British comedian Ricky Gervais only managed to secure a cameo role in Arrested Development when the cast of the US TV show offered to pay for his flight across the Atlantic.

THE OFFICE star Gervais proved such a popular choice that the cast, including Jason Bateman and Portia De Rossi, even offered to pay for his air fare after the show's producers initially refused to shell out the money.

Bateman says, "The network said they weren't going to fly him out here, so we as a cast got together and said: 'Well, why don't we pay for it out of our pockets?'

"As soon as the studio heard about that they said they'd do it after all."