Russia buys the right to have a laugh at Moscow's David Brentski
Monday 28 July 2008
Russia has become the latest country to buy the rights to produce a version of the cult British comedy The Office, in a sign that where comedy is concerned today, Slough is not so far from Siberia. The Russian version will initially feature 24 half-hour episodes, to be aired on the Kremlin-backed First Channel.
The Slough office of Wernham Hogg paper company, headed by Ricky Gervais's obnoxious creation David Brent, hit British screens in 2001 and rapidly became a hit. The BBC announced that the production company Red Square would make 24 episodes of the Russian version, likely to be called Ofis, with the concept remaining the same but scope for changing characters and plotlines to cater to regional specifics.
So far, no details of the cast or location of the Russian version have been released. "We are obviously very eager to hear about the cast members, including who will be the David Brentski of Russia," said Ben Donald, the Russia sales chief for BBC Worldwide.
The Russian version "probably won't air till next year", wrote Gervais on his blog, and confirmed that the hunt was on for his Russian alter-ego. "We are looking for a middle-aged, slightly overweight unknown actor with a funny face. Do you think that could work? Good."
It's not the first time that a popular British series has been adapted for the Russian market. Later this year, Name of Russia will be broadcast, which will explore 12 historical personalities, and ask the audience to select the greatest Russian figure. The series is based on the BBC's Great Britons, which was won by Winston Churchill, and is already causing controversy as Joseph Stalin has received a huge amount of support and at one stage was leading the preliminary voting.
Where comedy is concerned, Nasha Russia (Our Russia) has put a Slavic twist on Little Britain, and includes familiar characters in a new guise, such as Ivan Dulin, the "only gay in the factory". There are also new characters, such as Ravshan and Dzhamshud, illegal immigrants from Central Asia, where the recurring gag is their stupidity and poor Russian language skills.
It's likely that sweeping changes will also need to be made to turn The Office to Ofis and make the satire of office life in a capitalist society relevant to viewers in a country that just two decades ago was living under Communism.
interviewThe producer and activist, Trudie Styler, whose film 'Filth' is up for five film awards, is tapping into the industry's neglected female talent
musicBlack Sabbath have pulled off one of rock music’s great comebacks – against all odds
theatreTheatre's hitmaker Daniel Evans on 'Oliver' and bringing 'The Full Monty' to the stage
interviewHer estate has become the nation's glossiest food empire
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
food + drinkFestive snacks don't have to be fiddly, says Bill Granger
Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
Ja Rule forced to deny leaving wife for prison cell mate
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Ryanair calls on CAA to act over air traffic chaos caused by telephone system glitch
Crash pilot who threatened Ukip leader Nigel Farage found dead
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail
- < Previous
- Next >
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Server Side De...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# ASP.NET Developer (...
£60000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior C# WPF .NET Dev...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: QA Manual Tester FX Trading Platform/Derivative...