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Ricky Gervais’ bittersweet comedy-drama Derek has been commissioned as a series by Channel 4 following its successful pilot last month.
The series will be screened early next year, after 3.2 million tuned in to watch April’s debut episode, Channel 4’s highest-rated scripted comedy in almost two years.
‘A kind-hearted character in a world which TV normally shies away from, Derek feels like a perfect new direction for Ricky Gervais,’ says Channel 4's Head Of Comedy, Shane Allen.
‘The pilot triggered an amazing response, and Derek’s story had only just begun, so it’s brilliant that we can explore this world and its beautifully drawn characters across a series.’
Ricky Gervais is the innocent Derek Noakes, who works in a retirement home alongside friend and landlord Dougie, played by Ricky’s pal Karl Pilkington in his first acting role. Derek loves his job and the people he cares for, while his best friend at the home is the lovelorn Hannah (Kerry Godliman). Away from work, 50-year-old Derek’s interests are animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, Deal Or No Deal, Million Pound Drop, Britain’s Got Talent, and his main hobby, autograph hunting.
‘David Brent was an egotistical, failed musician and the most annoying man in the world,’ says Ricky, whose credits include The Office and Extras, and who will also write and direct Derek.
‘Derek is a 50-year-old man with bad hair and clothes, whose best friend is a whinging bald Manc twonk. Where do I get my ideas from?’