Ricky Gervais is to reprise his career-making role of David Brent in an episode of the US version of The Office, it has emerged.
The 49-year-old, who is a co-creator and executive producer on the US show, will play hapless Brent in a small cameo on the hit comedy.
In the episode, which will be broadcast in the US on January 27, Brent will come face to face with Steve Carell’s Michael Scott character outside the work environment.
Gervais’s cameo was reportedly filmed in top secret in September when the English comedian was in the US for the Emmy Awards.
Office show-runner Paul Lieberstein said: “Ricky had wanted to do something [with the U.S. Office] and it felt like we shouldn’t go the whole series without them connecting.
“But we had some issues to work out, like how does David Brent live in the world of Michael Scott.
“It’s outside of the office, and it’s just the two of them interacting – it’s just a little nod to Steve and his final year.”
Gervais made his name as cringeworthy ‘chilled out entertainer’ Brent in the multi-award winning BBC show broadcast between 2001 and 2003.
He performance as the office manager for the Slough branch of paper company Wernham Hogg earned him a handful of BAFTAS and Golden Globes, making him one of the world’s most popular comedians and a star on both sides of the Atlantic.
The show has been franchised around the world, turning co-creators Gervais and Steven Merchant into multi-millionaires.
Lieberstein added: “We didn’t even tell NBC at first. So [Ricky] worked for free. But don’t print that — it might get him in trouble with the INS.”
Gervais hasn’t been out of the news this week following his controversial performance hosting the Golden Globes on Sunday. The comic ruffled some of Hollywood’s biggest feathers with his acid-tongued comments about Robert Downey JR, Mel Gibson and Tim Allen.
On Tuesday chat show host Ellen DeGeneres uploaded a picture of Gervais showing off his trim figure in a pair of her gold-coloured underpants.
Video: watch Ricky Gervais’s finest performance as David Brent is made redundant