Comedian Ricky Gervais has staunchly defended the US version of his hit British TV series The Office, insisting it's just as funny as the celebrated original.

The 43-year-old comic, who played irritating office manager David Brent, is enthusiastic about THE OFFICE: AN AMERICAN WORKPLACE, despite the mixed reviews it received after its broadcast debut last month (MAR05).

However, Gervais is adamant scriptwriters did a superb job of adapting the original premise to make it appeal to an American audience.

He says, "It is as good. I love the fact that, apart from the first one, the scripts are all original. You've gone back to the blueprint of what the characters are and you've started from there, as opposed to copying anything.

"To me it was like watching something I had nothing to do with, and it would be my new favourite sitcom. I purposefully had no involvement. It should be made for Americans by Americans."

06/04/2005 17:32