Global Views
   Middle East & Africa
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 English Teaching
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
Letters from London
Derek — Simply Brilliant
By Shane Clarke
London Correspondent
Derek on Channel 4 in England

I don’t remember the last time I got excited about anything on television. I think it might have been The Young Ones on BBC 2 in the early eighties. But even then I didn’t react the way I have with Ricky Gervais’s latest offering. Not only am I excited by it, but also I’m passionate to the point where I actually gush about it, calling it the best television for decades.

So, what is this program that has me acting like a girl worshipping One Direction and generally embarrassing myself every time I see Ricky Gervais on Twitter?

It’s a gentle little comedy/drama program that revolves around the eponymous character, Derek, a simple man who lives and works in a retirement home. It’s funny, it’s heart-warming; heart-breaking at times, but it’s the kind of program that always ends too soon and then makes you wait a whole week before you can steal another brief moment with some of the best characters ever created.

Derek is never going to win a Nobel Prize for science. He’s far from the sharpest tool in the shed. But what he lacks in intelligence, he more than makes up for with heart, compassion and an overwhelming desire to make better the lives of the elderly residents at Broadhill Retirement Home. He’s aided in this by a small collection of misfit characters who each add another dimension to every week’s bittersweet tale.

There’s Hannah, the inspirational manager of the home, whose dedication to her job is actually humbling. Even at the cost of her own social life she will be there if a resident needs her, sitting with them; holding their hand, comforting them as they edge inexorably towards their final darkness.

Dougie is the home’s handyman, bus driver and general go-to guy. He is ably played by the legend that is Karl Pilkington, whose unique brand of misery comes shining through, although here there is an underlying humanity and kindness that can be show-stealing at times.

Then there’s Kev. Kev is crass, crude, obnoxious at times, but like the others who inhabit Broadhill Retirement Home, he has a good heart. It’s just hidden behind a shell of behaviour that is as cringe-worthy as it is funny; for example, writing rude words on crabs’ shells.

So, who could possibly have conceived and created such a work of pure class like this?

Believe it or not, it’s Ricky Gervais. Yes, you know him; he’s the one known for putting down the great and the good at the Oscars and Golden Globes; for putting poor Karl Pilkington through hell in An Idiot Abroad; and – of course – the inimitable David Brent.

I think it shows the talent of Mr Gervais that someone renowned for his edgy (some have called it bullying), sometimes harsh comedy, can write and breathe life into a character like Derek Noakes. Derek is sweet, kind, caring – basically all the things Gervais has worked hard to pretend he’s not over the years.

Derek will make you laugh; it will make you cry. But most of all it will renew your faith in humanity, because you’ll see a bit of yourself in the characters inhabiting Broadhill. You’ll also see bits of the people you love, because Ricky Gervais has encapsulated the best bits of all of us in this program and put them all up there on the screen to remind us they still exist, and perhaps to inspire us to be a little nicer to each other, to exercise a little more patience with people. And to always take a Sharpie pen with us when we go to the seaside, because we never know when we’ll get the opportunity to write the word “Twat” on a crab’s shell.

Derek can be seen on Channel 4, Wednesday nights at 10.00. You can also catch up on 4OD.

Related Articles
    Dara O’Briain -- The Gentleman Comic
    Fear of Flying: My Morbid View of Airline ...
    The Growth of Medical Tourism in the UK
    Funny Boy
    Anger as Carlos Tevez Appears to Refuse to Play
    Shadow Chancellor Outlines Five-Point Plan for ...
    Broken Hearted: What Do You Say?
    President Obama Weighs-in to the Japanese ...
    The Beautiful Game: Memories of When My Team ...
    Shake It, Baby!
    Student Protestors Riot in London
    The Amityville Horror
    The Blitz
    British, US Soldiers to Do Marathon Run for ...
    Horse-trading with People’s Lives
    Is It the Future or Just a Fad?
    The Price of Failure
    You Know He Was British, Don’t You?
    The Drug Problem in United Kingdom
    Capitalism: How Free Does It Really Make Us?
    Rogue Afghan Soldier Kills 3 British Soldiers
    Blair’s Guards’ Expenses under Scrutiny
    Britain’s Hidden Disaster
    Referendum on Electoral Reform to be Announced
    The Mediterranean Diet
    Shame! England, My England!
    To Hell in a Handcart
    It’s Not Easy Being an England Fan
    Cumbrian Gunman Kills 12
    Rooney Is Greatest Player World Has Ever Seen
    Video Games: PC Vs. PS
    More Injury Woes for England
    England Team Banned from Using Twitter during ...
    Gareth Barry in Race to Prove Fitness
    Forgotten Couple Still in Hands of Somali ...
    England 3 – 1 Mexico
    England Captain, Ferdinand, Expresses Concern ...
    President Obama Looking for Spending Cuts
    British Airways Obtains an Injunction to ...
    Hedgehogs and Plumbers
    Britain Has a Hung Parliament
    Is It Being Destroyed by Too Much Money?
    Video Games: A Community Divided
    Video Games: They’ve Come a Long Way
    Gordon Brown Forced to Apologise over ...
    Why British Monarchy Is the Best in World
    How Many Wives Did Henry VIII Have?
    Annual Leave? I’d Rather Stay, If That"s All ...
    Plea of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s War Crime Victim
    The Family Way — Divorce
    UK Flights Grounded by Volcanic Ash
    Deadly Italian Train Crash Kills 6
    The Rise of Nationalism in Britain
    When America Sneezes the World Gets a Cold
    Oil Companies Continue to Rape Planet for ...
    Snow in Spring Brings Chaos to Parts of the UK
    Bureaucracy Strikes Again
    Darling Targets Election Victory with Safe ...
    The Child Bride Problem Is Still Alive and Well
    Terrified Emergency Call of a Woman Whose Car ...
    Achilles Tendon Injury Ends World Cup Dream
    CSR – Genuine Principle or Marketing ...
    Continuing Turbulence at British Airways
    Teenager's Murder Highlights Dangers of ...
    UK Election Juggernaut Begins to Roll
    War Families Anger at MoD Bonuses
    Cameron under Pressure over Lisbon Treaty
    Resignations Follow the Sacking of ...
    Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
    Tony Blair Ready to Stand for EU Presidency ...
    Debates Continue as Queen Weighs in to Row ...
    Protests Greet Nick Griffin’s Appearance on ...
    21 Environment Protesters Arrested in England
    The British Government Passes the Buck Again
    Everything Must Go As British Government Sells ...
    Boyzone Star Stephen Gately Dies
    Is David Cameron Even Capable of Honest ...
    The Tragedy of "Heaven's" Child Brides
    Elite – The UK’s Higher Education System
    Why Can’t I Hate Barack Obama?
    The UNCRC – The Convention That Dare Not ...
    The Tragedy of Child Brides

Shane Clarke serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He has been involved in humanitarian work for numerous years. He’s also a freelance management consultant. Having completed an honors degree in Law at Wolverhampton University, he then moved on to an MBA at Warwick Business School. He’s heavily involved in the fight against international parental child abduction to Japan.






The Seoul Times Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange