Whatever Happened To David Brent?

Ricky’s tweeted promotional pic of David Brent’s new star turn. (from @rickygervais)

Hey who remembers that guy from the early naughties who had that TV show about working in an office? I forget the name, but he was kinda bumptious and a bit full of himself, and he had a goatee beard and could be relied upon to do the most embarrassing thing possible in any given situation…

His name, in case you’re struggling, was David Brent, and his spell in the spotlight lasted barely any time at all. In fact, there was a follow-up series to the first series, in which his attempts to parlay whatever attention his brief spell on TV gave him into an actual career in showbiz all fail, embarrassingly.

I guess that’s the way it goes with reality TV, right?

Well, guess what? He’s still out there, plugging away. In fact, the BBC’s charity campaign Comic Relief has tracked him down – not, we hasten to add, with the intention of giving him any money – and asked him what the heckfire he’s been up to all this time.

The full report on his career prospects will be broadcast on Comic Relief night, which is Friday, March 15, but a couple of video clips have found their way online. And this is because people genuinely want to know what happened to reality TV stars after the cameras have been switched off. I mean, not so much that they will actually do anything about it, but still…

Here’s a trailer:

And there’s a more detailed short clip available on the YouTube feed of someone with the unlikely name of Ricky… is it Gervais?

He even supplied a quote about David Brent, telling The Sun: “He is passing on his wisdom to younger would-be rock stars now. Well, really he is trying to worm his way back into rock and roll. Fans of The Office will be excited to know we finally get to hear the whole of ‘The Serpent Who Guards the Gates of Hell’”

I know, I don’t know how we can bear the suspense either…

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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