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Ally Ross - the second best column in The Sun

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The Man Who Put A Smile On Our Faces


RUSSELL GRANT’S Anthony Newley impression, Pam St Clement murdering Santa Baby at the EastEnders Christmas pile-up, Five screening two Beverley D’Angelo films on the same day . . .


I could — and will — go on.


But these are just three reasons why The Office wasn’t merely the best thing on at Christmas, it was practically the only thing.


A show of near perfection. And if the BBC had a decent comedy unit it would now abandon its bum-witted hunt for Britain’s Best Sitcom.


Instead it should declare The Office joint winner, along with Porridge, Alan Partridge, Fawlty Towers and Phoenix Nights, plus A N Other of your own choice (not Bread).


But though debating David Brent’s brilliance may well be a crime against TV in itself, we should — in the immortal management speak of Lieutenant Gareth Keenan — “blue sky it” anyway.


So, for the record, the full list of Office complaints is: There was a bit too much of pregnant Anne, not quite enough Finchy and Gareth.


The detail was so of its era it could date the show prematurely. And the traditional sign a comedy has “lost the plot” is the arrival of celebrity guests.


But as The Office is finishing and the “celebrities” were Bubble and Howard Brown these don’t hold any water.


In fact, the only real niggle is that BBC1, which hasn’t produced a comedy hit in years, has been merrily taking credit for this masterpiece.


Nothing though will now stop Brent passing into TV legend, even if it means suffering comedy’s best and worst fate — being quoted to death at any gathering of more than two people. You probably already have a favourite line, but here’s Brent impressing a blind date with his theory of evolution.


“I saw a programme on the Discovery Channel. Interesting. You know why men are attracted to cleavage? It reminds us of women’s buttocks. Presumably cos when we were cavemen we used to do you from behind. Then we evolved. Probably turned you over when language came into it.”


(Which, disturbingly, made more sense to me than anything on Robert Winston’s Walking With Cavemen.)


But as well as Brent, of course, The Office also has comedy’s best acting and best love story, Tim and Dawn, superbly under-played by Martin Freeman and Lucy Davis, who is Emma Bunton, only sexy.


And, surely to God, not the fruit of Jasper Carrott’s loins.


However this Christmas special’s real genius was that writers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant completely flipped the script.


They did it in a minor way with pregnant Anne, who in any other TV comedy/drama would be a saint, merely because she’s pregnant.


Here? They made her a total pain in the [****!!****].


The major revelation though was Brent himself.


Sacked from Wernham Hogg, humiliated on the celebrity circuit, right at the Christmas party death he found Carole, told Finchy to “**** off” and was redeemed.


It was beautiful.


And in his own words, David Brent will now forever be known as: “The man who put a smile on the face of all who he met” and “made a difference.”



Always find myself agreeing with Ally Ross! The rest of his column is HERE!!!! if anyone is interested!!



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