Ricky Gervais has defended jokes he made about Caitlyn Jenner – insisting he did not mock the former Olympian for being trans.

The comedian hosted the Golden Globe awards earlier this week – but his comic routine during the event led to many people complaining online.

He had joked: “I’ve changed. Well, not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously – now Caitlyn Jenner.

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.”

The comedian – who also mocked Roman Polanski over child sex abuse allegations and tore into actor Mel Gibson – has now defended his joke.

He said: “I made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner killing someone in her car. I’m #TransportPhobic.

“Do people not realise that when they say they are offended by a joke it makes that joke even funnier for the rest of us.

“If jokes caused the easily offended to bleed internally, I’d do more stand up.”

Gervais posted public replies to a number of tweets about the incident – strangely including to people who had not directed their complaints at his account in the first place, suggesting he searched his own name to find their comments.

He continued: “Don’t offended people realise they are doing my marketing for me.”

As well as joking about Jenner during his routine, 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.”