Wednesday, 16 October 2013

David Brent and The Foregone Conclusion London 2013

It was a 'Foregone Conclusion' that this was going to be an amazing night out for anyone lucky enough to attend. Excuse the bad pun, I have been waiting for sometime to use this. 

I am of course talking about Ricky Gervais bringing back his fictional character best known from 'The Office'; the Brentmeister General himself, Mr. David Brent and his band 'Foregone Conclusion' for a couple of SOLD OUT work in progress gigs at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.

Ticket touts who had contributed to this gig selling out in less than a minute caused an air of controversy to surround these gigs as true fans didn't manage to get tickets which were being sold on at extortionate prices. Thankfully, Ricky and his A-Team (management) got many of these overpriced tickets taken down and urged fans not to buy them.
I was fortunate enough to get a ticket for the very first gig and here are my (biased of course!) thoughts on the entire experience, without spoiling too much for those yet to see it:

Arriving at the Bloomsbury Theatre, I could see why Ricky chose it; it's a lovely little venue with an amazing view of the stage from wherever you're sitting, there are literally no 'shitty seats'; imagine that being said in a 'Brent-esque' way; 'The Bloomsbury Theatre: We don't give shitty seats!'
I also think he chose it because he performed a couple of sold out stand up shows there in the past and it is located close to and owned by UCL; where he studied and later worked so it is probably a venue close to his heart.

Sitting in the upper circle, the view of the stage was excellent and the atmosphere was amazing. It was so nice to anticipate the start of the show with a theatre full to the brim with excited fans, as cliche as it may seem, we were like one big diverse family.

The lights went down and to my surprise a bespectacled Doc Brown in 'golfing gear' as he put it (Ben Smith) appeared on stage; having never seen him in anything apart from The 'Equality Street' music video alongside David Brent and in an episode of Derek; I didn't know what to expect...but as soon as he started talking he had me in fits of laughter. He has a unique style of comedic rapping using clever lyrics and I'll definitely be going to his shows in the future. After the gig, I looked him up on YouTube and found this amazing 'Proper Tea' rap:
Next, the one and only Ewen Macintosh, who 'The Office' fans will recognise as 'Big Keith' came on stage to an overwhelming roar of applause from the audience with one excited fan shouting 'Peak Practice', of course referring to Keith's line 'I like Peak Practice'.
He was only on for a brief moment, holding up a piece of paper to introduce David Brent and the band, but he made it a moment of comedy gold by eating a scotch egg as he left the stage.

Then, the moment we had all been waiting for, Ricky Gervais appeared on stage; in a white dress shirt, baggy navy blue jeans, a waistcoat, bolo tie, ill fitting sunglasses and an earring to complete his 'rock n' roll' look. The moment he touched his earring and said 'fashion innit', the audience knew that 'Brent' was on stage. His band also sifted onto the stage in the background and 'Brent' briefly introduced them, but only cared to mention the new guitarist who he said was 'Mammogram's' nephew, 'Stu Monkford'; and of course he had to mention that he had not raped anyone, so far...

He started with the songs from his 'Learn Guitar' YouTube series such as 'Life on The Road' and 'Ooh La La' with the audience and myself finding ourselves clapping along. Doc Brown also came back on stage as rapper 'Dom Johnson' to perform 'Equality Street', 'Lonely Cowboy' and 'Ain't no Trouble'. The comedic chemistry and banter between Doc Brown and Ricky Gervais was brilliant.
'Brent' and 'Johnson' singing 'Equality Street'

When Ricky wasn't singing he was mouthing the lyrics and dancing along playing 'air guitar' which was funny and slightly adorable.
He also had his signature can of 'Fosters' on stage (those who have seen his stand-up and golden globes presenting will know that he always has a drink whilst performing live) which he would sip during guitar solos.

'Brent' and 'Mammogram's' nephew 'Stu Monkford'
At times, when Ricky was singing using the microphone and doing hand gestures, and especially during the 'factually correct' song 'Slough', I saw a bit of 'Derek Noakes' seeping in and I was reminded of this scene in 'Derek' when he was performing his 'Ventriquocist' act with Poppy the Rabbit:

Derek and Poppy: Photo courtesy of Channel 4 and Netflix
Our ears were treated  to an exclusive new song called 'Lady Gypsy' a musical tale of his first love; which was typical 'Brent' and hilarious as well as catchy. 

My personal favourite songs from the gig were 'Slough', 'Equality Street', 'Lady Gypsy' and 'Ain't no Trouble' and I loved the added 'magic' and sounds that the band brought to the whole experience. The song 'Ain't no Trouble' was in my opinion especially improved by the 'tropical sounds' (Racial!).

Watching these songs on YouTube from David Brent's fortnightly 'Learn Guitar' Lessons, I felt like I had known these songs forever and knew all the words, because however ridiculous the lyrics may seem, they are so damn catchy.
After performing all of the songs from the 'Learn Guitar' YouTube series bar one, 'You're why I breathe', he left the stage with Doc Brown to a roar of applause; but being familiar with his stand up I knew that he always comes back on stage for a second time. He didn't disappoint, and came back to perform 'The Serpent who guards the gates of Hell' and my all time favourite 'Freelove Freeway' which we were first exposed to in 'The Office'. 
He finally bowed to the audience and left the stage to an eardrum bursting round of applause and a well deserved standing ovation from all of us.  

Ricky performing as David Brent with a live band has proven what we already knew; that he is a versatile guy and a born performer. He is a unique article, the machine made one and was switched off forever.
I was sad for him that his singing career wasn't successful the first time round with his eighties group 'Seona Dancing' but am happy for him that he is fulfilling his dreams of a music career so many years on; whether that be for fun or otherwise.

My only suggestions for improvement, if any, is that there should've been more trademark 'David Brent' banter, a bit of audience interaction and a longer show. I would've also wanted to see Ricky playing the guitar himself, but he is forgiven on this occasion because of his '50 year old shoulder'....

My only regret is not hanging about after the show on the off chance of meeting Ricky and tell him face to face that his show was 'fucking amazing!'

If Ricky wants David Brent to be less successful then he is going to have to work a lot harder because, at the moment, he is more talented than many serious modern musicians. I hope all Ricky fans get to eventually see this gig as it is a fun experience.
All in all, a surreal, fun experience with catchy and ironically well-written songs which left my ears buzzing and wanting more; I urge Ricky to bring on the world tour and the album release; but what do I know?! I'm just a sad fan!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Exclusive Q&A with Derek producer Charlie Hanson

Most fans of Ricky Gervais and his work so far will know who Mr. Charlie Hanson is; as he is a long time collaborator with Ricky Gervais. For those who are not familiar with Charlie's work, here is a brief introduction.
Charlie is a critically acclaimed British Director and Producer, whose award winning work spans over two decades, and he shows no signs of slowing down. He has a history of working on diverse projects and in 2003 he produced his first feature film 'A way of Life', which went on to win 12 international awards, including 4 Welsh BAFTA's. 
During his early career, he was involved in 'No Problem!' (1983), the first Black made sitcom for British TV (broadcast on Channel 4). Charlie later went on to produce notable shows such as 'Desmond's' 'Birds of a Feather','Chef!,'Sketch Show' and 'Harry Hill'.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Hanson

Desmond's sitcom set in a Black barber shop in Peckham (1989-1994)

His collaborations with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, are producing 'Extras', 'Cemetery Junction' and 'Life's Too Short.' Now he is Producer on Ricky's heartwarming new comedy drama 'Derek'.

I put these questions to Mr.Hanson which he kindly answered.

Q: Derek will be the first show that you've produced that will be shown to a large global audience in one go on Netflix, how do you feel about this?
A: Both curious and excited. Particularly as the audience will have access to all episodes in one go. The impact of twitter and other social media also means we can expect a pretty instant response from some quarters. I'm looking forward to it!

Q: As a Producer was it your job to find cast members for Derek? Kerry Godliman, Karl Pilkington and David Earl have previously worked with Ricky, but where and how did you discover the talented Holli Dempsey who plays young Vicky?
A: As Producer my role is to surround Ricky with the best talent, behind and in front of the camera. He wrote Dougie for Karl Pilkington, and Kevin for David Earl. We had both worked with Kerry A. Godliman on Extras and Life's Too Short, but she came in for a meeting to discuss the part and read. She was offered it straight away. But we work with a casting director too. Tracey Gillham is terrific at bringing new talent to our attention, and when Holli Dempsey first auditioned we knew immediately she was the one for Vicky. She had Ricky laughing, as only he can, at some of her ad libs. And when he turned to Katie, our Associate Producer and said "write that down!", even Holli must have known she had nailed it. But as a true professional, she didn't show it. She is a terrific actress and will go on to great things.

Left: Holli Dempsey as Vicky with Comedian/Rapper Doc Brown
who makes a guest appearance in Derek (Photo courtesy of @HolliDee)
Q: What was your favourite part of filming Derek? 
A: Meeting and getting to know some of the older actors. They had amazing stories to tell. Also seeing how Ricky inhabited the role of Derek, and played him with such affection.

Q: Did any scenes make you emotional? 
A: The pilot episode when Derek spoke about his love for Joan had me crying on set and in the edit. As did the passing of Lizzie (played by Kay Noone) , and the scenes with Derek's dad.

Actress Kay Noone who plays Lizzie in Derek

Q: You have worked with Ricky Gervais since 'Extras', what do you enjoy most about working with him?
A: His energy and work ethic is amazing. I have never had to wait for a script. Whatever he promises he delivers. He knows what he wants, so we don't waste any time shooting unnecessary scenes. He, like me, wants to enjoy his work, so we have surrounded ourselves with a terrific crew who are great at their jobs and love their work. It sounds a cliche, but it is like a big happy family reunion every time we regroup to start a new series.

Q: What is your favourite Gervais collaboration to date?
A: I loved the challenge and variety of Extras, with different guest stars and situations each episode. But it has to be Derek, as Ricky loves the character so much. It has been a great experience working on a show that has the capacity to make people laugh and cry.

Ricky Gervais as Derek (photo courtesy of Channel 4)
Q: When can we expect to see Derek back on our screens in the UK?
A: Spring 2014

Q: What other projects are you currently working on?
A: I am developing feature film scripts with Sarah Solemani (Him and Her) and Steve Oram (Sightseers).

A huge thanks to Mr. Charlie Hanson for taking the time to answer these questions. 
You can follow @charlietantrum on Twitter to keep up to date with his latest projects.

All 7 episodes of Derek (including the pilot) and 'making of' documentary, will be premiering on Netflix in the US, Canada, Brazil, Latin America and the Nordics on September 12th 2013.
Here is the Official Netflix promotional trailer for Derek:

And here is an 'Introduction to Derek':

At the time of publishing this post, Derek has started airing in Australia on ABC1 every Thursday night at 10pm, and the reaction to it is very positive.
Yes TV (Israeli TV station) have also bought Derek but an air date is yet to be announced. For viewers in the UK who have not yet seen Derek, you can watch it on 4OD, the Channel 4 catch up service by registering online here

The DVD and Blu-ray of Derek Series 1 with deleted scenes and out-takes is also available to Pre-order and will be released on 11th November 2013. Pre-Order from Amazon here.
For more information on Derek follow @Derektvshow and @belikederek on Twitter. 
You can also visit which is a dedicated Derek fan site.
Thanks for reading.

©ZA 2013 (@Gervaisaholics)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Extras Posteritty signed print Competition Winners!

Firstly, thank you so much for the large response that this competition generated and well done to all who entered, all entries were fun to read. The main man himself was sent all the entries to judge and this is what he had to say:
"From the thousands of entries one scene kept coming up over and over again. I decided to pick the winner from this most cited group. I chose the following entry because it simply summed up the platonic friendship of two average "screw ups."  Thanks to everyone who entered. I really enjoyed reading them and I'm sorry that there can only be one overall winner. Cheers."- Ricky Gervais

The Winning Entry

Winner of this awesome main prize is @milapantovich
"My favorite (as cliché as it might be) is the final scene between Andy and Maggie -- their very realistic platonic friendship turned out to be one of television's most memorable love stories. The scene may seem a bit sad, with Andy's dream of fame finally an empty reality, but it brings such hopeful longing for the future. Reunited, they drive away giggling and happy. Gervais' ability to infuse biting satirical comedy with a deep soulful humanity, always allowing redemption, is the reason why I love his work so much. If these two screw-up's can start over, anyone can. The brief design of the moment makes you miss the characters deeply the moment the credits roll, something I never take for granted in today's general need for the overdone "Big Finish." I adore the final scene." (@milapantovich)

"The second most popular scene was the David Bowie song. I chose this entry because they guessed that I probably couldn't believe my luck in getting to co write a song with my musical hero." - Ricky Gervais
The Runner Up
"David Bowie singing ‘Little Fat Man’, simply for the fact that it is such a unique and hilarious piece of television. I’m such an avid fan of both RG and Bowie, being able to enjoy a moment like that is not something that every TV show can offer. I can only imagine the joy that Ricky Gervais must have experienced in writing that scene and knowing that David Bowie will soon be singing a song that he had written about him, albeit a song about being fat. The scene is such an awkward moment for him, at the height of his fame and unhappy that those around him are so close to him still (It wasn’t the best place to have the VIP area cordoned off halfway through a sitting area, I suppose). Truly a hilarious scene and I thank you for it."(@_RPS.)
Winner of this brilliant Runner Up prize is @_RPS

WELL DONE TO BOTH @milapantovich and @_RPS and thank you again to all that entered, a massive thanks to Ricky for taking the time to judge the entries and for Posteritty for donating these brilliant prizes.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

'Learn Guitar With David Brent' Full episodes from Ricky's Youtube Channel

After the success of David Brent's comeback after 10 years and 'Equality Street', Ricky Gervais decided to do a series of 'Learn guitar with David Brent' tutorials exclusively for YouTube.
They have been a huge success so far with the first video, 'Life on the Road' reaching over 1 million views already.

LEARN GUITAR WITH DAVID BRENT: EPISODE 5 'AINT NO TROUBLE' Featuring Comedian and Rapper Doc Brown (Dom Johnson from 'Equality Street')
Most politically incorrect and hilarious episode ever!

LEARN GUITAR WITH DAVID BRENT: EPISODE 7 'LONELY COWBOY' Featuring Comedian and Rapper Doc Brown (Dom Johnson)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013






"What is your favourite scene from 'Extras' and why?" 

Send your entry in word/email/pages format to and if you're on twitter, remember to include your @username.

Winners will be announced soon after the closing date and Ricky Gervais himself will be kindly judging entries.


 A minimal print of the cast of Extras signed by Ricky Gervais


A Ray Stokes minimal print signed by Ricky Gervais

Both beautiful prizes have been kindly donated by Posteritty, a local company who specialise in minimal art prints, visit their online shop by clicking the link on this site.

One entry per person. Closing date and time 11.59pm, 31st July 2013. 
Open to entrants from all over, as long as you have a postal address.
The judge's decision is final and the word limit is strict, if any entries are deemed unsuitable or over the word limit they will sadly be rejected. By entering the competition, you are agreeing to have your name and entry published on this blog and announced on Twitter if you win.
Good Luck!


The Muppets, The Muppets...Again!, Ricky Gervais
In the lead role Ricky (as villain Dominic/Number 2) with Miss Piggy and Kermit


Muppets Most Wanted is due for international release on March 21st 2014.

A few days ago, it was announced that the sequel to The Muppets movie starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams will be called 'Muppets Most Wanted'.

The sequel stars Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy from Modern Family) and Tina Fey (star of 30 Rock) and is directed by James Bobin.
Ricky plays a 'baddie' called 'Dominic',  who is a sidekick to the No.1 criminal Constantine (a dead ringer for Kermit the frog).
Ty Burrell plays a French interpol agent and Tina Fey, a feisty prison guard.

Film Synopsis
An international crime caper which is set in Europe. The Muppets go on a world tour and end up in Europe's biggest cities, but are closely pursued by Dominic and Constantine.

Bret McKenzie, star of Flight of the Conchords will be writing some of the musical numbers for the sequel, following his award winning success for 'Man or a Muppet' in the 2011 film.
Here is a link to an article explaining how Ricky's role was tailor made for him

Here is a clip of Ricky and Pepe the Prawn on set discussing Twitter:

and here is Ricky discussing the upcoming movie:

Monday, 17 June 2013


As fans may know, Ricky Gervais recently resurrected David Brent for a music video and short film for a British Charity called Comic Relief; a charity which Brent mentioned in The Office and did his infamous dance for; here's a clip to remind you of it:

You can donate and find out more about the work comic relief does here:

Brent's back 10 minute film:

And the political reggae music video 'Equality Street' he made with Comedian/Rapper Doc Brown:

The Making of 'Equality Street' is as hilarious as the actual music video as Ricky keeps on laughing at the word 'bongo!'

All of David Brent's new material can be viewed on YouTube via the The Ricky Gervais YouTube Channel.