This week marks a decade since the first episode of The Office aired on British television. Happy Birthday!

Who would have thought ten years down the line, this little mockumentary with an annoying boss would have been sold to over 170 countries and remade into numerous versions including the highly acclaimed and Comedy Central favourite U.S. series which is due to start its eighth season later this year.

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Writing on his new blog for The Huffington Post, Ricky Gervais said the idea for The Office had begun many, many years before.

‘I had David Brent as a character from about 1995 I’d say,’ he wrote. ‘The first ‘sketch’ I had for him was basically the scene where he interviews his new secretary in episode 5. And he is based on people I’d met throughout my adult life.’

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He continued: ‘The very first scene of the series where he is talking to the fork-lift truck driver is based on an interview I had when I was 17 at a temp agency in the school holidays. His opening sentence was, ‘I don’t give shitty jobs.’ I just looked at him and nodded. He said, ‘If a good guy comes to me... (points) etc.’

‘He phoned his friend and at one point said, ‘yes of course he’s 18.’ Then he winked at me and did the Pinocchio nose mime. (It was nothing to do with fork-lift truck driving, but it was for work in a warehouse.)

He also told of his inspiration for some of the other characters: ‘Gareth is based on the kid I went to school with who I talk about in most of my stand-up shows, and Tim is based on a guy I used to work with mixed with Norm from Cheers, a little Chandler and a touch of Oliver Hardy.’

‘These are my fond anniversary memories. They are free.’

Cheers for the laffs Ricky.

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