The ego has landed: David Brent to star in US version of The Office

Ricky Gervais to appear opposite Steve Carell as Slough's finest comes face-to-face with his American alter ego

One is an over-confident white-collar manager in Slough blissfully unaware of his unpopularity in the office; another is an equally cringe-worthy white-collar boss in a city in Pennsylvania, with a similarly inflated ego and long-suffering employees.

Now it appears that David Brent, the central character from the BBC cult comedy series The Office hopes to come face to face with his American counterpart, Michael Scott, who stars in the stateside adaptation.

Ricky Gervais, who created the comedy and has since found increasing fame in Hollywood, is considering making an appearance in the NBC version starring Steve Carell as the cringe-worthy boss.

Yesterday, Gervais's British publicist said that while nothing had yet been confirmed, he had not "ruled out the opportunity". His guest appearance is rumoured to be in this season's series of the show. The American version has proved to be an immense success, in spite of initial speculation that its particularly British brand of humour would not translate well for American audiences.

Carell plays the hopelessly inefficient office manager at the fictional Dunder Mifflin paper factory in Scranton. It borrows directly from Gervais's original show in its "mockumentary" filming style, with its single camera set-up, without a studio audience or a laugh-track. The presence of the camera is often explicitly acknowledged by the characters, to give it an authentic "documentary" feel.

Fans and purists were already discussing the pros and cons of seeing the show's creator turn up in the American spin-off; comments on the Web ranged from expressions of doubt ("I'm not sure how I feel about this. Gervais rocks and the episode would be awesome but will it detract from the perfection of the British original?") to national rivalries ("Ricky Gervais will run circles around Steve Carell. All it'll be is a reminder of how the US version isn't as good") to pure delight ("That would be amazing! I really miss the UK Office. Bring over Tim and Gareth, too!").

The American version was adapted by Greg Daniels, the veteran Saturday Night Live writer, who has also written for the award winning cartoon comedy The Simpsons. Guest appearances that have been confirmed this season by Paul Lieberstein, its executive producer, include Idris Elba, a British actor who plays a lead part in the Baltimore-based TV series The Wire.

There is also a French-Canadian version, La Job, which features a boss at the Montreal Papiers Jennings factory named David Gervais, in homage to the creator.

The original BBC programme won two Golden Globes, after which NBC commissioned its own version. Gervais vowed not to continue the writing the show after its second and last series (as well as a Christmas special) in 2003, in spite of its popular acclaim, saying he wanted to leave the show on a high. It has also been remade for audiences in Germany and France.

Gervais, who will host Sunday night's Golden Globe Awards in America, reportedly claimed that money "ruined" the show. On the American TV show 60 Minutes, he said: "When I did The Office, I was so proud. The cheque ruined it a bit; I didn't want people to think that was mixed in with my pride."

Gervais has forged a successful career in Americas, although this year he is set to perform at Wembley stadium in April. His film, Cemetery Junction, which he co-wrote with long-time collaborator, Stephen Merchant, is set in 1970s England, and revolves around issues of social class and romance.

The comedian yesterday told Twitter fans he was departing from the site less than a month after first tweeting. He branded it a "pointless" and "undignified" exercise, and complained that celebrities used the site for "showing off" and that he did not need to make "new virtual friends".

He started tweeting on 14 December after Golden Globe bosses reportedly urged him to promote the awards ceremony. But after only six tweets he announced he was stopping.

On his blog, Gervais wrote: "As you may know I've stopped with Twitter. I just don't get it I'm afraid. I'm sure it's fun as a networking device for teenagers but there's something a bit undignified about adults using it. Particularly celebrities who seem to be showing off by talking to each other in public. If I want to tell a friend, famous or otherwise what I had to eat this morning, I'll text them. And since I don't need to make new virtual friends, it seemed a bit pointless to be honest."

In the short time that he did use the microblogging site, Gervais amassed more than 13,000 followers.

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
    World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

    Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

    The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
    Why the league system no longer measures up

    League system no longer measures up

    Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
    Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

    Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

    Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
    Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

    Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

    The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
    Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

    Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

    Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness