Velocity Films has signed the comedy writer and director duo of
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant to its commercials roster.
The pair are best known for the BBC2 hit comedy show The Office, in
which Gervais stars as the thick-skinned and lecherous boss of an office
based in Slough.
The announcement heralds the first time the pair, who have worked
together for five years, have ventured into commercials. Gervais started
at the University of London as its entertainment manager, but left to
become the head of publicity at Xfm. While at the radio station he was
recognised as a comic talent and then he took on Merchant as his
assistant. When Merchant left to do a BBC course, the short film he
produced led to a pilot for The Office.
The duo then became regular contributors to The Mary Anne Hobbs Show on
Radio 1. They also did a one-off show on the Sara Cox Breakfast Show to
promote the Glastonbury Festival in 1999.
Simon Eakhurst, the managing director of Velocity Films, said: "We're
delighted. They'll be hugely appropriate for the commercials market and
we're looking forward to developing their style."