Brent goes Gallic in 'The Office' relocation

It is enough to make David Brent choke on his instant onion soup. The Office, the hit comedy based at a Slough paper merchant, is to cross the Channel to French television.

Le Bureau, as the Gallic version of the sitcom will be called, is the first time that the antics of Brent, the self-deluded boss played by Ricky Gervais, has been translated into a foreign language.

Quite what a French audience will make of the cod philosophising of the comedy's lead character ("There may be no 'I' in team but there's a 'me' if you look hard enough") is unclear. But the BBC said it was confident that the remake of such a quintessentially British comedy will strike a chord in France when it appears on the pay-TV channel Canal Plus in May.

The "mockumentary", which exploits the comic divide between an over-zealous boss and a monotonous workplace in the style of a fly-on-the-wall documentary, has already spawned an American version, which is running to a third series - one more than the British original - and won a Golden Globe.

A spokesman for BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the corporation, said: "This is the first time that the scripts have been translated into a foreign language but we are confident it will work. We not talking about a literal translation - we had a team who went over to France to work with the French scriptwriters to produce something that will work with a French audience. Ricky Gervais has also been involved."

The French version also locates its cast at a paper merchants in a less-than-dynamic provincial town. Instead of Slough, Le Bureau will be set in Villepinte, a town north of Paris once known for producing beetroot and home to one of France's largest business parks. The David Brent character becomes Gilles Triquet, played by the veteran film and television actor François Berléand. Canal Plus, which will broadcast the sitcom in a prime time evening slot, said it had tried to keep the "spirit" of the scripts written by Gervais and Stephen Merchant. A spokeswoman said: "The scripts have been Gallicised for a French audience - but the beauty of the original was that it played on universal values, the workplace and what happens around the coffee machine."

The Office, first broadcast in 2001, is already the corporation's most successful comedy export, with 80 countries buying rights to screen dubbed versions. Gervais, who has earned an estimated £6.5m from the show, is currently writing a new episode for the third series of the US version.

Brent-lais

If at first you don't succeed, remove all evidence you ever tried.

Si vous réussissez pas au premier essai, effacez les preuves que vous avez jamais essayé.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.

N'oublierez jamais que l'age et la perfidité triompheront toujours sur la jeunesse et l'aptitude.

If you're gonna be late, then be late and not just two minutes - make it an hour and enjoy your breakfast.

Si tu dois être en retard, soit en retard et pas juste par deux minutes, prenez une heure et dejeunez bien!

Eagles may soar high, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Peut-être que les aigles peuvent monter haut, mais les belettes ne seront jamais happés par des turbines d'avions.

Ele Walker

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas
film
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: External Relations Executive

£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An External Relations Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Project Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This established Digital Agency based in East ...

Guru Careers: Sales Director / Business Development Manager

£35 - 45K + COMMISSION (NEG): Guru Careers: A Sales Director / Business Develo...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Manchester - Urgent Requirement!

£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
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