Fraudsters stole £200,000 from Ricky Gervais using a photo of his 'Office' character.

The British funnyman has revealed criminals took the huge amount of money his bank account and tried to buy gold with it after creating a fake identity card in his name using the pic of geeky office manager David Brent - which had been cut out from the cover sleeve of a DVD box set.

The 48-year-old star was telephoned by concerned bank staff who asked for his permission to contact police, and was later visited by an officer after the fraudsters were arrested.

He revealed: "I said, 'How did they think they were going to get away with it?'

"He said, 'They normally get a passport from either a dead man or steal one and replace it with your details and your picture.' The CID man started smirking, so I went, 'What?' And he showed me this passport.

"I tell you what, we were laughing for ten minutes. All they did was cut out the picture on the first series of 'The Office' DVD! So it's a picture of David Brent sitting at a desk with that little smug look on his face!"

The gang used contacts who worked at Ricky's bank to access his account details and place the order. Although it happened years ago this is the first time he has spoken about the incident.

The comic is now able to see the funny side of the scam.

He revealed during his 'Ricky Gervais' Guide to Law And Order' podcast: "Can you imagine who was in charge of getting the photo? Dave, you're doing so and so. Julie, you're on the inside. Bertie - can you get a picture? What are you going to shop at HMV for?' "

In March 2005, Kenneth Speight was jailed for two-and-a-half years and Craig Reeves, from Alton, Hampshire, was sentenced for two years for conspiracy to defraud.