Talk TV

Ten years of The Office

Ricky Gervais comedy reaches a landmark age

By Lorna Coops 21/06/2011 06:36

Has it really been 10 years since The Office made its debut on the BBC? Where has all the time gone? Not only was this the show to launch Ricky Gervais on the road to superstardom, it spawned a hugely successful US version.


Winning Bafta awards for Best Comedy Performance (Ricky Gervais) and Best Situation Comedy two years running in 2002 and 2003, the series also scooped accolades in America.


The Office (c) BBC


At the time, The Office was the only British comedy in 25 years to be nominated for a Golden Globe, and it became the first ever to win one. The Office won Best Television Comedy Series and Ricky Gervais picked up Best Television Comedy Actor.


Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have universally acclaimed this multi-award winning comedy series. To mark its 10th anniversary, we present some trivia about The Office...

• ‘The Office’ started life in 1997 as a sketch Ricky Gervais wrote called ‘Seedy Boss’. He named that boss David Brent.

• The programme first aired on July 9th 2001 on BBC Two.

• ‘The Office’ is the most successful British Sitcom of all time.

• Due to overseas sales, DVDs and now syndication ‘The Office’, has grossed an estimated £370 million worldwide.

• It is shown in 170 territories, in 88 countries. It has been remade in 8:
US, France, Canada, Germany, Israel, Chile, Sweden and Russia.

• It was the first British Sitcom to win a Golden Globe. The second was ‘Extras’. They are still the only two.

• ‘The Office’ has helped make Ricky Britain's most successful comedian, and the only one to appear in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People In The World List.

• The first scene ever written was the one where Brent interviews Karen Roper for the job of PA in episode 5.

• The first demo tape of the office was shot in the real office where Ricky used to work.

• Many of the people in the background actually worked there.

• The demo was shot in one day.
• Apart from Ricky And Steve, only one other actor has appeared in both ‘The Office’ and ‘Extras’ - Steve Brodie.

• Originally Martin Freeman auditioned for the part of Gareth. Ricky first met Martin when he helped write the series ‘Bruiser’, which Martin starred in. He met Mackenzie when they worked together on ‘The 11 O’clock Show’.

• The record number of takes for one scene is 74. It’s the one where Brent gives Tim an appraisal.

• In Canada the main character was called David Gervais (combination of David Brent and Ricky Gervais)

• In the French version (Le Bureau) the stapler in jelly becomes a stapler in Fromage.

  • Lorna CooperLorna Cooper

    Nicknamed 'Coops', Lorna is MSN's TV editor. She has too many TV faves to list, but she loves good telly. Read her opinions on the world of TV.

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