Truly inspirational?

May 13, 2005

What does the boss from hell of a paper merchants in Slough have to do with the new Higher Education Minister, Bill Rammell?, writes Paul Hill.

Before Mr Rammell became honourable member for Harlow, he shared an office with Ricky Gervais, star and creator of BBC comedy The Office.

Mr Rammell was a senior manager at the University of London Union in the mid-Nineties when Mr Gervais was events manager.

When asked about the inspiration for The Office, Mr Gervais has always pointed to his own experience.

"Even though the jobs I've done have been more interesting than those in The Office, they weren't so far removed," Mr Gervais told The Daily Telegraph. "You're thrown into a situation with people you have nothing in common with apart from the fact you walk on the same carpet every day."

Mr Gervais was unavailable for comment on his former boss.

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