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A successful pilot of Derek leads Ricky Gervais’ comedy to a full series.

Channel 4 has announced they have commissioned a full series of Derek, following the successful pilot episode which aired in April.

Written and directed by Ricky Gervais, the series achieved a consolidated audience of 3.2m when the pilot aired, despite mixed reactions from viewers and critics alike. The ratings meant that Derek is the highest rating scripted comedy in nearly two years for Channel 4.

Derek is a bitter-sweet comedy drama about a group of outsiders living on society’s margins. Derek Noakes (Ricky Gervais) is a tender, innocent man whose love for his job and the people he cares for shines through. He’s 49 years old and his main hobby is autograph hunting. He works in a retirement home with his mate and landlord, Dougie (Karl Pilkington in his very first acting role). Hannah (Kerry Godliman) is a care worker at the home and is Derek’s best friend. The series will further explore the relationships between this close-knit group as they work in the old people’s home.

Shane Allen, Channel 4 Head of Comedy said “Ricky is a leading voice in British comedy and through Derek he captures and reflects something of the spirit of modern society. A kind-hearted character in a world which TV normally shies away from, it feels like a perfect new direction for Ricky. The pilot triggered an amazing response and Derek’s story had only just begun so it’s brilliant that we can explore this world and its beautifully drawn characters across a series”

Ricky Gervais said “David Brent was an egotistical, failed musician and the most annoying man in the world. Derek is a 50 year old man with bad hair and clothes, whose best friend is a whinging bald manc twonk. Where do I get my ideas from?’

Derek will air in early 2013.