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David Brent - Life on the Road: Still hilariously out of tune

By Damon Smith

It has been 12 years since David Brent (Ricky Gervais) awkwardly ruled the roost at the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg Paper Company.

He's now a travelling salesman at Lavichem, peddling sanitary products and irritating his colleagues including office bully Jezza (Andrew Brooke) and HR manager Miriam (Rebecca Gethings). He does have a few supporters, including Pauline from accounts (Jo Hartley) and receptionist Karen (Mandeep Dhillon). "Most people don't get him, but I do," beams fellow salesman Nigel (Tom Bennett).

Brent takes unpaid leave to pursue his dream of music stardom as lead singer of his unsigned band. "The ghost of Alexander O'Neal visited me one night and said, 'You have got what it takes'," explains Brent, who plunders his savings to hire a despairing road manager (Tom Basden) and a quartet of talented session musicians.

A rapper called Dom Johnson (Ben Bailey Smith aka Doc Brown) joins to bolster the band's yoof appeal as the motley crew embarks on a tour of venues close to the Lavichem office.

David Brent: Life On The Road is peppered with uproarious one-liners and moments of skin-crawling brilliance that confirm Gervais as a master of unflattering observation.

Four stars

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