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The Office Ten Years On: Where Are Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman And The Other Personnel Now?

First Posted: 07/08/11 11:14 AM ET   Updated: 09/07/11 06:12 AM ET

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant struck gold on 9th July 20001, when their sitcom about the day-to-day lives of the employees of a Slough paper merchant became the most successful British comedy export of all time.

In a frighteningly confident burst of comic vision, The Office ran for two seasons (just like its natural forebear Fawlty Towers), two Christmas specials and then was gone from UK premises - enjoying instead a lucrative and longrunning US counterpart to prop up its offshore accounts.

The doors of its Slough branch closed a full decade ago (yes, it really has been that long), so what happened to the stalwart staff of the Wernham Hogg Paper Company? On the tenth anniversary of the sitcom that changed British comedy AND fly-on-the-wall documentary, here's a fresh look at the personnel who helped shape it...

REMEMBER the Office personnel in pictures, read what they're up to now below and VOTE if you agree with our star rating

David Brent (Ricky Gervais)
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At the helm of the Slough emporium - wool-chewing, key-sucking manager David Brent, an achingly accurate depiction of a man in mid-life meltdown, shrouded only by a veneer of self-denial and comic aspiration. In testament to Gervais' talent, even now a decade has helped numb the pain, Brent can only really be watched through the fingers, hitting as he does pulse points of contempt, pity and, of course, our own social fears and self-doubt. A comedic mould-breaker with a worthy place alongside Basil Fawlty, Alan Patridge and Frasier Crane.

Ricky Gervais has proved to have far more professional acumen than Brent, selling The Office across the world, including the US where he remains the show's executive producer. Gervais subsequently made and starred in Extras as frustrated artist Andy Millman, which won him an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

In between continuing with stand-up comedy, writing a couple of children's books and becoming the first Brit to write an episode of The Simpsons, he barely broke a sweat with Merchant to send their bald, beleaguered pal Karl Pilkington off to visit the seven wonders of the world.

But Gervais's lucky charm hasn't been limited to TV. He's also broken into film, featuring in Night at The Museum, Stardust and, despite his distinctly non-Hollywood teeth, playing a dentist in Ghost Town. And returning behind the camera as well to write, direct as well as star in The Invention of Lying and Cemetery Junction.

His acceptance into the highest echelons of Hollywood seemed complete when he was asked to host the Golden Globes in both 2010 and 2011. However, the return outing proved a double-edged sword, when his uncompromising contempt for his glittering audience left them non-plussed, though garnering him even more comedic kudos everywhere else.

He's about to line-up with his favourite co-star Elmo, for the new Muppets movie, as well as lending his voice to Spy Kids 4 with Jessica Alba and Antonio Banderas.

But his most anticipated project, and possibly most controversial yet, is the mockumentary currently in production, Life's Too Short. Gervais has described this distinctly non-PC offering as a mix of The Office and Extras, with action centering on real-life dwarf actor Warwick Davis. With Stephen Merchant once again in the co-pilot's writing and directing seat, it seems Gervais is back on familiar territory of making us laugh and squirm in equal measure. He appears unstoppable.

METEORIC RATING: 10/10
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