Is Will Ferrell set to take over at The Office?
US comic will appear in four episodes of the sitcom as Steve Carell bows out and Gervais makes a cameo
Could US comic Will Ferrell be about to follow in the footsteps of Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell and take over as the boss from hell in The Office? The Hollywood comedy star has signed up for four episodes of the US version of the sitcom, and his arrival is set to coincide with the departure of Carell.
Ferrell is to play a branch manager who arrives at fictional paper supply company Dunder Mifflin, where the US version of the comedy is set, and manages to rival Carell's character, Michael Scott, for incompetence.
Ferrell will overlap for at least one episode with Carell, who bows out before the end of the series, prompting speculation that he could be in line to take over the lead role if NBC decide to commission another season of the comedy.
It will not be the first time Carell and Ferrell have shared the screen, having appeared together in the 2004 film Anchorman.
Not to be outdone by Hollywood's big guns of comedy, the man who started it all - Ricky Gervais - made a cameo appearance in the American version of the show this week (video, above), reprising the role of David Brent for the first time since the 2003 Christmas special.
In his brief guest appearance at the start of the episode he bumps into Carell's character coming out of the lift. The pair get chatting and immediately hit it off as they exchange views on comedy before embracing. Viewers may be tantalised by Brent's query about whether there are any jobs going. ·