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Ricky Gervais' Derek gets full series order from Channel 4

Derek

Story by Jack Foley

RICKY Gervais’s comedy drama Derek has been commissioned into a full series by Channel 4.

The pilot episode in April attracted 3.2m viewers, according to the broadcaster, which marked the highest rating the channel has managed for a scripted comedy in nearly two years.

The new series, which will again be written and directed by Gervais, is due to air next year (2013).

The comedian will also reprise his role as Derek Noakes, a “simple, vulnerable man” who works in a retirement home.

Gervais’s former producer Karl Pilkington and comedian Kerry Godliman will also return as Derek’s best friend Dougie and co-worker Hannah.

Channel 4 said the new series would “further explore the relationships between this close knit group”.

Shane Allen, Channel 4’s head of comedy, said: “The pilot triggered an amazing response and Derek’s story had only just begun so it’s brilliant that we can explore this world and its beautifully drawn characters across a series.”

Gervis added: “David Brent [of The Office fame] was an egotistical, failed musician and the most annoying man in the world. Derek is a 50-year-old man with bad hair and clothes, whose best friend is a whinging, bald Manc twonk. Where do I get my ideas from?”

Next story: Warwick Davis joins An Idiot Abroad