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Andy Millman

Played By: Ricky Gervais

The lead character of Extras. Andy's dream to become an actor – he left his steady day job at Natwest in Wokingham in order to pursue it - is endlessly frustrated by the fact that his agent Darren Lamb is incompetent, circumstances seem to conspire against him, and the only work he can get is as a film extra. His best friend is fellow extra Maggie Jacobs, but her fervent desire to help, coupled with a lack of tact and subtlety, means that she more often than not causes him just as much trouble. Millman successfully managed to sell a sitcom called When the Whistle Blows, which proves to be a commercial but not a critical success. Andy's nemesis throughout the programme is Greg Lindley-Jones, who also started out as an extra before finding success in a number of productions and becoming a well-respected actor, much to Andy's annoyance.

  • Author Avatar: Up to a certain point. Andy's personality, style of humour and views on comedy are note-for-note those of Ricky Gervais. The big difference is that Andy is readily willing to compromise his principles in pursuit of fame and money, whereas the real-life Gervais is content sticking with his more polarizing brand of comedy.
  • Break the Haughty: Him being forced to appear on Celebrity Big Brother just to keep his profile afloat makes him realise that his quest for fame was a mistake.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not to the same extent as Darren and Shaun, but Andy does tend to make a fool out of himself.
  • The Cynic: In contrast with pretty much everyone else.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's a lot more quick-witted than his sitcom would have people believe.
  • Jerkass
  • Only Sane Man: Between his idiotic social circle and the egomaniacs he meets on set.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: During an interview, he tries to affect a more suave tone of voice. It cracks at the slightest frustration.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Especially in the Christmas Special. He complains about the fact that Greg's achieved fame while doing highbrow work, while ignoring the fact that his lowbrow material has given him plenty of fame.

Maggie Jacobs

Played By: Ashley Jensen

Maggie Jacobs is characterized as a genuinely kind and supportive individual who only wants to help out. Unfortunately for her and those around her, she is also portrayed as being rather socially inept and lacking in any sort of internal censor or sense of tact, which means that she's more likely to say precisely the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person, and thus create more trouble for herself and those around her (especially Andy, whom she frequently embarrasses by inadvertently puncturing his pretensions towards being an actor). Although the character possesses no malicious intent, she also appears to be rather naive and poorly educated when it comes to matters of race and political correctness - which, when coupled with her general tactlessness, frequently results in her causing genuine offense through inadvertent insults and stereotypes. In series two her earthy ways are shown to contrast greatly with the pretensions of Andy's new friends.

Maggie is rather man-hungry, and throughout the series she is constantly on the lookout for 'Mr. Right.' However, owing to circumstance and her aforementioned tendency to commit social faux-pas, the relationships she starts with men throughout the series rarely last long. However, there have been instances in which the men she is interested in turn out to be very much less than desirable, through no fault of her own.

  • Adorkable: As dumb as she is, she's still quite endearing.
  • Break the Cutie: There are signs of this starting to take hold throughout the second series, but it really comes to a head in the Christmas Special, thanks to Andy shutting her out of his life, and her own career really falling apart.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Goes way beyond this, and has to blurt out absolutely anything that crosses her mind, no matter how offensive it might be.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Of the Adult Child variety, which Andy calls her out on during the first series finale.
  • Cringe Comedy: An absolute fountain of it. There are times when it's almost physically painful to listen to her speak.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Clive Owen's atrocious treatment of her on a film set during the Christmas Special drive her to this. The director tells her that she can either put up with it, or be fired and blacklisted from ever working as an extra again. She chooses the latter, and officially gives up her dream of becoming an actress.
  • The Ditz: Once bit into a bar of soap just because it smelled fruity.
  • Dumb Blonde: The only character dumber than her is Darren, who is also blonde.
  • The Heart: Andy is at his nicest when he's with Maggie.
  • Negative Continuity: Handwaved. In the first series finale, she seems to re-evaluate her life, rids her apartment of soft toys and adopts a more mature look and personality following Andy calling her out on her attitude toward things when she nearly ruins his chance of getting a BBC sitcom; realising she was only trying to help him, Andy recruits Patrick Stewart to apologise on his behalf, and the relationship between the two returns to normal.
  • Nice Girl: Doesn't have anything bad to say about anyone.
  • No Social Skills: She has a bad habit of letting people know that Andy says offensive things about them.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Whatever the situation, you can always count on Maggie to make it exponentially worse the second she starts speaking.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: To the point where late in the second series she has to resort to dating Darren. Their date goes surprisingly well, until Darren's antics when dealing with a toilet emergency drive her away.

Shaun Williamson (Barry from EastEnders)

Played By: Shaun Williamson

Shaun Williamson plays himself as one of Darren's clients. He used to play Barry Evans on the British soap opera EastEnders, but left to pursue a multi-million pound contract elsewhere and failed. Darren Lamb doesn't use his real name, but instead calls him "Barry off EastEnders" or just "Barry" and occasionally "Barr".

  • Adam Westing: In real life, Shaun's acting career never faltered as bad as it did here.
  • Butt-Monkey: A once successful soap actor whose incompetent agent held out for too much money, he's now the only client of said agent who only gets him non-acting work such as cleaning the toilets. Nobody calls him by his real name (except for Andy) and his tendency to steal food indicates he lives in near-poverty.
  • Hidden Depths: He offers genuinely good advice to Andy.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: It's Barry-from-Eastenders!
  • Those Two Guys: With Darren.

Darren Lamb

Played By: Stephen Merchant

Andy Millman's agent. He is utterly incapable of breaking an act, and his usual negotiating tactic is to simply agree with whatever anyone else says, or suggest someone other than his client for the part. He's very good at deducting his 12.5% commission ("15% for adverts") despite frequently having done nothing to contribute to his act's success.

     Recurring 

Greg Lindley-Jones

Played By: Shaun Pye

  • Classically Trained Extra: Eventually rises to film star.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Though his barbs are less about being funny and more about rubbing his successes in Andy's face.
  • Jerkass: When Andy announces that he's got his own sitcom, Greg snidely says that he's not funny. That right there shows that success isn't enough, he wants Andy to wallow in mediocrity.
  • Meaningful Name: His surname Jones may be a reference to Keeping up With the Joneses, due to Andy's sense of achievement being dictated by whatever Greg has.
  • Pet the Dog: When he tells Maggie about supplementary performance fee. He's generally quite nice to her.
  • Smug Smiler: Bordering on Slasher Smile.
  • Smug Snake: His casting call was, ‘a smug cunt with a punchable face’. It was accurate.

Iain Morris

Played By: Guy Henry

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Acts reasonable and comes across as appreciative of the arts, yet will tamper with people's vision and threaten to tear up their contracts if they complain about it.
  • Hypocrite: Demands compromise, but when push comes to shove he refuses to back down.
  • Jerkass: He tells Andy rather flatly and harshly that, screw his creative vision, they're going for the lowest common denominator...
    • Jerkass Has a Point: ...but seeing how Andy waited until literally minutes before filming the pilot of When the Whistle Blows to make his complaint, he's pretty much correct to point out how it's really too late for a Retool.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Damon's red.
  • Shout-Out: He shares his name with one of the co-creators of The Inbetweeners.
  • Straight Gay: Something he keeps to himself until after Andy makes a remark about how over-sensitive gay people can be.

Damon Beesley

Played By: Martin Savage

  • Camp Gay: Andy finds his stereotypically over-the-top mannerisms to be annoying, which lands him in hot water when Maggie repeats this out loud to Damon.
  • Insult to Rocks: Despite having an awful sense of humour and virtually destroying Andy's vision for When the Whistle Blows, even he apparently doesn't think that Lenny Henry is funny.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Iain's blue.
  • Shout-Out: He shares his name with the other co-creator of The Inbetweeners.

Bunny

Played By: Gerard Kelly

  • Abusive Parent: He’s overly-controlling and quite a bully.
  • Camp Gay: Loves kitschy performances and has lots of sex with strangers in public places.
  • Rule of Three: He appears in three episodes.
  • Stage Dad: Forces his daughter to perform for her own birthday party.
  • Transparent Closet: For his first appearance. He's fooling absolutely no one except his daughter.

Tre Cooper

Played By: Adam James

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Takes Andy on as a client, but only because of his commercial value. He pushes him aside once Andy demands more respectable roles.
  • Catchphrase: ‘Life’s cruel’.
  • Jerkass: After his true colours are revealed.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: That said, Andy's diva-esque behaviour certainly doesn't make Tre's life any easier, which he eventually calls Andy out on.
  • Slimeball: He ignores Andy's calls, but still takes a cut of his pay. His method of keeping his clients in the spotlight involves a less-than-savoury approach, which Andy calls "the Hepatitis B-List".
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     When the Whistle Blows 

Ray Stokes

Played By: Ricky Gervais as Andy Millman

  • Catchphrase: "Are you having a laugh? Is (s)he having a laugh?"
  • Large Ham: Makes weird noises and has a goofy facial expression.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Not as respected as he imagines himself to be.
  • Stupid Boss: He's been shown to screw up almost as much as his employees.

Rita

Played By: Liza Tarbuck

Gobbler

Played By: Andrew Buckley

  • Catchphrase: I don't get it.
  • Comically Missing the Point: His catchphrase.
  • Fat Idiot: The series ends with him getting hit in the head so hard it makes him intelligent.
  • Fat Slob: Extends to his actor in one scene, as he takes several handfuls of sandwiches and fingers the remaining few.

Brains

Played By: Jamie Chapman

Kimberly

Played By: Sarah Moyle

Keith

Played By: Keith Chegwin

  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Thanks to his actor never quite being able to get the mood of a scene down correctly.
  • The Danza: Got turned into this after Chegwin couldn't understand why people were referring to him by his original character name, Alfie.invoked
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Keith the fictional character is apparently mostly a nice guy. As soon as the cameras stop rolling, Keith Chegwin starts complaining about how the BBC is "still being run by Jews and queers," and claiming that black people aren't funny.
  • Put on a Bus: A possibly unintended implication of the Christmas Special is that he never made it past the first series (and possibly not even the first episode) of When the Whistle Blows, since the character doesn't appear and isn't referenced. Considering his actor's behind-the-scenes behaviour, it wouldn't be surprising if he said the wrong thing and got fired.

     Celebrity Appearances 

Ben Stiller

Played By: As Himself

Ross Kemp

Played By: As Himself

Vinnie Jones

Played By: As Himself

Kate Winslet

Played By: As Himself

Les Dennis

Played By: As Himself

Samuel L. Jackson

Played By: As Himself

Patrick Stewart

Played By: As Himself

  • Bald of Awesome
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Dirty Old Man: He's trying to his his own self-penned movie made, which can basically be described as a James Bond movie if Bond had the power to spontaneously make people's clothes fall off.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his eccentricities, he's probably the celebrity who Andy has the most positive encounter with, and helps get the BBC to make When the Whistle Blows.

Orlando Bloom

Played By: As Himself

David Bowie

Played By: As Himself

  • Affably Evil: He brutally tears Andy apart via song, but does so in a jovial way while speaking pleasantly to his friends.
  • The Bully
  • Jerkass: Constructs an entire song to destroy a man who idolizes him.

Daniel Radcliffe

Played By: As Himself

  • Casanova Wannabe: Tries chatting up just about every woman on the set, which comes back to bite him big-style when he makes moves on Warwick Davis's wife...
  • Karma Houdini: ...but fortunately for Daniel, Andy unwittingly provides the mother of all distractions by accidentally knocking Warwick out.

Chris Martin

Played By: As Himself

  • Hypocrite: Despite being a vegetarian, he off-handedly mentions that, "Gwyneth's making drumsticks"
  • Only in It for the Money: He wears a promotional shirt for his band's new album while doing a charity advert.

Stephen Fry

Played By: As Himself

  • Worthy Opponent: One of his comedy shows easily defeats When The Whistle Blows in the BAFTAs, and it's obvious that deep down, Andy admires Stephen's brand of comedy far more than he does his own show. Despite this, Andy still has to defend the show to Stephen, if only to keep up appearances.

Richard Briers

Played By: As Himself

  • Precision F-Strike: While Richard is giving a dignified, heartfelt speech about a recently-deceased producer, Darren gets out a box of Ray Stokes dolls and inadvertently causes one of them to repeat Ray's catchphrase endlessly. Richard takes this about as well as you'd expect, destroys the doll and openly calls it "tacky shit," getting a round of applause from the BAFTA attendees.

Ronnie Corbett

Played By: As Himself

  • Karma Houdini: Thanks to being in the presence of Ronnie and a bag of cocaine for just the wrong few seconds, Andy (and technically Darren, though it'd be less of a problem for him even if he were a competent agent) ends up with a lifetime ban from the BAFTA awards, made permanently ineligible for BAFTA consideration, and threatened with being shopped to the police if he ever tries to protest his ban. Ronnie gets off much lighter in comparison.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: A variation. While he initially gets handed the same blanket BAFTA ban as Andy, he's able to negotiate it down to only being allowed to attend the Welsh BAFTAs for a few years.

Sir Ian McKellen

Played By: As Himself

Robert De Niro

Played By: As Himself

  • The Cameo: His role is tiny, and simply involves being inordinately amused by a pen (with a naked lady on it).
  • Hidden Depths: He seems to get along pretty well with Darren.
  • The Quiet One: He has little-to-no dialogue.
  • The Stoic

Robert Lindsay

Played By: As Himself

Jonathan Ross

Played By: As Himself

  • Elmer Fudd Syndrome: Just like in real life, Ross pronounces Rs as Ws.
  • Manchild: Like in real life, Ross is a toy collector. He also has super-soaker fights with Andy.

Clive Owen

Played By: As Himself

  • Jerkass: A strong contender for the biggest Jerkass in the entire series, as his behaviour toward Maggie is enough to finally call it quits on her acting career.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Not that he's some obscure small-time actor by any means, but he's way too full of himself.

Lionel Blair

Played By: As Himself

  • Money, Dear Boy: Admits that this is about the only thing which keeps him going in life.invoked
  • Only Sane Man: He's the only other Celebrity Big Brother housemate that Andy feels even deserves the title of "celebrity," let alone has any respect for.

Dean Gaffney

Played By: As Himself

  • Butt-Monkey: He's an even more pathetic, less successful version of Shaun Williamson. Yes, let that sink in.
  • True Companions: With Darren and Shaun in their new job at the Carphone Warehouse, to the extent that Stephen Merchant briefly considered writing a spin-off series featuring the trio.

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