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Ricky Gervais: 'Derek is a return to values of The Office'

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Ricky Gervais has claimed that his Channel 4 comedy Derek is a return to the values he had on The Office.

The comedian said that he hoped the new show would have a similar "pathos" and "weight" to that of his work with Stephen Merchant in the early '00s.

Ricky Gervais, Derek,


Speaking in a Making of Derek film, Gervais said: "I've done a lot of media stuff with Extras and the Golden Globes and spoof things for Comic Relief. I sort of dealt in that, because it's irresistible to write about what you know.

"I worked in an office for ten years, I wrote about it. I was in the media, I wrote about it.

"The Office [had] a pathos and there was a weight to it. There were three-dimensional characters. [Derek] is a return to those Office values. Real people, real problems, and more so."

He continued: "The Office touched on existentialism. But it touched on the existentialism of being 30. This touches on the existentialism of being 90 sometimes. So there's a bit more weight to that."

Ricky Gervais's Derek Noakes teaser via Twitter

© Twitter



Speaking about the character Derek Noakes, who he says he has worked on for over 15 years, Gervais commented: "Derek has evolved over the years. He was previously a funny little nerd who said funny things. It was a way to see the world through different eyes. Now he's become a bit of a hero of mine.

"Despite how he looks and how he's perceived, he's sweet, he's sincere and he's perfect.



"That's why I wanted him to look odd - everything's got to be a juxtaposition of what he's really like. He's got to be scruffy, he's got to have bad hair, he's got to have a funny walk, he can't be that bright, because then kindness comes along and trumps it all."

Gervais claimed that the key difference between Derek and The Office was that his new series has "no level of irony".

"What's different is the sincerity that flows through it. With David Brent, we were laughing at the blind spot, the gap between what he sees himself and what he really is," he said.

"Whereas with these characters, they say what it is on their mind and they are sincere and genuine."

Derek will air its first full series from Wednesday, January 30 on Channel 4.

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