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Ricky Gervais as Derek Noakes
Genre Comedy/Drama
Running time 24 mins.
Creator(s) Ricky Gervais
Writer(s) Ricky Gervais
Starring Ricky Gervais, Kerry Godliman, Karl Pilkington, David Earl
Country UK
Network Channel 4
Original runs 12 April 2012 (Pilot), 30 January 2013 (Series) – 6 March 2013
No. of episodes 7
IMDB Profile

Derek is a television series created by Ricky Gervais. It follows the life of titular character Derek Noakes as he works at Broadhill Retirement Home for the elderly. The show is filmed in a documentary format rather like previous projects The Office and Life's Too Short, but is noted as being different by Ricky for having "left the veil of irony behind". The show began with a pilot broadcast on Channel 4 on 12 April 2012, which gained generally positive feedback and strong viewing figures. It was then given the green-light to become a full series, which premiered on 30 January 2013. It is also notable for featuring Karl Pilkington's first full acting role.


The show documents the lives of those who both work and live at Broadhill Retirement Home. The main character, Derek, is a shuffling, simple and innocent 50-year old man who is an employee at the home. He spends the majority of his time indulging in his fascination with animals and bothering the other staff with inane questions. He is also good friends with Hannah (Kerry Godliman), who spends the series being overworked and under-appreciated whilst trying to maintain a relationship with her love-interest Tom (Brett Goldstein).

The other employee primarily focussed on is Dougie (Karl Pilkington), an outspoken caretaker who regularly complains about his life and intervenes to defend his fellow employees when he sees them being unfairly picked on. The staff are often joined by Kev (David Earl), a grimy unemployed slob who is persistently concerned with sex and always has a tin of beer in his hand. The show revolves around these four characters as they deal with council intrusions, raising money for the home and residents passing on.


Derek is an innocent and warm-hearted man who is a popular figure at Broadhill Retirement Home. He loves animals, reality TV, autograph hunting, pop music and the elderly. Though Gervais strongly refutes the claim that Derek has learning difficulties, he is portrayed as a man who has difficulty grasping concepts such as ventriloquism, often gets sidetracked by his own thoughts while speaking and has a rather naive view of the world in general. Despite this, Derek is an employee at the home and his kindness is often praised by the likes of Hannah and Dougie.
  • Kerry Godliman as Hannah
Hannah has been an employee at Broadhill Retirement Home for 15 years, and often works hours well beyond the amount for which she is paid. She is shown as a hard-working, robust and caring individual who treats the residents of the home as her family. A lot of the show is centered around Hannah, with various subplots involving her relationship with Tom, her confrontations with nefarious visitors and her appreciation for her friends also working at the home. She is seen by the residents as the backbone of the home, and fights tooth-and-nail to keep it running after the council enforce budget cuts.
Dougie is described by Gervais as "Karl, if he'd never met me". The caretaker at Broadhill, Dougie does indeed possess a lot of the characteristics of Karl, including his outspoken nature, his bemusement at many aspects of modern life and his general dissatisfaction with everything. Dougie is very unhappy with the way his life has panned out, bemoaning everything from the friends he has to the ridiculous hairstyle he has been cursed with. Despite this, he is very protective of his co-workers, especially Hannah whom he defends on multiple occasions while she is being chastised by visitors.
Kev is an unemployed man who lives in Dougie's flat and spends most of his time hanging around Broadhill Retirement Home. He is a rude, boorish man who is usually preoccupied with sexual thoughts or dirty jokes. His main passion is autograph hunting, although it is questionable as to whether or not he's had any real success in his pursuits. He has very little regard for his own personal image, proudly soiling himself during one staff meeting just because he was getting bored. Though Kev shows little affection for anything in his life, he does get involved in efforts to raise money for the home and entertain the residents.
  • Holli Dempsey as Vicky
Vicky is a young woman who initially joins the staff at Broadhill to fulfill her community service. At first, she has no interest in helping the residents, watching in horror as she sees the duties that Hannah endures during the working day. However, over time she begins to build a relationship with the elderly and decides to stay on as a volunteer after her community service finishes. While her main interests are fashion and social networking, she displays her sympathetic side once she has been won over by the home.
  • Brett Goldstein as Tom
Tom is the love-interest of Hannah, having been introduced in the pilot as one of the residents' sons. Hannah is initially very reserved towards Tom, but gradually she opens up and the two of them establish a relationship during the series. Tom does get frustrated at Hannah's inability to relax and let her hair down away from work, but quickly finds himself roped in by the caring environment of Broadhill.
  • Doc Brown as Deon
Deon is another individual who spends his community service at Broadhill, having been arrested for stealing trainers. During his time at the home, he gets to know the employees, including Derek who he appreciates a lot for his good-nature. He is a rapper, and performs a song during Broadhill's cabaret evening which speaks of his view-changing experience at the home.


Series 1

Title Series Original Airdate Buy #
Pilot Series 0 12 April 2012 TBA 1
Derek is introduced to us as a caring and innocent man, who has a love and appreciation for the elderly residents at Broadhill. During the episode, we see Hannah showing an interest in Tom, the son of one of the residents. She initially finds it difficult to reveal her feelings, but gradually manages to open up to him. Meanwhile, Derek and Hannah go out for a drink at the pub, and three women begin abusing Derek for his appearance. Hannah delivers a swift uppercut to one of them before leaving with Derek. Finally, Derek's favourite resident Joan falls ill and passes away. Derek is devastated, and a service is held for her at the home
Episode One Series 1 30 January 2013 TBA 2
In the first episode of the series, the council visit Broadhill and begin assessing the way in which money is spent at the home. Hannah is informed that there will be budget cuts, and Derek, Dougie and Kev begin to look for ways in which money can be raised for the home. Meanwhile, the elderly are treated to a visit from the animals at a local rescue center. The episode ends with Dougie angrily lambasting the council official, who promptly leaves the premises.
Episode Two Series 1 06 February 2013 TBA 3
The staff begin to plan for Derek's 50th birthday party, with Derek choosing the music playlist: Robbie Williams, JLS, Stacey Solomon and Susan Boyle. Vicky then joins the home for her community service. At first, she is very unwilling to get involved in any work, but when she discovers that painting nails is an accepted part of the job, she grows more and more fond of her duties. The episode culminates with Derek's party. The residents dance, and Derek is given a beer by Kev and starts throwing up in the toilet while being comforted by Hannah.
Episode Three Series 1 13 February 2013 TBA 4
Derek finds an injured baby bird in the garden and calls an ambulance for it. Then one of the residents, Marge, has her daughter come to visit, although it quickly becomes apparent that she is only visiting because she wants her mother's ring. Hannah then misses a date with Tom, but promises to make it up to him the following evening. However, Marge falls ill that night and the two of them make their way back to the home to look after her. While Hannah is out the room, Marge offers Tom her ring in the hope that Tom will propose to Hannah with it. She then passes on. The next day, Marge's daughter comes in angrily demanding the ring, which she gets back but not before being given a passionate bollocking by Dougie.
Episode Four Series 1 20 February 2013 TBA 5
Derek and Kev try to sell some of their autographs in order to raise money for the home, but they quickly come to realise that their collection is worth nothing. Meanwhile, a new resident's daughter, Rebecca, recognises Hannah from school and begins to boast about her comparative achievements. Derek, Dougie and Kev take the elderly residents out for a day at the beach, with Dougie attempting to play swingball with one of the gentlemen and Kev writing profanity on the back of crabs. They return home to an appreciative Hannah.
Episode Five Series 1 27 February 2013 TBA 6
Deon is brought in to work at the home for community service, and though he is initially apprehensive about having to spend time at the home, he builds a connection with Derek. Meanwhile, the staff decide to have a cabaret evening, with Kev planning to perform a Duran Duran script he wrote in 1998. During the evening Derek performs some ventriloquism and impressions, and as one of the elderly residents is not feeling well, Dougie is dragged into the Duran Duran production. Though it is an on-stage shambles, the residents adore the show. Before the end, Deon returns to perform a rap about his time at Broadhill.
Episode Six Series 1 06 March 2013 TBA 7
One of the older residents, Lizzie, passes away leaving her distraught husband to plan for her funeral. This leads to the rest of the characters contemplating how their lives have unfolded, whether they have regrets and what they believe happens after death. Meanwhile, Derek is confronted by a painful part of his past.

The series will appear on Netflix for international audiences during the summer, and the DVD is expected to be released in November. A second series was commissioned by Channel 4 on March 4th, 2013 (during the original run of the first series).

Series 2

Title Series Original Airdate Buy #
Episode One Series 2 23 April 2014 TBA 8
A year after the events of the first series, all the old Broad Hill faces are back, alongside some new ones. Derek's happy that his dad's moving in, while Tom and Hannah are taking things to another level. New volunteer Geoff has joined the clan, but Dougie and Vicky have no time for him. Dougie, fed up with his job, quits.

Note: Karl Pilkington's final episode.

Episode Two Series 2 30 April 2014 TBA 9
There are job opportunities at Broad Hill so Kev decides to clean up his act. Vicky's taste in men worries Hannah, while a visit from city boy Pete stirs things up for Derek.
Episode Three Series 2 7 May 2014 TBA 10
Hannah and Tom have happy news, and Derek's dad Anthony goes on a date with Tom's grandmother. But matters of the heart are taking a downward turn for Kev who calls on his brother Cliff for help.
Episode Four Series 2 14 May 2014 TBA 11
Derek and the Broad Hill gang go on a trip to London Zoo. It is Derek's best day ever, meeting giraffes, penguins, aardvarks, and in Vicky's case, the man of her dreams. Throughout all the fun Hannah is caught off guard and must deal with the unexpected.
Episode Five Series 2 21 May 2014 TBA 12
The Meadway animal rescue centre comes to visit, and for Derek that means playing with Ivor. Kev exercises his artistic talents, winding up Hannah in the process, while Derek deals with sad news.
Episode Six Series 2 28 May 2014 TBA 13
Derek goes on a date with a girl from a dating website. He is excited but worried about his dad's health. True to form, Geoff nearly ruins things for Derek, but Kev stands up to him.


Feedback for the series has been mixed, with some praising the show for being both poignant and funny, and others criticising it for being emotionally manipulative and generally too mawkish. While there was an undercurrent of controversy surrounding the perceived learning difficulties suffered by the character Derek, most critics concluded that this was not something that was worthy of taking offence to, especially given that Derek is shown as a kind-hearted man.

Despite the mixed reviews, Karl Pilkington's performance as Dougie received universal acclaim from critics and fans alike, some of whom called him the saving grace of the show.

During the original run of the series, members of the Pilkipedia forum submitted their own reviews for each episode. There were contributions from mars bah bah bah, Barry, Jenson's Beard, ScottHanson, Dam Helder and Doctor Frog.

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