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Trivia / Extras

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  • Actor-Shared Background: Like his actor, Darren is from Bristol.
    Shaun: "Sheep shagger" is Welsh.
    Darren: No, it can be Bristol.
    Shaun: Bristol is inbreeding.
    Darren: Sheep-shagging, inbreeding, slavery. Famous for loads of stuff down there.
  • Career Resurrection: As a result of his candid and naked (both literally, and metaphorically) performance, Les Dennis, who seemed fated for obscurity after having a messy public divorce and subsequent breakdown on reality TV, turned his career all the way around from a washed up light entertainer to serious actor.
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  • Genre-Killer: This series — along with The Thick of It, which started airing the same year — finished the job that The Office had started, in making the classic Brit Com format seem dated and worn-out. Nowadays, it's pretty widely accepted that in order to have even the slightest chance of getting any critical respect, any new comedy show must be in the "single-camera with no laugh track" format.
  • Out of Order: The episode with Ross Kemp was originally supposed to be the series opener. According to Ricky Gervais, HBO switched it with the second episode, as Ben Stiller was better known in America.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • According to a featurette on the season one DVD set, Finding Leo, Jude Law was supposed to appear in the last episode of the season, but pulled out at the last minute, leaving Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant scrambling to find a replacement, which eventually ended up being Patrick Stewart. The change happened so late in the day that the episode's closing scene was filmed under the assumption that Law would still be the main guest star, hence the oddly out-of-place focus on an advert for the 2004 remake of Alfie (which starred Law, and was a critical and commercial failure) in the last shot.
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    • Finding Leo follows Gervais' unsuccessful attempts to contact Leonardo DiCaprio. It's thought, but unconfirmed, that his intended role ended up going to Ben Stiller.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Literally and figuratively in Jonathan Ross's case. Gervais became very good friends with him after The Office (UK) propelled him to stardom, his co-writer Stephen Merchant sometimes joking that Ricky seemed to be spurning their own friendship for this blossoming bond with Ross. They wrote this exact same sort of friendship between Ross, playing himself, and Andy in Extras, right down to the exclusion of Andy's preexisting friendship with Maggie.
    • Maggie's Innocently Insensitive comments, interest in the abnormal, poor grasp of general knowledge, and generally bizarre mind all call to mind Karl Pilkington, Gervais' close friend and pet obsession around the time of filming. Add to that, a suspicious amount of Maggie's "would-you-rather"s seem to involve monkeys.


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