Ricky Gervais doubts 'The Office' would be made if he wrote it today.

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais

The 59-year-old star - who created, penned and directed the popular BBC sitcom, which ran for two series between 2001 and 2002 - insisted broadcasters are too scared to take risks in case they offend the so-called "outrage mobs".

Speaking to Times Radio, he said: "Now it would suffer because people would take things literally.

"There are these outrage mobs who take things out of context.

"This was a show about everything - it was about difference, it was about sex, race, all the things that people fear to even be discussed or talked about now, in case they say the wrong thing and they are cancelled."

Ricky played hapless, ignorant and deluded boss David Brent in both series - as well as Christmas specials in 2003 - and he has insisted people need to understand the real subject and target of the jokes.

He added: "The BBC have got more and more careful, people want to keep their jobs, so would worry about some of the subjects and jokes, even though they were clearly ironic and we were laughing at this buffoon being uncomfortable around difference.

"I think if this was put out now, some people have lost their sense of irony and context."

In recent weeks, classic comedies such as 'Fawlty Towers', 'Little Britain', 'League of Gentlemen' and 'The Mighty Boosh' have been removed from streaming services or had some of their episodes edited over concerns about some of their content.

However, Ricky - whose most recent project 'After Life' has been a big hit for Netflix - isn't worried about the potential impact if any of his own projects come under the same criticism.

He quipped: "I'm cancel-proof in the sense that I've got enough money."


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