Ricky Gervais: stars , writes and directs Derek. Described as a “A bittersweet comedy drama about a group of outsiders living on society’s margins” this comedy drama ran for two series and a Christmas Special between 2013 and 2014.
The series followed a successful pilot episode that aired on Channel 4 in April 2012. Following it’s success Channel 4 announced on 9th May 2012 that it had commissioned a full series, which began transmission in January the following year.
The series has been met with mixed reviews from critics, attracting controversy due to a perception by some that it mocks mentally disabled people. By the second series these reviews had generally become more favourable.
Ricky Gervais has said that the programme was inspired by his relatives who work in care homes: “Half my family are care workers. My sister works with kids with learning difficulties. My sister-in-law works in a care home for people with Alzheimer’s. And four or five of my nieces work in old people’s homes. I always write about what my inlaws and four fifths of my nieces know.”
Derek Noakes is a 50 year old care worker at Broad Hill, a home for the elderly, who has worked there for three years. He likes watching reality television shows and game shows and is interested in celebrities, YouTube and, above all, talking about animals. The viewer is told he is kind, helpful and selfless, with good intentions.
The series follows him through his day to day working life.
Channel: Channel 4
Created By: Ricky Gervais
Written and Directed By: Ricky Gervais
Original Transmision Dates:
12th April 2012 (Pilot)
13th Januaary 2013 – 22nd December 2014 (series)