7 – The Call Centre rings true

The Call Centre

The Call Centre was a documentary shown on BBC earlier this year and is set in the third largest call centre in Britain ran by head boss Nev. Nev as a person in the show comes across as very enthusiastic and has a warm personality but in the first episode he, perhaps inappropriately, gets involved in an employee’s relationships and sets up a date night just to find her a partner. In this sense Nev feels like he could have been a sitcom character. He sets himself up as a brilliant and creative boss but sometimes cringe worthingly trys to be funny with his employees. Often when someone has gone into his office when they are finished he would shout “Get Out” as loud as possible and the employee will awkwardly leave the room while Nev sits there giggling to himself.

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As a consequence in some reviews of the show critics compared Nev to Ricky Gervais’ comedy character David Brent from his sitcom The Office. I would definetly agree with this however it’s almost funnier watching The Call Centre as it is real. The two shows themselves are very alike in the way that they combine footage from the main floor of the business set against interviews with the people working in the building. This is probably due to the fact that the reason The Office is so famous is because it is shot like a real documentary and is completely hilarious. In the same way you could watch The Call Centre and think its a sitcom, you could watch The Office and believe it is real.

The following 2 clips are from both shows and it is fairly easy to see why people have compared them to each other.

Throughout each episode of The Call Centre Nev and a tea lady called Hailey (seen below) who is presented as being a little thick are the most prominent people which suggests the producers of the series were focussing on comedy rather an accurate representation of working in a Call Centre. In this way it probably isn’t a great example of social realism.

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