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Golden Globes for 'The Office'

By Nick Easen for CNN

Gervais pays inept middle manager, David Brent.
Gervais pays inept middle manager, David Brent.

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(CNN) -- Being a smug, annoying boss doesn't usually win anyone an award.

But Ricky Gervais, co-creator and star of BBC situation comedy "The Office," has been named best comedy actor at the Golden Globe Awards for his painful portrayal of an ineffective middle manager.

"The Office" also scooped the award for best TV comedy.

It is the first time a show and actor from outside the U.S. have been nominated in these categories.

Gervais, who has no professional experience as an actor, plays David Brent in the series. He told CNN prior to the awards he did not think it had "a snowball's chance in hell" of winning.

Described as a "mockudrama," or spoof documentary, the program focuses on modern office life in a paper merchants in the town of Slough close to West London.

A bland landscape of poorly designed desks, gray suits and bulky PCs provide the backdrop to the show.

"We picked on something people identified with -- a decent job at work, a relationship, a boss who needs to be loved and who is going through a mid-life crisis," Gervais told CNN.

"Because it was couched in realism, I think people recognized things. The more you understand something, I think the more you can enjoy it."

Success goes corporate

Originally his inept Brent character was nothing more than a concept in a short amateur film, borne out of Gervais' eight years of experience as a middle manager in a real office.

"I love the little things that bother people. It does not matter whether you are the head of the CIA or you work in NASA, if someone gets a bigger chair than you and you have been there longer you go 'why has he got that chair?'" he says.

"I love that artificial world, that arbitrary world. You have got nothing in common with most people who work in an office, except you walk on that same bit of carpet."

The cast of
The cast of "The Office" at the Golden Globe Awards n Beverly Hills.

His success is also spilling over into the corporate world.

Gervais, 42, has starred in a series of training videos to be shown to Microsoft staff in the UK, say his BBC employers.

According to Gervais, a number of corporations have also bought the series on DVD to show staff how an office should not be run, an act he finds both flattering and exciting.

"No one grows up saying 'I hope I work in an office one day?' And that fascinated me. People from 16 to 65 are just thrown together and that is a tantalizing mix," says Gervais.

Due to the series' rise to stardom NBC are now filming a U.S.-version of the comedy tailored to the American palette and a pilot is being shot this February.

The writer is Greg Daniels, who helped create King of the Hill and has worked on Seinfeld and the Simpsons. It will be set in Newark instead of Slough.

"We have seen some of the scripts and it is quite faithful (to the original)," explains Gervais.

"As long as they keep the important themes -- a job, work, a boss going through a mid-life crisis, trying to make a difference, being stuck somewhere you do not necessarily want to be."

You can see the full interview with Ricky Gervais on the next edition of Global Office. Click here for show times.

-- CNN's Andrew Carey contributed to this report


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