Velocity adds BBC2 comedy team to its commercials roster

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."