Finding David Brent

I consider myself something of a serial eavesdropper. Not in a creepy way, but in a way that I do seriously tune into funny things that people say in restaurants, on the bus, on the tube, walking along the street. Doing just that in Essex on Saturday, I felt inspired to begin a mini-project within my blog: Finding David Brent.

David Brent - photo from

You might have gathered that I am something of a fan of Ricky Gervais. Our family’s first taste of his humour was when we stumbled upon an episode of The Office on TV one Sunday evening. It was the episode where a motivational speaker had been hired to run a workshop with the Office staff. Gervais’ character, David Brent, was supremely threatened by this and did all he could to interject, take over or add in his take on what the speaker was talking about. In the end, David Brent took out his guitar and played a song he’d written. It was a hilarious episode, our first encounter with Gervais and the “mockumentary” style and we were hooked on both.

So following on from the David Brent dance-alike in my Zumba class of a few weeks ago (The Office Moves), we came across another dead ringer over the weekend. We went shopping in Essex on Saturday, and stopped for lunch in a little coffee shop in the mall. David Brent and his wife came in, and stormed out when the table they had been eyeing was taken by a young mum and her two small children. He audibly sighed, “That was our table,” before picking up his skirts and flouncing out of the coffee shop with his wife, giving the young mum a look that could kill.

About ten minutes later, the table next to ours became free. In walked DB and his wife (not sure where they’d been lurking – perhaps just outside the door), and they sat themselves down as soon as they could, making sure no-one could beat them to the spot. He announced to his wife, for all to hear (and I’m guessing he’d have looked into the camera, David Brent-style, had there been one):

“Right, love, whatever you want, buy. Cheapest.”

And that is something that only David Brent would say.

Sunshine signing off for today.


21 thoughts on “Finding David Brent

  1. I’ve seen Ricky Gervais interviewed on talk shows a couple of times…very funny! I’ve never gotten into the American version of “The Office”…really don’t find it amusing. Hopefully the British version is better!


    P.S. I eavesdrop too!

  2. Evesdropping is one of my favorite things to do especially while waiting in long lines or at customer service counters.

    I’ll let you know if I spot DB in our small town of 400. Not likely but we have our own cast of characters that I could write about. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of the “The Office”. I don’t watch that much TV. My son quotes stuff from the show regularly.

    Looking forward to more sitings!

  3. What’s great (or depressing) about that character is that everyone knows a David Brent, and a lot of people have worked for him.

    Have you ever heard the Ricky Gervais podcast? They’re on iTunes. If you haven’t, the format is that Ricky and his writing partner, Stephen Merchant, hang out in the studio with a guy named Karl Pilkington. It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.

    1. I haven’t heard the podcasts, although I have heard about them. Ricky Gervais features Karl Pilkington on many of his DVDs, where he just has fun with him and teases him about his perfectly round head … I guess that’s what they do in the podcasts too? I can imagine they’re really funny.
      I’d love to hear about the David Brents you know or have worked for…

  4. “…before picking up his skirts and trouncing out of the coffee shop with his wife…” Heh heh, Sunshine. That’s great.

    As a fellow British-version-of-the-office fan, I promise to keep an eye out for the American version. If I run into my old boss circa 1999, I can serve him up for you on a platter, because he’s honestly as David Brent as it gets.

  5. I like to Adam and Eves drop. Amazing what you hear people say when they don’t think anyone is hearing them. I need to brush up on my David Brent knowledge a bit.
    Thanks for the smile.

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