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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Microsoft unhappy at Gervais leak
Ricky Gervais
The Office ended in the UK after two series and a Christmas special
Software giant Microsoft has said it is investigating how and why internal training videos made by The Office star Ricky Gervais surfaced on two websites.

The two light-hearted 20-minute films, called The Office Values and Realising Potential, were commissioned in 2004.

But these "were never intended to be viewed by the public", a corporation spokeswoman told Reuters news agency.

She would not say why Microsoft opposed their appearance on YouTube, from which they have now been removed, and Google.

She also refused to comment when asked if the corporation would attempt to have the videos taken off the latter site.

Computer geeks

Gervais plays David Brent, his character from The Office, in the two films.

His co-writer Stephen Merchant acts as a Microsoft employee, and the pair discuss supposed "values" in the workplace, such as using the available facilities to find other jobs and how to balance sex and work.

They also poke fun at computer geeks and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

They were "a light-hearted way of getting our staff to think about the values they attach to working at Microsoft", the spokeswoman said.

The original UK version of The Office ended in 2003.

It has since been adapted for the US, with Steve Carell as the offensive and clueless boss, and for Canada, which will see a French-language edition called Le Job later this year.

On Sunday, the US spin-off won an Emmy award for best comedy series.


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