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Last Updated: Monday, 26 January, 2004, 19:18 GMT
Gervais' surprise at Globes win
Ricky Gervais
Gervais found fame in the UK with The Office
Ricky Gervais, the co-creator of TV hit The Office, has made history as the first British actor to win a TV comedy acting award at the Golden Globes.

The Office is also the first UK sitcom to win the best comedy prize.

The 42-year old ended up beating Matt LeBlanc - Joey in the hit US comedy Friends, who Gervais had tipped to beat him.

And The Office itself won the best comedy prize, ahead of US show such as Sex and the City and Will and Grace.

When he and fellow office stars Martin Freeman and Lucy Davis took to the stage to take the prize, Gervais looked absolutely overwhelmed.

"Obviously we didn't expect this," he said, wide-eyed. "They told me to thank people, I said 'We're not going to win anyway'." The first people he thanked were the "Hollywood Foreign Press", the Globe's voters.

"I'm not from these parts... I'm from a little place called England. We used to run the world before you," he joked on stage.

I don't think we've really made much impression in America
Ricky Gervais before the big wins

Accepting the second prize of the night - his own award for best actor in a comedy - the Reading-born comic said: "Two. Bookends. Excellent. You need the set, one looks... y'know."

Its success is all the more surprising given that the show - where Gervais stars as incompetent office manager David Brent - is only shown in the US on BBC America and not on one of the major networks.

The show is being remade in the US - Gervais recently said he had found the actor to play the US David Brent, but did not say who. The new series will do much to raise his profile.

The comedian made his way down the Golden Globes red carpet virtually unrecognised. "I don't think we've really made much impression in America," he told reporters before the awards were announced.

Last week he had downplayed his own chances in interviews.

He told BBC News Online: "It would be good to lose. I need my come-uppance and Matt LeBlanc is the man to do it - it's character building."

Who would have thought that bad management could be so popular?
Jon Plowman
BBC head of comedy
The morning after the ceremony, BBC head of comedy Jon Plowman said: "To see the staff of Wernham Hogg surrounded by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Barbara Streisand was truly bizarre, but somehow appropriate.

"Who would have thought that bad management could be so popular?

"When you see the likes of Sting and Trudie Styler and the cast of Sex and the City queuing up to meet David Brent to congratulate him you cannot help but feel that something truly extraordinary is going on.

"Perhaps those who continually tell us that American comedy is always better than ours will have pause for thought," he said.

The Office's Globes triumph comes just days after a BBC blunder that almost saw the comedian overlooked in eligibility for nominations in the forthcoming Baftas awards.

Ricky Gervais
Gervais was almost unknown before playing David Brent
But even before the Golden Globes, Gervais was being lauded as the first of a new wave of British comedians poised for success in the States.

Eddie Izzard, the cast of the League of Gentlemen, Irish comic Dylan Moran and his Black Books co-star Bill Bailey are all being tipped to make headway in the US in the coming year.

They are being marketed to US audiences in a package tour of UK and Irish talent playing live shows at venues around the nation.

Izzard in particular has already received good notices from the critics for his stand-up show - in which he pokes fun at the American people.

Historically, British comedy has had mixed success in the US. TV hits have included Steptoe and Son and Till Death Us Do Part.

This views page is now closed but here are some of your good wishes to Ricky Gervais and The Office team.

Ricky - there is finally justice in the world. After being gutted to find there will never be more BBC Office shows broadcast (show the Christmas shows in the States!), I am today thrilled that you got to walk up there and experience in person how much your talent is loved. All the best to you and your marvellous castmates! Slough uber alles!
Todd Rosin, Seattle, USA

I don't stand up at home and cheer very often (eg England 5 Germany 1) and considering the immense competition, your achievement is unique. The Office was a very rare top quality comedy series and quality will always tell in the end. Terrific performances by all your team. Congratulations.
Alistair Innes, Topeka, Kansas, USA

Ricky, Ricky, Ricky....Two years ago I was an intern at London Management during my study abroad, sitting next to you while you signed autographs outside of your agent's office. I had no idea what this TV show The Office was or what the big deal about this guy Ricky was. Forgive me, I was American. Now the States has come to recognise what England has known all along - you're brilliant & so is the show. Well done. (If only I had gotten an autograph way back when....)
Alena Jemas, New York, USA

Love the show and thrilled that you won! Ex-pat and so grateful that BBC America allows me to enjoy the best humour - British. Good luck with your future projects, keep them coming.
Bethan, Boston USA

Congratulations!!! Wonderful win, great show that even my 16-year-old loves. When will BBC America air the Christmas special?
Susan, Fort Collins, US (ex-pat from London)

Congratulations, Ricky! The Office is the best show I have seen on American television for years. You and your cast richly deserve this award. Best regards.
Tony Belton, Pasadena, CA , USA

Congratulations on the Globes! Last year at the DVD signing at Union Square you borrowed my Bic pen. What the heck! In honour of this day, you can keep it!
John J. Fraser, East Brunswick, NJ (West of NYC)

You are the only person who has put Slough on the map since the two Ronnies did a sketch on holidaying in Slough. I think that there should be a Hollywood set dedicated to the Office and Slough to honour your achievements. You could visit the gasworks, sniff the aroma of sewage works, hear the jets roaring overhead. Congratulations. When's the movie coming out ?
Richard Smith, Sydney, Australia, and ex resident of Slough

Wow!! I mean...wow!! You do realise that The Office is now a part of the most elite sit-com list in the world. David Brent and co will forever be mentioned in the same breath as Del Boy, Basil Fawlty, The Dead Parrott and Father Ted for many, many years. My utmost congrats to you and all the people involved in making one of the best show on TV in the past 2 decades.
Paul Jonson, Dublin, Ireland

I can't imagine how you must feel this morning. To have won against such tough competition is astounding. Your show is very different! Will winning have any impact on developing a US version?
Derek Jones, Grand Rapids, USA

It is no surprise that the funniest show on television won the Globe. And Ricky Gervais is comic genius. We don't have anything in America that comes close. Congratulations!!
Dennis Black, Los Angeles, CA

A hundred thousand congratulations, Ricky! The Office is the best thing I have seen in years - brought tears of laughter to my eyes. You richly deserve this award - as do the rest of the totally fabulous cast. A real winner! God bless x
Flora Mills, Kilwinning, Scotland

Ricky takes the plaudits because he is the more visible of the two, but the programme was co-written and co-directed by two people. So well done Ricky AND Steve - I'm sure they won't mind me saying they're the new Little and Large.
Chris Miller, London

The Office is superb British humour on par with Fawlty Towers. I am surprised they understand it across the water! I wonder where the Slough equivalent is over there?!
Nick Ridley, Crowthorne, Berkshire, UK

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! from a big fun here in Norway!!!!! I love your show: you beat the American sitcom (we are tired of them, with the laughter included).
Pabla Zamorano Rojas, Rogaland, Norway

The Office is an absolute gem when compared to most of the lacklustre programming that we produce in the States.
Matthew Conrad, Miami, Florida, USA

Heard about the awards, but don't worry about it, just because they find you funny, doesn't mean you're not. Seriously though, nice one. I'm missing out on your show when you come down to the uni, gutting, tickets already gone when me and my mates heard about it. Even so, good luck, did the right thing to stop the Office when you did and keep doing the stand-up. Animals is brilliant.
Alex, Warwick Uni, Coventry

This is no more than you deserve - a fantastic series, superbly written, magnificent acting - I can offer nothing other than gushing praise. The whole country should be proud of you - what a tremendous honour for you and for British comedy. I hope you are savouring the moment !
Rob Morgans, Singapore (British National - Wales, UK)

This, on top of the Rugby World Cup win, is just too much. Congrats to you and all of your team. Bryan, Dubai (just a little bit further east from Slough).
Bryan Welbourn, Dubai, UAE

Congratulations Ricky and to everyone else involved in The Office, your "dance" routine is as legendary as Basil Fawlty's goose step and the last 2 episodes were the best thing shown over Christmas, truly deserving of a Golden Globe.
Mike Henry, Essex, UK

I'm so glad David Brent won at last ( and he got a nice girl as well in the Office Christmas special). It's unique and wonderful and my teenage son says it's changed his life ( he doesn't want to work in an office). Can there ever be another series?
Sarah, Colchester, Essex

Congratulations on your outstanding successes at the Golden Globe Awards, but be careful - the more exposure you have the more people will realise that you really ARE David Brent.
Jenny, Redhill, UK

Congratulations to the Brentmeister General and crew. Not only is this great news from a fans perspective but also for the future of British comedy. As a young comedy writer trying to get his first script off the ground, it is immensely encouraging to see Brit-coms getting recognition abroad. Here is to your success Mr Gervais and Mr Merchant. See you at the Globes 2006!!!
Phil Stark, Leeds, England

The Office is true genius. It makes me smile and break into a little laugh whenever I think about it whilst in my own office. It is comedy at its best, and its characters have so much resonance in the lives of millions. Well done on your groundbreaking achievement, and keep it up!
Peter Hunt, New Eltham, England

Absolutely Brilliant! I'm a BBC America viewer and have loved the uncomfortable humour in every episode. Congratulations - a well -deserved nod for you and the show!!
Mark Bowen, Cape Coral, Florida

Smashing success and well deserved. If ever you should visit Iceland this summer my wife and I will treat you to a family dinner at hour home. I only hope our local networks wake up soon and show the series. Congratulations to you and your family. Best of luck.
Harold G. Blondal, Reykjavik, Iceland

It's amazing, for once a true television talent has shown American how it's done!!! The fact that they are redoing the office with American stars is a shame, it won't be the same, congrats Ricky - it's well deserved!
Niger Asije, Newcastle

Very well done! It's so good to see such a fantastic British comedy do so well in the US, the Office rules!!!
Paul, Cheltenham, England

Well done mate, you did us proud!
Paul Chattaway, Northampton

I have hugely enjoyed being offended, embarrassed and generally enraged by your depiction of this nincompoop in The Office. Thanks for so much laughter and joy in what is, in reality, sadly, a deadbeat world for so many poor, benighted souls.
Richard Watkins-Wright, Cambridge, England

As a fan of the Office, I'm delighted that you won the Golden Globes. Who needs a Bafta anyway?!
Matthew Swann, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Well done mate. Who would have thought it eh. I have been likened to you (David Brent) by my team members as there are some points which are a bit too close for comfort. You have brought many tears of joy.
Kishor LAD, Basle Switzerland/Maidenhead, England

Well done Ricky. Reading is proud of you!
Selina and Tim Hogarth, Reading, UK

Just wanted to say well done to you, (because I bet no one else has). Love The Office, I told all my friends to watch it and, well, now they do. I doubt you'll read these personally, but I thought I might as well send it. So long!
Rebecca Lindsay, Wall, England

Fair play. Totally deserved for the most painful show I've ever enjoyed. Congratulations to you and everyone involved with the show. You do realise that now you've selfishly won these two awards I'm not going to get any work done for the rest of the day as I sit on my fat backside and watch both series again?

Just to be different and to say something that you've probably never heard before, please don't make any more episodes of The Office. Cheers. Oh, and if any of you are ever down this way, I'll probably shout you a pint as I should imagine that you're a bit short having spent all that money on going to America.
The Cookie Cop, Nice, France

Congratulations Ricky! A work of genius which recreates accurately 'the types' found in the office system. May your star keep ascending and the road rise with you!
Ruth Allen, Glasgow

You've come a long way since your days at ULU! Well done, Ricky. You're a comic genius and seem like a really nice guy to boot, if you see what I mean. Thanks for giving us a lot of laughter. Congratulations!
Helen Daly, London, England

Well done Ricky and the Office team. After living in the US and working in American TV a few years back it is such a pleasant surprise to see such a massive UK success. The US TV industry is so insular and it is very rare that they appreciate a show or format that is not home-grown. Slough should now prepare itself for a raft of hillbilly tourists!
Mark Pimbley, London

Congratulations Ricky - much deserved recognition for excellent work. A long way from 41 Allerton Road !!!
Jonathan Steyn, London, England

Nice one Ricky, Steven, and everybody else involved.

The praise just keeps on coming. Whatever happens to any of your careers now, just know that you were part of something truly brilliant and everything that comes your way as a result is richly deserved.

Andrew Ellis, Melbourn (Cambs), UK

Gervais - what a man. I have been out of the UK for about three years and I sat here, in the Bay Area, San Francisco, totally proud of my man. Yeah. I haven't even seen all the Office but for me it is the ruling piece of TV both sides of the pond. WELL DONE!!
Clinton Lune, San Francisco - returning soon!!

Well done Ricky! 100% deserved - The Office is the best thing to have happened to comedy in years. My boyfriend works in Slough just round the corner from the building in the opening titles and so he's well qualified to say you've got it SPOT ON. Best of luck for the future, not that you'll need it.
Klare Tootell, Reading

You have made Slough famous in Hollywood! Does this mean Al Pacino and Meryl Streep will be buying a second home there?
Julian Moseley, London, UK

Hey Ricky you're so fine, you're so fine you blew their minds, hey Ricky, hey Ricky!
Christian Torres, London, UK

Dearest Ricky, they may not know you now, but they will know you soon. As we the people of Britain have come to love you and love/hate David Brent so you shall conquer the people of the United States. A thousand congrats! A well deserved award. A congratulations must also go to the cast of the office. What a show! PS - nice acceptance speech!
Frankie, Oxfordshire

Ridiculous. Did America grow a sense of humour while I slept? Put a big smile on my face as I battled into my particular "office" today and, at last, Brent is a winner. Well done, and here's to the next slice of madness.
Jim Thomson, London (East of Slough)


In pictures
The winners and losers at the Golden Globe awards







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