David Brent did what he could to bring humour to the workplace of Wernham Hogg, but it seems his alter ego Ricky Gervais has been a bit more successful, according to his personnel on ‘Derek’.
“He’s not under exposed, what you see of Ricky is what we all see of Ricky,” explains Kerry Godliman, who plays Hannah in the show.
“He’s very playful, he’s very committed. The creative lode is opened when you create a sense of play, and he knows that, and he surrounds himself with people who capture that.
“He has a great work ethic, he really gets on with it, but it’s possible to have that AND fun, he’s proved that time and time again.”
Both Kerry Godliman and Holli Dempsey, who plays Vicky – truculent youth in the first series turned committed carer in the second - have seen their roles expand, something they’re both enjoying.
Kerry Godliman is Hannah, entrusted with the care of all the residents
“He saw similiarites between Hannah and Vicky in the first series and thought, ‘I can use that,’ says Kerry.
“We stick up for each other when it’s needed,” adds Holli.
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Kerry Godliman has earned high words of praise from Ricky Gervais for her portrayal of Hannah. He told Absolute Radio's Christian O'Connell at the weekend, “She’s honestly the best actor I’ve ever worked with.
"Every decision is cool, she’s always in character and her comedic timing is amazing. She’s a comedian and can deliver a line brilliantly. I honestly can’t think of enough good things to say about her. She’s the heart of the show."
Kerry gives the credit instead to her generous screen character, who works tirelessly for the residents in her care.
“It’s been a lovely character to play. I’m not like her, unfortunately, so it’s lovely to play someone so liked for her kindness and compassion, and I get mistaken for having those qualities.”
Holli Dempsey plays Vicky, who's had a seachange of attitude during the two series
Both actresses also enjoy working alongside the elderly actors seen in the show, with Holli calling them “cheeky, saucy and full of funny stories”.
Even with all the fruity language in the script, courtesy mostly of Dave Earle who plays waif and stray Kev?
“They’re quite capable of getting their head around a dirty joke,” says Kerry. “They weren’t born old.”
Catch 'Derek' on 4oD - Series 2 continues next week on Channel 4.