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The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world, according to audience numbers. Its yearly budget currently stands at around £4 billion.

Stephen Merchant had a brief spell working for the BBC after leaving his post of assistant to Ricky Gervais at Xfm. As part of the training for the course he was on, Merchant was asked to write and produce a short film of his desire. He chose to expand on Gervais' idea of 'Seedy Boss'. After creating the short with the help of Gervais, it was commissioned for a pilot episode by the BBC. The Office, as it was renamed, was first put out on BBC2 on 9 July 2001.

All subsequent programmes produced by Merchant and Gervais have been shown on the BBC.