Catherine Tate is to join the cast of The Office partway through the hit sitcom’s new series, NBC has announced.
Tate appeared as a guest in the season seven finale in May. She played Nellie Bertram, an interviewee for the vacant post of Scranton branch manager at paper company Dunder Mifflin – a storyline created when the show’s lead, Steve Carell, decided to leave the cast. Tate, who is known to some Americans for Doctor Who and The Catherine Tate Show but is not a mainstream star there, made such an impact with fans that it was rumoured over the summer that she would replace Carell full-time.
The marquee role ultimately went to Boston Legal star James Spader, but Tate will appear in several episodes of the current, eighth run as Nellie, who’s now a special projects manager at Dunder Mifflin.
Tate – who is reportedly dating Take That star Jason Orange, and is currently appearing in Sixty-Six Books at London’s Bush Theatre – was described by The Office’s executive producer Paul Lieberstein as “hysterical”.
“We introduced her briefly in last season’s finale and knew she had to be a part of the show somehow,” Lieberstein said. We’re thrilled that she’s joining the cast.”