Office Joke Is on Americans as Brits Take a Pair of Globes

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), January 27, 2004 | Go to article overview

Office Joke Is on Americans as Brits Take a Pair of Globes


Byline: Karen Price

From the moment it first appeared on our TV screens in July 2001, spoof fly-on-the-wall series The Office has proved a massive hit in the UK, winning awards and turning its co-creator and leading actor Ricky Gervais into a major star.

Now it has proved to be a favourite in America too by becoming the surprise winner of two coveted Golden Globe awards.

It was the first time a British comedy series has won at the awards.

It is not often that hit British comedies also prove popular with Americans, who frequently 'don't get' our brand of humour, it is claimed.

But it seems Gervais and his writing partner Stephen Merchant came up trumps with their cringe-worthy creation David Brent, played by Gervais, the boss of a paper mill in Slough.

The series triumphed over big hitters such as Sex And The City and Will and Grace to win best comedy TV series.

And Gervais beat Friends star Matt LeBlanc to take the best comedy actor gong.

A delighted Gervais yesterday described the win as the highlight of his career.

'It hasn't really sunk in yet,' he said.

'Here I am, this fat bloke from Reading sharing a room with Jack Nicholson, Bill Murray and Michael Douglas. It's fantastic.'

Asked how his life would change, Gervais, said, 'I'm going to probably be a little bit more arrogant and lazy, possibly send people out for pizzas that I probably wouldn't have before. And just do voice-over work.'

He joked, 'I don't want any more work. I'm going to live off this for about 10 years then do some bad stuff when I really need the money.'

One of the first people to congratulate Gervais was Welsh actress Rachel Isaac, who stars as Trudy.

She said she was not surprised the Americans had embraced the comedy.

'I have spent a lot of time in America and most of my peers and friends there would appreciate that kind of comedy,' said Rachel, who is from Maesteg.

'It's very believable - everyone can relate to the situations.

'It's more like a drama than a comedy, really. There are no funny gags - it's a very realistic story but within it there are really hilarious moments.'

But, although she is not surprised by its success across the Atlantic, she admits that she was extremely surprised that it had secured two Golden Globes.

'It's amazing that it beat Sex And The City and Friends. …

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