It’s hard to believe that it’s now more than five years since the original UK version of The Office bowed out with an outstanding two-part Christmas special.
However, while there’s no sign that they will ever go back on their word and make more episodes of the show, it seems they may not quite be finished with David Brent (right).
Tabloid rumours are suggesting that Gervais will reprise the role for a special guest appearance on the US version of the show, which is currently mid-way through its fifth season.
If true, it would see incompetent (former) paper-mill boss Brent come face-to-face with his American counterpart, the equally incompetent paper-mill boss Michael Scott (below), played by Steve Carell.
Although all such newspaper speculation should be taken with a large pinch of salt, there are a few reasons to believe that this is more than just a wild rumour or wishful thinking.
First of all, Gervais and Merchant enjoy a relatively close relationship with the makers of the US show – they are executive producers and also wrote an episode a couple of years ago.
Second, there have been discussions in the past about some of the characters from the UK show having guest roles, though nothing ever came of it.
Thirdly, and lending the most credibility, the news of Brent’s possible appearance comes not from some nameless, faceless production “source” but from one the the main stars of the US show – Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight K Schrute, the American version of Gareth.
Wilson is quoted as saying at a party in Los Angeles: “We’ve been looking at trying to do something with Steve and Ricky for a while but it’s never quite worked out and the right thing has never come up. But I think it will happen before the show ends.
“Hopefully we’ll do it for the final show – that looks like two years’ time.”
That would make season seven the show’s last.
Gervais and Carell have already come face-to-face on TV – the pair had a hilarious encounter at last year’s Emmy awards. You can see it here: