First airing on 9 July 2001, Merchant’s workplace mockumentary sitcom, which was co-written by and starred Ricky Gervais, ran for two series.
On Saturday (10 July), Merchant posted a photo to Twitter of a piece of paper containing his notes written while editing the first ever episode of the BBC series.
“Found my edit notes for episode one of The Office, which I can’t believe debuted 20 years ago,” Merchant captioned the post.
The hand-scrawled notes include points such as: “Lose cutaway of Dawn after bad joke” and “longer pause – before ‘found a lamp’.”
Another says: “Other takes of ‘wassup’ (keep in)” and “Any slack on front of ‘Nobby Burton’” also features.
Fans were delighted by the insight, with one writing: “Shouldn’t this be in the British museum?”
Actor Jameela Jamil commented: “Single greatest comedy of my generation.”
Merchant recently spoke to The Independent for an oral history of The Office in celebration of its 20th anniversary, which you can read here.