First look at Ricky Gervais’ David Brent in new film Life on the Road

Britain's favourite middle manager is back...as a travelling salesman

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It’s the first image from the much-anticipated new film starring Ricky Gervais’ character from The Office – and David Brent is clearly as deluded as ever.

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The paper merchant-turned-travelling salesman cuts a cool pose (or so he thinks) in Life on the Road, his big screen debut more than a decade after The Office ended on BBC2.

The new BBC Films movie will be a spoof rock documentary following Brent’s last-ditch attempt to be a rock star and promises to showcase the character in all his cringeworthy glory.

“He thinks it’ll be like Scorsese doing the Rolling Stones, but we’ll show the full horror,” Gervais has said of the film. “He’s had to take two weeks off work and cash in his pension, because the session musicians in the band are costing him more than he’s getting in ticket sales.

“I’m so excited that the world will see what David Brent is up to now and where his future lies. This film delves much more into his private life than The Office ever did and we really get to peel back the layers of this extraordinary, ordinary man.”

As RadioTimes revealed in January, Brent will also be accompanied by his latest unfortunate sidekick Doc Brown.

Brown – real name Ben Bailey Smith, the brother of novelist Zadie Smith – will travel alongside Brent in the film, Gervais told RadioTimes.com.

“I make him come on the road with me to do some stuff. The idea is that I am probably holding him back because he’s actually got a chance of making it as a musician but he’s with this 50-year-old rep called David Brent.”

In the past Brown has supported Gervais on his tours and also appeared in his sitcom Derek as community service worker Deon. The pair also they wrote Equality Street together, a spoof reggae song for Comic Relief in 2013 in which Brent sings about racial harmony and inadvertently ends up being horrifically patronising. 

Gervais has already showcased some of the film’s songs in online releases and in the tour he performed with Brent’s band Foregone Conclusion – the former office manager’s unprofitable sideline. His day job is selling urinal lozenges.

These include numbers such as Slough – an ode to Brent’s home town – and Lady Gypsy, in which he fondly recalls a formative sexual encounter.

However, the film will also feature some new tracks. “One has Brent singing about the plight of the Native American Indian. As you can imagine he got his information off Wikipedia and it’s horrendously pompous and wrong and accidentally insulting. Another is called Don’t Cry it’s Christmas, it’s Brent’s Christmas song. It’s a song about an orphan he knew.”

The film is due to be released in summer 2016.

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