Following in the animal-friendly footsteps of past recipients such as Anjelica Huston, Bill Clinton, and Russell Simmons, comedian Ricky Gervais has been named PETA's 2013 Person of the Year. 

The 52-year-old actor has long been a supporter of animal rights legislation and initiatives, using his substantial platform on Twitter to engage his more than 5.3 million followers on a variety of issues.

"Gervais, whose wide social-media influence has also earned him a top Klout score among comedians, netted more than 58,000 favorites and 83,000 retweets of his tweets about animals in 2013," writes PETA. "His other animal advocacy work includes appearing in this animated video against fur and exotic-animal skins, in which he supplies the voice for a rabbit, with rocker Pink in the role of the crocodile."

Almost immediately following the announcement by PETA, Gervais posted the following on Twitter: 

The honor also comes on the heels of a new recording released by the RSPCA featuring Gervais in character from the UK comedy "Derek." In the clip, he urges viewers to be nice to animals and consider helping the RSPCA. Check it out below. 

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