You may remember the recent controversy surrounding comedian Ricky Gervais thanks to his liberal usage of the word 'mong'. Stemming from a stand-up bit in which he repeatedly made reference to Susan Boyle "looking like a mong", Gervais then proceeded to use the word on Twitter as an "affectionate" way to reference his followers, which predictably angered many disability rights campaigners and led to yet another overblown witch-hunt from the UK press.
Gervais eventually agreed to no longer use the word, conceding that he didn't expect such a large public outcry from using what is "just a word", and everyone moved on and found the next comedian they wished to silence.
However, Gervais now looks set to put himself in the eye of the storm once more, with his new sitcom Derek focusing on a character who, and I'm not wishing to jump to conclusions here, appears to suffer from learning difficulties.
Gervais has been the sole writer and director of Derek and will also play the role of the title character, who works in a retirement home along with co-workers Hannah, played by Kerry Godliman, and Dougie, who is played by An Idiot Abroad / The Ricky Gervais Show's Karl Pilkington in his first acting role.
Derek is described as a lover of "animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, Deal or No Deal, Million Pound Drop and Britain's Got Talent – but his main hobby is autograph hunting". Gervais has previously portrayed the character in a sketch for the 2001 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The fly-on-the-wall faux-documentary shall be Gervais' first project since the middling Life's Too Short, which saw the comedian receive negative critical feedback for what many perceived to be an old-fashioned exercise in trying to scrape humour from protagonist Warwick Davis' dwarfism.
Derek is set to air April 12th on Channel 4, with all five teaser trailers for it available below: