Ricky Gervais‘ new sitcom pilot will air next month on Channel 4.
The new show Derek will see Gervais play retirement home worker Derek Noakes, opposite longtime collaborator Karl Pilkington. But although the show had been tipped as a series, a BAFTA screening for set for March 27 lists it as a “one off comedy drama”.
However, Channel 4 have commented: “Channel 4 is very excited to be working with Ricky Gervais on this new project and it’s wrong to say we have rejected a series. The pilot will be on TV in April and then there’ll be further discussions about the potential for a full series.”
The BAFTA listing describes Noakes as “a tender, innocent man whose love for his job and the people he cares for shines through. He’s 49 years old and loves animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, Deal Or No Deal, Million Pound Drop and Britain’s Got Talent – but his main hobby is autograph hunting.”
Pikington will play Noakes’ employer Dougie, in what will be his first acting role, with Sean Connery reported to appear in the first episode. Gervais’ character first appeared in a short at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival, when he was an aspiring stand-up living with his grandmother.