Characters: The Office (UK)

David Brent

"Some people are intimidated when talking to large numbers of people in an entertaining way. Not me."

Played By: Ricky Gervais

The incompetent General Manager of the Slough offices of Wernham-Hogg. He fancies himself a popular jack-of-all-trades, when in reality he is a needy, lonely and selfish man.

  • Attention Whore: Watch him seethe whenever David is getting more attention than him.
  • Bad Boss: Despite trying to act like A Father to His Men, he's more than willing to sell his employees out to help himself.
  • Casanova Wannabe
  • The Cameo: Appears in the cold opening for a Season 7 episode of the American Office where he briefly meets Michael Scott (and they naturally click), and he is slated to return for the finale with a bigger part.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Not that it stops him trying. And trying.
  • Character Tics: Adjusting his tie.
  • Covert Pervert: Jennifer catches him checking out her legs just as Finchy makes a comment about his wandering eyes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the Christmas Special, he's a bit wittier and actually funnier, at least whenever he's just being himself instead of performing for the camera.
  • Don't Explain the Joke
  • Everything Is Racist: Parodied, with a strong dose of Hypocritical Humour, in the very first episode. David introduces Ricky the temp to Sanj:
    David: This guy does the best Ali G impersonation. 'Ay!' (laughs) I can't do it . . . Do it.
    Sanj: I . . .
    David: Go on.
    Sanj: I don't, I . . .
    David: Oh, sorry, no, it's not you. It's the other one.
    Sanj: The other . . . the other what?
    David: Erm . . .
    Sanj: (smiling) "Paki"? (laughs slightly)
    David: Ah. —That's racist. (wags a disapproving finger at Sanj and walks off.)
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • Friendless Background: He doesn't seem to have any friends. He considers Finchy his 'best friend' but Finchy sees him more as a lackey. Ironically, he treats Gareth very similarly to how Finch treats him.
  • Hypocrite: See above.
    • One very notable example is when he comes back to the office to see David playing cricket and accuses David of trying to make everyone like him and concluding him as "pathetic" for doing so. He could easily be talking about himself.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved
  • Jerkass
  • Man Child
  • No Social Skills: He's not nearly as witty as he thinks he is, and his attempts at being funny tend to be crushingly embarrassing. Elsewhere, he gives Dawn a serious dose of Too Much Information when he confides to her after a bathroom break that he'd just been checking his testicles for lumps.
  • Pet the Dog: He seems to feel genuinely bad when he makes Gareth (of all people) cry.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss
  • Small Name, Big Ego
  • Stupid Boss
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
  • Wrong Genre Savvy

Tim Canterbury

"I don't talk about my love life for a very good reason, and that reason is I don't have one."

Played By: Martin Freeman

A witty sales rep at Wernham-Hogg. He's in love with Dawn and, like her, feels he's wasting his life at Wernham-Hogg.

Gareth Keenan

"I'm not homophobic, all right? Come round, look at my CDs. You'll see Queen, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys. They're all bummers."
Played By: Mackenzie Crook

The power-hungry 'team leader' and ambitious Number Two to Brent. Delusional and pretentious, he often acts as Tim's nemesis.

Dawn Tinsley

"I'd be lying if I said my life had turned out exactly as I'd expected."
Played By: Lucy Davis

The Wernham-Hogg receptionist, she's in love with Tim but is trapped in an unhappy engagement.

Keith 'Big Keith' Bishop

Played By: Ewan Macintosh

A large, stoical accounts rep.

Chris 'Finchy' Finch

Played By: Ralph Ineson

A 'friend' of Brent and outside sales representative. While popular with Brent, Finchy is actually a sexist, boorish 'alpha male' who enjoys bullying others.

Jennifer Taylor-Clarke

Played By: Stirling Gallacher

An intelligent and practical higher-up at Wernham-Hogg.

Neil Godwin

Played By: Patrick Baladi

David's much more charismatic, competent and popular counterpart at the Swindon branch. He later becomes David's boss after the merger.

  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Evil Counterpart: Maybe not 'evil' so much as 'successful'.
  • Meaningful Name: 'God' and 'Win' to emphasize his superiority over David.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the Christmas Special, he is much more openly disdainful of David than he ever was before. However, it's worth keeping in mind that a former employee has been dropping in to disrupt the working day for three years. Less understandably, he's friends with Chris Finch. On the DVD commentary Stephen Merchant suggests that Finch's nastiness rubbed off on Neil, while Ricky Gervais believes that Neil was never all that nice to begin with.
    • He was always a bit snide, though definitely better with people than David. But by the time he becomes friends with Finch, he becomes unabashedly cruel.

Lee

Played By: Joel Beckett

Dawn's fiance, an insensitive and mercilessly practical warehouse worker.