Despite the success of The Office, the boom of mockumentary sitcoms, and the now-obvious idea that comedy shows shouldn't have laughter tracks, there's no one quite like Ricky Gervais. Gervais is unique for countless reasons, but unlike so many of comedy's elite, he's someone who began right at the top. He was in his late thirties when fame came knocking, and was prepared not to be a star if it meant his and Stephen Merchant's vision of The Office was compromised; he didn't work his way up through grotty comedy clubs and bad bit-part roles on The Bill, he simply made his name as one of the most polished writers in British comedy for decades. But despite the constant accolades, the comedy cameos in his work, and the obvious controversy that seems to follow him around - especially when he presents the Golden Globes - people seem to forget what a brilliant comic actor he can really be. This, coupled with his immaculate scripts, makes for excellent telly, and though some people see him as "that arrogant atheist guy from The Office who sodded off to do cameos in Hollywood", to many, he's one of British comedy's greatest assets.