The series co-creator, writer and actor reflected on Brent's legacy in an article written for Entertainment Weekly upon The Office's tenth anniversary.
Gervais insisted that while Brent was not always likable, he was always written with honesty and vulnerability in the hope of making the audience empathise with the character despite his more unsavoury traits.
"David Brent doesn't represent evil or nastiness or even ignorance. He's just a little out of place. Out of time. His worst crime is that he confused respect with popularity. He wanted both but concentrated on the wrong one. He didn't really know what people wanted of him," Gervais explained.
"He shouldn't really have worried about that at all. He just tried a little too hard. He wasn't a bad man. In fact he was quite a nice man and I have a real affection for him. I like all my characters I play or create, to be honest. I don't think you should ever feel above the role or sneery towards them."
Gervais went on to say that he believes David Brent represented the basic principles of comedy, adding: "Comedy is above all about empathy in my opinion, and I think as an actor, the more you empathise with a character, the more engaging he will be to an audience.
"It doesn't mean he has to be perfect or squeaky-clean, but he must have his foibles planted somewhere in humanity. And at some level he has to be vulnerable. David Brent was certainly that. Insecure, eager to please, and needing constant positive feedback."
Gervais recently confessed that he often annoyed his Office co-stars by attempting to make them laugh during filming.
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