The original series still holds a special place in our hearts! (Picture: BBC Archives)
While it has been nearly two decades since it ended in the UK, the new version is set to air in the Middle East later this year, following a deal between BBC Studios and local producer-broadcaster MBC.
The 20-part series will be renamed Al Maktab, and, unlike the iconic original series, which features Ricky as David Brent working in a paper company in Slough, Al Maktab will be set in a courier services company.
Saleh Abuamrh will be taking hold of the reigns as ‘the self absorbed yet lovable boss’, Malik Al-Tumaifi, according to Deadline.
‘Although office working may look slightly different for many of us in 2022, the familiarity of these well-observed characters as they navigate petty rivalries, moments of friendship and humor, and a boss that sometimes makes a fool of themselves still rings just as true,’ said André Renaud, SVP format sales for BBC Studios.
‘I’m sure audiences in the Middle East and the Gulf will take Malik and his team to their hearts as much as audiences did with David Brent in the UK over twenty years ago.’
Ricky Gervais played self-absorbed boss David Brent (Picture: PUBLICITY PICTURE / BBC Archives)
The news comes just three months after The Office reportedly going Down Under with an Australian edition.
With the US remake starring Steve Carell as impetuous boss Michael Scott, the Aussie version is going for a different approach, as the Herald Sun reported that the lead will go to a woman.
In the original BBC mockumentary series, starring five-time Golden Globe host Ricky as the lead, which was co-created by actor Stephen, followed the day-to-day life of the Wernham Hogg Paper Company’s Slough Office.
Martin Freeman played Tim with Mackenzie Crook as Gareth (Picture: BBC Archives)
Martin Freeman, (Tim), Mackenzie Crook (Gareth), and Lucy Davis (Dawn) also made up the main cast in the sitcom, which ran for just two series and a two-part special, before ending for good in 2003.
Meanwhile, across the pond, the American adaptation starred John Krasinski, Mindy Kaling, Ed Helms, and Rainn Wilson and still remains one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, running nine seasons from 2005 to 2013.
Steve said goodbye to his colleagues at Dunder Mifflin after seven seasons in 2011, and despite being asked several times, the 56-year-old actor has admitted that he wouldn’t want to be a part of the show if they made a reboot.
Steve Carell played the overly enthusiastic boss Michael Scott (Picture: NBC)
The theme tune still remains in our head rent-free (Picture: Getty)
‘The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air,’ he told Collider.
‘I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be.
‘Ultimately, I think it’s maybe best to leave well enough alone and just let it exist as what it was.’
Elsewhere, The Office has also been adapted into Canadian, Chilean, French, Indian and Polish editions, with this Arabic version marking the 12th.
The Office is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and The Office US is available to stream on Netflix.
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