After the award-winning global success of The Office, the world waited with bated breath for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's next move. This was it.
The series follows the regular humiliations of professional film extra Andy Millman (Gervais) and his eccentric friend Maggie (Ashley Jensen), as they try - and fail - to gain significant lines or parts in films and TV series. Just trying to make it out there in the big, wide world of entertainment is no easy feat, and Andy and Maggie frequently find out when they get a chance they have to take it. But it doesn't always end up that way.
A host of famous actors send themselves up in cameo roles. In 'Ben Stiller', the Hollywood comedian is directing a film about the Bosnia conflict, and Andy tries to win a role by making friends with the refugee who wrote the script. In 'Ross Kemp', the TV hardman tries to convince Andy that his image is real, before being humiliated by the much harder Vinnie Jones. In 'Kate Winslet', the actress hopes her role in a Nazi war drama will win her an Oscar, and Andy tries a little too hard to get close to her.
In 'Les Dennis', Andy gets a break playing in a panto alongside the washed-up TV star. In 'Samuel L. Jackson', Maggie gets into difficulties trying to prove she isn't racist, while Andy manages to get a line on a film the Hollywood superstar is making. Finally, in 'Patrick Stewart', Andy manages to enlist the Shakespearean actor's help in getting a script he's written to the BBC, but makes a fool of himself when he realises the script editor he's meeting with is gay.