According to Ricky Gervais, there’s nothing offensive about his latest cringe-worthy creation, Derek, an upcoming black comedy/drama about elderly care-worker Derek Noakes and his colleagues Dougie and Hannah.
A series of short teaser trailers have provoked criticisms that Gervais set out to mock the disabled with the obviously affected characterisation of the titular character. His recent Twitter faux-pas surrounding his supposed mocking of the disabled certainly doesn’t help. However, speaking with The Independent, Gervais said that, “I’ve never thought of him as disabled. He’s not that bright but he’s cleverer than Baldrick (from Blackadder), he’s clever than Father Dougal (a character in Father Ted)… he hasn’t got as big a problem as Mr Bean. [ed: What was up with Mr. Bean by the way?]
Compared with The Office and Extras, Derek looks like it’s going to be mostly cringe, with a little incidental comedy that mostly comes from the character Dougie, as played by Karl Pilkington. The whole thing looks like a really bleak affair. Derek will go to air later this week on Channel 4 in the UK, and presumably not long after here.