Has Ricky Gervais finally gone too far?
After recently cooking up a storm on Twitter by using the word "mong" - an old-fashioned term which is often associated with sufferers of Down Syndrome - Gervais is now releasing a comedy-drama about a man with learning difficulties who works in an old people’s home. Starring himself.
It sounds controversial, and it probably is. But what needs to be remembered is Gervais's comedy is always cleverer than a one-line synopsis makes it seem.
The Radio Times has praised the concept for the series, calling it: "A sensitive comedy drama that recalls the sudden cries from the heart we saw at the end of Extras and, particularly, The Office.
"Almost all those preconceptions [about Gervais] are wrong. Almost all of them. Gervais is trying, if not to atone, then to progress – but he’s not been bold enough. Smears of old paint spoil the canvas."
Surprisingly, the 50-year-old comedian came up with the idea for the programme before he thought of The Office, and has previously used the character in his stand-up shows.
As anticipation builds for Derek, Channel 4 have released five trailers, showing Gervais in character as the titular hero.
The clips see Derek introduce his relationship with care worker Hannah to the cameras, as well as interacting with the care home's elderly residents, while Karl Pilkington's character Dougie - a balding caretaker - is introduced to viewers in a scene filmed in his office.
The first episode will be broadcast 12 April on Channel 4.
WATCH: 5 clips from Derek, tell us what you think in the poll above...
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