This interview was originally broadcast on April 12, 2004.
Actor Ricky Gervais starred in, co-wrote and co-directed the hit BBC sitcom, The Office, with his partner Stephen Merchant. It was their BBC series from which the hit NBC series drew much inspiration.
Gervais played the self-obsessed middle-manager David Brent on whom Michael Scott, Steve Carell's character in the NBC incarnation of the show, is based. Like the NBC show, the satirical BBC series The Office was also shot in documentary style and followed the goings-on at a suburban paper company where life is stationary.
Since The Office, Gervais went on — again with Merchant — to co-write and co-direct the HBO series Extras, about the extras that populate television, movie and theater sets.