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Happy 10th Birthday to The Office

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Please Tweet Happy Birthday.

This week The Office is 10 years old.

Well the first episode of series 1 aired at 9.30pm on a Monday night. 9th July, 2001.

Obviously the concept existed some time before that. The BBC pilot was shot in January 2000, and we shot our own pilot two years before that.

I had David Brent as a character from about 1995 I'd say. (The first "sketch" I had for him was basically the scene where he interviews his new secretary in episode 5.)

And he is based on people I'd met throughout my adult life.

The very first scene of the series where he is talking to the fork-lift truck driver is based on an interview I had when I was 17 at a temp agency in the school holidays. His opening sentence was, "I don't give shitty jobs." I just looked at him and nodded. He said, "If a good guy comes to me... (points) etc."

He phoned his friend and at one point said, "yes of course he's 18." Then he winked at me and did the Pinocchio nose mime. (It was nothing to do with fork-lift truck driving, but it was for work in a warehouse.)

Gareth is based on the kid I went to school with who I talk about in most of my stand-up shows, and Tim is based on a guy I used to work with mixed with Norm from Cheers, a little Chandler and a touch of Oliver Hardy.

My favourite poem from about the age of 14 was "Slough" by John Betjeman.

These are my fond anniversary memories. They are free.

Now buy the fucking anniversary DVD Box set.