. Television and DVD
In September 2010 Pilkington featured in a television series produced by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant An Idiot Abroad on Sky1. In an on-air response to similar claims made by Chris Campling during a broadcast on XFM Merchant stated that he would be "ashamed" if the radio show was scripted adding "If we had created Karl I would not have squandered a character that good on this poxy radio station".
He gained prominence as the producer of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's radio programme on XFM. He appeared on The Ricky Gervais Show presented the Sky travel series An Idiot Abroad and made his full acting debut (following a cameo appearance in the final episode of Extras) on Gervais' 2012 comedy-drama series Derek.