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Gervais to play failed actor

Ricky Gervais's next TV creation is to be a failed actor.

The Office star says the new character, an extra waiting for a more important role, will be worlds apart from the self-deluded David Brent.

He said:: "He's cocky, confident and knows exactly where he is in life. His failure is that he avoids trying in case he fails ­ the complete opposite of Brent.

"Brent wasn't nasty, just wounded. This guy is more confident in himself, he's not delusional and he doesn't want to be the life and soul of the party.

"But he really speaks his mind. I think there's a lot of mileage in this character.

"I've always liked wisecracking. I want this to be a throwback. I was brought up on characters like Bilko, and Bob Hope, and Fletcher from Porridge. They laughed in the face of adversity and were full of wicked put-downs."

Like The Office, the new show, called The Extras, will be co-written with Stephen Merchant. But it isn't likely to hit TV screens until next year.

The new report contradicts stories circulating that Gervais's next character was to be a political comedian completely unaware of the world around him. This is the basis for his new stand-up tour, Politics, rather than another TV project.

Published: 18 Mar 2004

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