I 'feared' rise of Gervais, says Harry Enfield

I 'feared' rise of Gervais, says Harry Enfield
I 'feared' rise of Gervais, says Harry Enfield (Image credit: Jean/PA Photos)

TV funnyman Harry Enfield has admitted that he feared for his small screen career after the success of Ricky Gervais' show The Office. The comic - who returns to TV this week with sketch show Harry and Paul, said that Gervais' documentary spoof had made him feel "past it" and sounded the death knell for sketch shows. However he added that he was encouraged to continue following the success of Matt Lucas and David Walliams in Little Britain. "I love Little Britain," he said, "I wouldn't have started doing all this again if it wasn't for that." "I thought we were past it because everything was so cool, with Ricky coming up with his amazing, just so well observed comedy. I think what we did was well observed too but he got the ultimate thing to observe, an office, that I just thought it was much cleverer." "It didn't have any jokes, it was just painfully truthful and embarrassing and really really funny so I just thought, 'that's it, I'm over'. Then Little Britain came along and that was fantastically uncool and everybody loved it, so we got back into it." Enfield first found fame in the 1980s on the sketch show Saturday Live, and then spent many years making shows for the BBC before an unsuccessful move to Sky in 2000. He returned to the BBC in 2007 to make Harry and Paul with long-time collaborator Paul Whitehouse. The third series of the show begins on September 28.

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.