First broadcast in 2001, the show received popular and critical acclaim, became one of the most successful British comedy exports of all time, made superstars of creators Ricky Gerais and Stephen Merchant and famous faces of actors Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook and Lucy Davis. Not bad for a day's work. Is it clocking off time yet?
The premise is ingeniously simple. Set in a dysfunctional paper company in Slough, David Brent (Ricky Gerais) is a petty, pompous boss who thinks he's the funniest, most popular man in the world. Pedantic and insufferable underling Gareth (Mackenzie Crook) agrees with him, to the annoyance of everyone except Brent himself.
Tim (Martin Freeman) is popular and funny but the joke is on him, as he's stuck in the middle of their little world - a world in which he hates everything except the receptionist Dawn (Lucy Davis). Told through the lens of a documentary film crew, the series follows the day-to-day troubles of the firm's uninspired desk jockeys while capturing every cringe-inducing moment on film.
With just two six-episode series' and a couple of Christmas specials, The Office managed to sneak its way into the British psyche, become must-watch TV and leaving a lasting impact on the international comedy world.