" I think Ricky Gervais and I have said everything we can about The Office. It's our Frankenstein's Monster – we may have created it but now it's out of our control and has rampaged off into the world on its own.

The success of the show is very surreal, particularly in America. The first time I realised it might have appeal over there was when I opened an actual Spider-Man comic and saw an homage to The Office in one of the panels. I suppose it was just something the artist threw in as a little joke but I was a massive comic-book fan as a kid and it gave me a real thrill.

Since then one of my proudest achievements is that the American version of The Office is both really successful and really good.

If you've never seen the American version, or watched the early episodes and thought it wasn't your cup of tea, I urge you to start with Season Two and give it a go. Steve Carrell is inspired and makes the lead role his own, the supporting cast are fantastic and the writers expand and develop our original idea in endlessly inventive ways. "

Spider Man - Office Homage

Further Reading:

The Office UK

Links to BBC websites dedicated to the show, featuring interviews and clips plus Gareth Keenan's webpage – which Ricky and Stephen wrote years ago and which still makes them laugh.

Stephen's favourite scenes :

The Office US

For UK viewers, watch clips here :

For US viewers, NBC website dedicated to the show :

If you're in the USA, you can watch Stephen's favourite scene from the Customer Survey episode, which he directed :