David Brent is a fictional white-collar office middle-manager and the principal character in the BBC television mockumentary The Office, played by co-writer and director Ricky Gervais. He is the general manager of the Slough branch of the Wernham-Hogg paper merchants, and the boss to most of the other characters present in the series. Much of the comedy and pathos of the series centres on Brent's many idiosyncrasies, hypocrisies, self-delusions and self-promotion (including, but not limited to, playing up to the 'documentary' cameras present in his workplace).
Brent was adapted for the American version of the show, and became Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell. He was later adapted to become Gilles Triquet in the French version, Bernd Stromberg in the German version, and David Gervais (an amalgamation of the names David Brent and Ricky Gervais) in the Québécois version.
David Brent is the type of boss who wants to be a friend and mentor to those who work for him. He imagines his workers find him very funny and enjoy his company, while still respecting him and looking up to him as a boss, even a father figure. However, his employees generally find him barely tolerable and often irritating, even offensive. David Brent's character was based on the real life of Douglas Mackie.