Characters: The Office (UK)
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"Some people are intimidated when talking to large numbers of people in an entertaining way. Not me."
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 anyone 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).
- 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.
- I Just Want to Be Loved
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When Chris makes a disparaging wisecrack about David's date, David decides that he's having none of it.
- 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
"I don't talk about my love life for a very good reason, and that reason is I don't have one."
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.
"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.
- Did I Mention I Am Heterosexual Today: He keeps insisting he has had sex with plenty of women, but doesn't get together with anyone in-series because he doesn't like "sloppy seconds". Needless to say, woman don't seem to find this attitude likeable.
- Does Not Like Spam: He hates jelly, because he "doesn't trust the way it moves".
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
- I Resemble That Remark: Gareth's reaction when Tim compares his "team leader" title to a school kid being made milk monitor.
- Insistent Terminology: He constantly refers to himself as the Assistant Manager, in spite David making it clear that he's actually the "assistant to the manager" (making him effectively a glorified secretary)
- The Starscream: He loses respect for David quickly after he becomes the new boss.
"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 "bloody good" outside sales representative, he is probably the only character in the series who is genuinely mean. He is brashly confident, openly sexist, rasping-voiced with a natural flair for bullying others with swift, humiliating putdowns, Brent being his usual target. David describes him as his "best friend" but actually acts more like a lackey, laughing at his jokes and attempting to impress him to feel popular.
- Kavorka Man: More repulsive in the personality sense but he still gets his women.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Very sexist and makes some homophobic jabs too, particularly at David's expense.
- Shutting Up Now: Usually an unstoppable snark machine, Chris goes too far when he makes an unpleasant remark in the Christmas special about David's date, and David's response causes Chris to resort to this.
- Villainous Breakdown: After losing the pub quiz, he loses his sense of humour and becomes outright nasty.
Played By: Stirling Gallacher
Brent's immediate supervisor in Series One, nicknamed Camilla Parker Bowles by him, is a serious-minded professional, and Brent's behaviour and comedy-driven style of management are shown to be puerile and ineffectual by contrast.
Played By: Patrick Baladi
Brent's counterpart at the Swindon branch, his immediate superior. He is young, charming, professional and energetic, a more competent manager than Brent, and has a better relationship with staff. Brent is hugely resentful and jealous of him, and makes occasional, often childish attempts to either undermine or rival him. He grows increasingly exasperated with Brent's incompetence, poor judgement, and failure to do his job properly.
- The Ace: Neil is successful at everything he puts his hand to.
- Evil Counterpart: Maybe not 'evil' so much as 'successful'.
- Hero Antagonist: It's hard not to see Neil's point of view; he might be an 'enemy' to David, but he doesn't want to be and only wants to keep the workplace running which he can't do when Brent is being so blatantly incompetent.
- Meaningful Name: 'God' and 'Win' to emphasize his superiority over David.
- Not So Different: Really, he isn't much different from David Brent. They both put a great deal of effort into being liked, but Neil is just much more savvy and successful.
- 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.
Played By: Joel Beckett
Dawn Tinsley's fiancé who works in the company's warehouse. She met him in school and they have been together ever since. Whilst not mean, Lee is somewhat dull, humourless and casually critical of her ideas of being an illustrator. His idea of an amorous proposal was a four-word notice in the newspaper — "Lee love Dawn. Marriage?". It is clear from an early stage that she stays with him out of a fear of loneliness rather than real love. Lee is laid-back, loyal, and also more physically imposing than Canterbury, that is the reason Tim finds him intimidating. Lee has a somewhat violent temper, which is shown when he holds Canterbury against a wall, simply for starting to dance with Dawn.
- Wacky Marriage Proposal: Not so much 'wacky' as 'coldly pragmatic'. He placed an advert in the newspaper for Dawn, but as he was paying by the letter, the proposal was phrased as "Lee love Dawn. Marriage?"
Played By: David Schaal
The misogynistic, sexist warehouse manager at the Slough Trading Merchant and Lee's supervisor, who is seen as being very slack and has little respect for any one who works outside of the warehouse, particularly management.