The comedian also mocked Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor during his predictably controversial opening monologue.

Ricky Gervais opened the 73rd Golden Globes on Sunday night with two jokes about trans activist Caitlyn Jenner.

The star received backlash on Twitter after comparing himself to the former Olympian while discussing how much the pair have changed.

“I’ve changed. Well, not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously – now Caitlyn Jenner, of course,” he said.

He went on to reference Jenner’s driving ability, after she was involved in a car crash that killed one person and injured seven.

“What a year she’s had. She became a role model for trans people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes.

“She didn’t do a lot for women drivers, but you can’t do everything.”

After joking about Jenner, he went on to discuss the Golden Globe-winning series Transparent – paying particular attention to lead actor Jeffrey Tambor, who looked bemused by Gervais’ efforts.

“What an actor, what a role. Every day, he has to put on all that women’s clothes and the hair and makeup and let people film it.

“That takes balls. So, I don’t know how he does it. I really don’t. I’ve seen his balls. They are huge and long.

“I don’t know he tucked them in the bra, that thing push them out the back and let them hang out, like a bulldog?”

Twitter users – understandably – reacted rather badly to the comments, labelling the Extras star “bigoted” and “transphobic.”

“Starting the evening off with some transphobia, so that’s something,” wrote Phillip Picardi.

“The entire cast of Transparent deserves an award for classily enduring lazy, transphobic jokes at every single awards show they attend,” added Maris Kreizman.

Watch a clip of the speech below.