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Funniest moments of The Office bore we all loved: From Scotch Eggs to his disastrous job appraisal and dressing up as Ali G, Ewen MacIntosh had many of the show’s most iconic scenes


Comedy fans are mourning The Office star Ewen MacIntosh after his death at 50 – while recalling how he provided many of the hit comedy show’s most iconic scenes.

MacIntosh’s deadpan accounts worker Keith Bishop was one of the most memorable characters in the series created and written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

Tributes have today been pouring in for the man dubbed a ‘beloved comedy genius’, best known for his performances in The Office while also appearing in other popular comedies such as Little Britain, Miranda and After Life.

His Office highlights included dispending words of wisdom to Martin Freeman‘s character Tim and Lucy Davis’s Dawn while munching Scotch eggs, wrecking attempts at an appraisal by Gervais’s David Brent and dressing up as Ali G.

Here, MailOnline looks back on some of the Keith scenes cherished by fans…

Tributes have been paid to The Office star Ewen MacIntosh after his death at the age of 50

Tributes have been paid to The Office star Ewen MacIntosh after his death at the age of 50

Spoof docuseries The Office, co-created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, ran for two series and two Christmas specials following a team from paper firm Wernham Hogg

Spoof docuseries The Office, co-created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, ran for two series and two Christmas specials following a team from paper firm Wernham Hogg

Job appraisal

After paying tribute on X, formerly Twitter, to Ewen MacIntosh, The Office’s co-creator Ricky Gervais then posted a photo of a prize awarded in 2002 for ‘Comedy Moment of the Year’.

He wrote: ‘This was for Keith’s appraisal scene.’

It has been described by viewers as Keith’s most ‘iconic’ moment in the show, as his nonchalant accounts department worker frustrates Gervais as manager David Brent in attempts to carry out a job appraisal.

Under strengths, Keith has merely written ‘accounts’ – prompting Brent to respond: ‘That’s your job, though. I was sort of looking for skills within the job.’

It is then revealed that under ‘weaknesses’, Keith has just written ‘eczema’ and has failed to fill out anything in the Q&A section.

When questions are then put to him, he responds each time with ‘Don’t know’.

When asked, ‘If “Don’t know” wasn’t there, what would you put?’, he responds with, ‘What are the options?’, before going with ‘Very much so’.

He then admits he can’t even remember the question, prompting an exasperated Brent to conclude: ‘We’re going to leave that there.’

Ricky Gervais's character David Brent comes close to losing his temper when frustrated by Ewen MacIntosh as Keith providing deadpan answers in an appraisal meeting

Ricky Gervais’s character David Brent comes close to losing his temper when frustrated by Ewen MacIntosh as Keith providing deadpan answers in an appraisal meeting

Keith's appraisal scene in the second episode of The Office's second series won an award for being the best TV comedy moment of 2002

Keith’s appraisal scene in the second episode of The Office’s second series won an award for being the best TV comedy moment of 2002

Ricky Gervais posted a picture of the prize on X, formerly Twitter, after paying tribute to Ewen MacIntosh as 'very funny and very lovely' as well as an 'absolute original'

Ricky Gervais posted a picture of the prize on X, formerly Twitter, after paying tribute to Ewen MacIntosh as ‘very funny and very lovely’ as well as an ‘absolute original’

Ali Keith

Ricky Gervais previously worked on Channel 4‘s satirical The 11 O’Clock Show which also introduced viewers to Sacha Baron Cohen‘s Ali G.

But it was Keith who arrived dressed as the spoof Staines rapper in episode five of The Office’s second series, as part of Comic Relief Day dressing up efforts.

Keith does not appear too enthused to be taking part in the fun – though his expressionless tone is in keeping with his character, whatever he’s wearing.

It takes urging from Gervais as his boss David Brent for Keith to reluctantly turn to the camera and flatly deliver one of Ali G’s catchphrases, ‘Booyakasha, before a more jubilant Brent declares: ‘That’s the accountant! And this is his boss encouraging it!’ 

Ali G, or 'Ali Keith', was the look for Ewen MacIntosh's character in a second series episode

Ali G, or ‘Ali Keith’, was the look for Ewen MacIntosh’s character in a second series episode

Scotch eggs

Keith’s love of Scotch eggs played a recurring part, as he tucked in while dispensing jarring words of supposed wisdom in paper firm Wernham Hogg’s break room.

In one scene he preaches ominously to receptionist Dawn Tinsley ahead of her move to the US with fiancé Lee, advising her on transatlantic vocab differences.

Keith gives her a ‘word of warning’ that Americans call bum bags ‘fanny packs’ instead, then slowly explains that ‘fanny means your a*** over there – not your m****’ before taking what seems a meaningful chomp out of his Scotch egg.

He is also tucking in when constantly wrongfooting Martin Freeman’s Tim Canterbury character with a description of what he did the previous night.

Keith tells Tim about watching ITV hospital drama Peak Practice, pointing out it was a ‘bloody repeat’ – but when told that must be ‘annoying’, he replies: ‘Not for me, I hadn’t seen it.’

MacIntosh’s character goes on to add: ‘Boring, isn’t it? Just staying in watching‘Peak Practice’ with your life. Not for me, I like it.’

Out-takes included on the show’s DVD boxset and also uploaded online reveal how long it took the pair to film the scene, with Freeman repeatedly cracking up in laughter at his colleague’s delivery.

On the decks

Before donning his Ali G outfit in the second series, Keith took on DJ duties in the final episode of the first by taking control of the decks for a work party.

He attempts to rally crowds on the dancefloor by saying, ‘It’s the end of the financial year and spirits are in the sky’ as he lines up Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit In The Sky.

Yet the dancefloor remains empty, with colleagues fretting instead about whether their Slough branch will be forced to transfer over to the firm’s Swindon office – and the threat of redundancies. 

MacIntosh himself would later appear at real-life nightclubs, corporate events and private parties where he would act as DJ – sometimes appearing in his Ali G outfit. 

Keith took control of the dancefloor decks in the first series' fifth episode

Keith took control of the dancefloor decks in the first series’ fifth episode

Love advice 

Keith might seem an unlikely office lothario but he doled out advice to Martin Freeman’s lovelorn Tim who spent much of the show pining over receptionist Dawn.

In one of their break room chats, Keith startles Tim by opening a conversation by asking out of the blue: ‘So what are you doing, just thinking about Dawn?’

He goes on to remind Tim of previously asking her out in vain twice, saying: ‘I hope you don’t embarrass yourself again with her.’

Their chat comes after learning Dawn and fiancé Lee were returning from their new home in the US for an office Christmas party, in one of two 2003 festive specials.

Keith adds: ‘Word of warning, though – if you’re not planning to try and nail Dawn for a third time while she’s back, you heard what she said.

‘She’s going back the day after the party so you’ve not got long if you want to try.’

His hand gesture makes clear what he means, before Tim sarcastically dubs him ‘an expert with the ladies’ – something to which Keith nods approvingly.

He then explains his own approach to romance and sex, saying: ‘I always make sure the woman hears the right thing.

‘I very tenderly explain to them that I will guarantee them at least one orgasm.’

This is followed, in familiar Keith fashion, by another munch on a Scotch egg. 

Ewen MacIntosh appeared in all 14 episodes of the original UK version of The Office as Keith

Ewen MacIntosh appeared in all 14 episodes of the original UK version of The Office as Keith

As well as The Office, MacIntosh also featured in Little Britain, Miranda and After Life

As well as The Office, MacIntosh also featured in Little Britain, Miranda and After Life 



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