When David Brent first graced our television screens a decade ago (ten years tomorrow to be exact) Ricky Gervais was just a layabout at XFM. But the new character he and writing partner Stephen Merchant had dreamed would soon make him a worldwide comedy superstar. Annoying, ignorant and selfish, the boss of Wernham Hogg was also strangely loveable, entertaining the mocumentary’s viewers with toe-curling soundbytes and his misguided belief in ‘comedy’. And let’s not forget that dance…
You can’t help but feel that the show’s award winning success lies not only in hilarious scriptwriting and excellent casting, but also because everyone around the world who’s ever worked in an office environment can relate to most of the characters in programme.
This trait is unusual in the normally cultural dependant world of situation comedy and has led to the showâs format being taken up by numerous countries around the world. In celebration of the first landmark anniversary of everyoneâs favourite ‘chilled out entertainerâ, OTB has brought together a selection of clips of how the show has adapted itself to suit audiences across the globe.
Adapted for US audiences by executive producer Greg Daniels, veteran writer of Saturday Night Live, King of the Hill, and The Simpsons, the show has very much come in to itâs own, with an unprecedented eighth series set to be Steve Carrellâs last before he is replaced by James Spader. The new lead character will reprise his role as Robert California, the new CEO of Sabre-Dunder Mifflin Inc Paper Company.
Video: David Brentâs character makes a cameo in US version of The Office..
Le Bureau essentially just adapted the scripts of the original British version, changing just names and cultural references to make them more relevant to a French audience. Only managing one season so far, the show stars FranÃ§ois BerlÃ©and as Gilles Triquet, Franceâs answer to David Brent.
Os Aspones portrays a group of white-collar workers at a governmental department, lost in Brazilian bureaucracy in an area of the countryâs civil service actually has no function at all.
A French Canadian comedy television series set in Montreal, La Job aired for only one season, centring around the antics of regional manager David Gervais, a failed comedian and rocker who also fails to grasp the notion of political correctness. The show stuck fairly rigidly to the script of the British show, as the video below shows.
Set is Santiago, La Ofis ran for one season, staying faithful to the original format whilst at the same time amalgamating aspects of Latin American cultures..
Now filming a fifth series, Stromberg takes place at the office of fictional insurance company âCapitol Versicherung AGâ?, and stars Christoph Maria Herbst as boss man Bernd Stromberg. Despite now giving credit to Gervais and Merchant for the programme idea, the German TV Channel originally denied using the comedy duo’s offering as a blueprint, until the Beeb threatened to sue that is..
The Hebrew version of the cult British show aired in August 2010, with Uzi Weill, who wrote all 15 episodes by himself, claiming Gervais has gone on record to say the Israeli version is his favourite adaptation of the show’s format so far. Evidence to this effect is however hard to come by, but Gervias did say this: “I am thrilled and amazed that Israel is making The Office with local writers, directors and actors. I mean, who ever heard of Jewish entertainers?”.
With Henrik Dorsin lined up to play the manager, a Swedish version of The Office is set to air later this year. Gervais and Merchant are also rumoured to be talking to producers about creating a version for viewers in China, filled with plenty of communism friendly jokes. David Brent, a man who spoke at length about bringing together the different races of the world, would certainly be proud of his creatorâs legacy.