The series started as a small, home-made video by Stephen Merchant when he was trying to get a job at the BBC. He came up with the idea for making a documentary style format as it would be easier for him to film. He and his colleague Ricky Gervais came up with The Office (UK) idea and used a local University to film it. Upon seeing the short video the BBC requested that they make a series out of it. Many of the jokes from this original film are recycled during the Proper Series for example, David Brent's opening speech about making employee's dreams come true.
(Region 2 DVD) At the first menu let the DVD run for a few minutes until you can hear the phone, then press 'select/ok' on your controller to answer the phone. Then you can watch the full length version of David Brent playing and singing "free love on the free love freeway" featured in episode 4, series 1.
In every episode, there is a shot, from the exact same angle, of the photocopier making multiple copies of a document.
The first British sitcom for over 25 years to be nominated for a golden globe, and the first ever to win one.
The show was filmed at Teddington Studios though not actually in any of their studio spaces. It was filmed in their office building which is adjacent to the TV studios.
Holds the record for highest non-feature DVD sales in the UK.
The Cat Stevens song "Sitting" was originally considered for the theme music.
The cleaner who always stands motionless and looks directly at the camera is creator/director Stephen Merchant's father.
The pilot episode had a budget of £90,000.
During her break, Dawn is reading Ben Elton's novel "Popcorn" (1996).
Donna's parents are called Ron and Elaine - the name of Stephen Merchant's parents.
Series producer Ash Atalla directed the training video from "Training Day" specially for The Office (UK), with presenter Peter Purves dying his hair to make himself appear younger. The video is presented in full on the DVD.
The David Brent character was revived for Red Nose Day 2013, where he in turn revived the old Foregone Conclusion song "Equality Street" mentioned here, passing it on to his new young musical protégé.
David Brent announces that Ricky is leaving. Although Ricky didn't get a going-away present, David says "You should have seen what we got Pete Gibbons!" Peter Gibbons was lead character in the similarly-themed Office Space.
The scene where Brent gives Tim the appraisal took 74 takes.
One of the speakers is called "Mark Found" - the name of the Sound Recordist for The Office (UK).
The urban legend that Simon tells Gareth about an undead Bruce Lee working undercover as a Hong Kong cop was also told by an incredulous Ricky Gervais in a 2002 episode of his London based radio show on XFM.
Lemons really do contain more sugar than strawberries, pound for pound.