Reading’s own Ricky Gervais joked he would have smacked Will Smith back if he had been hit during a performance at the Oscars.

Smith took to the stage on Sunday and slapped Chris Rock across the face, following a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss.

Comedian Gervais, who grew up in Reading, has hosted the Golden Globes five times and fans were keen to know how he would have handled the incident.

“Smack ‘em back. Unless they’re smaller than you. Then just smile,” Gervais joked on Twitter, after a member of the public asked what he would have done if a celebrity had ‘smacked’ him while performing.

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The writer and star of the Office, which was based in Slough, mused on how he would have hosted the awards ceremony.

“I'd start with: ‘Hello. I hope this show helps cheer up the ordinary people watching at home. If you’re unemployed for example, take some comfort in the fact that even if you had a job, your salary probably wouldn't be as much as the goody bag all the actors have just been given',” he posted on Twitter.

"'I'm proud to announce that this is the most diverse and progressive Oscars ever. Looking out I see people from all walks of life. Every demographic under the sun. Except poor people, obviously. F*** them.'"

A formal review into the incident has been launched to discuss what disciplinary measures will be taken, and Smith will reportedly be given the chance to provide a written defence.

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The Academy said disciplinary action for Smith could include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions.

The actor apologised to The Academy and his fellow nominees in a tearful acceptance speech following his best actor win, and later to Rock on social media.

In a statement posted to Instagram he admitted he had reacted “emotionally” to the joke, but “violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive”.

Pinkett Smith also called for a “season of healing” following the incident, but Rock has yet to respond publicly.

Chris Rock says he is “still processing” his altercation with Will Smith at the Oscars but will talk about it “at some point”.

The comedian referenced the incident at a stand-up show and promised that when he did comment officially it would be “serious and funny”.

Smith’s behaviour has been heavily criticised by his Hollywood contemporaries, including Oscars’ so-host Wanda Sykes.

Speaking on the Ellen DeGeneres show, the actress and comedian said she was “still traumatised” and felt disappointed by the way the show had handled the “sickening” incident.

She also praised Rock’s response after the altercation, revealing he had approached her to apologise about the incident because he knew it would overshadow her plaudits for presenting alongside Amy Schumer and Regina Hall.