Ricky Gervais has always remained defiant and straightforward about his decision to end The Office after two series and Christmas specials. Gervais always planned for two series of The Office and he wasn't going to risk a drop in the show's quality to simply boost his bank balance or please fans.
Speaking shortly before the final Christmas specials aired, Gervais said: "My plans would not change even if I won an Oscar. I am not going to do a third season series." He added: "We certainly did not plan to do anything after the second series. Nothing would ever be as good as the first two series."
So it came as a surprise earlier this month when Gervais announced that he would be reviving Brent and The Office. It was only for a Comic Relief sketch, it was only 10 minutes, but it still felt like a creative risk.
On Friday, before the new sketch aired as part of Red Nose Day, Gervais hinted that there may be more from Brent to come. Using The Office revival as a chance to plug his YouTube channel, Gervais revealed that the video streaming service would soon be showcasing exclusive content from all his shows and projects.
Gervais has never bettered The Office and it is highly probable that he never will. It was a perfect comedy nugget that was brilliantly cast and its emotional centre clicked with viewers.
There are two ways to respond to a sitcom hit. You can do 'a Fawlty Towers', leaving it in perfect shape to grow old gracefully and achieve its rightful place in the British sitcom hall of fame. Or you can keep coming back and dabbling. Sometimes hitting, sometimes missing. Only Fools and Horse and The Royle Family fit in the latter category.
Watch a clip of David Brent's Red Nose Day video:
My main problem with the Comic Relief sketch on Friday night was that it didn't look like David Brent. It looked like Ricky Gervais with a goatee beard doing some sideways glances to the camera.
10 years on, I expected David Brent to have changed, but this slimmer and older Brent looked more like a controversial comedian, a Golden Globes host, a Hollywood star and a Twitter fanatic than the man who used to work at Wernham Hogg. I couldn't see the character beyond the larger-than-life actor.
I laughed a couple of times at the Brent sketch ("Lilt?") and the pop video for 'Equality Street' raised a brief titter, but it felt like an impersonation. The Office and David Brent worked so perfectly because it always looked so real and thanks to Gervais's embodiment of the cringe-tastic lead. This felt at times like a copycat knock-off.
Perhaps if the sketch had been extended or if it had involved Tim, Gareth, Dawn or even Big Keith it would have worked better, but in this short-form, it fell way short of what many Office fanatics had been keeping their fingers crossed for.
A quick comparison with the original show's legendary Red Nose Day moment showcases the difference in quality between the old and new David Brent.
I'm not knocking Gervais for doing his bit for Comic Relief. In the middle of a TV marathon of mediocrity that rarely lived up to its "funny for money" tag-line, Brent's return was still a highlight and it probably boosted viewers and consequently helped raised more cash for charity.
But perhaps the sketch might have warned against a larger, full-scale return for the character or The Office. The beauty of Brent and The Office was that there was a truthfulness at its core. 10 years on, the idea that Brent would still be trying to live the dream, deluded and chasing fame, isn't believable.
I want to remember Brent heading off into the sunset at the end of the Christmas special, finally finding some sort of happiness and contentment. Anything else just doesn't feel right.
Should Ricky Gervais bring back David Brent again? Or should The Office be left alone?