Stephen Merchant was born in Bristol in 1974 and began his career as a stand-up comedian and radio presenter.
As co-creator, co-writer and co-director of 'The Office,' he's won numerous awards, including three BAFTAS and three British Comedy Awards.
'The Office' was the first UK sitcom ever to win a Golden Globe award, and Merchant also won an Emmy as Executive Producer of the US version of 'The Office'.
Following the success of 'The Office,' Merchant, with partner Ricky Gervais, went on to co-create, co-write, co-direct and co-star in two seasons of the hilarious industry satire 'Extras,' for BBC and HBO. Merchant won another Golden Globe for 'Extras' as well as the Best Actor award at the 2006 British Comedy Awards.
His film credits include 'Hall Pass' alongside Owen Wilson, 'Tooth Fairy' with Dwayne Johnson, 'Hot Fuzz' and 'Run Fat Boy Run' with Simon Pegg.
In 2007 Merchant, along with Gervais and Karl Pilkington, entered the Guinness Book of World Records thanks to their hugely popular podcasts, which have notched up over eight million downloads. Their conversations have subsequently been made into an animated TV series for HBO.
Merchant featured in, and was an Executive Producer of, leftfield travel series 'An Idiot Abroad', presented by Karl Pilkington. The two series broke viewing-figure records when screened on Sky 1 in the UK in 2010 and Science Channel in the US in 2011.
Merchant collaborated again with Gervais, co-writing and co-directing their first feature film, 'Cemetery Junction'.
Most recently they have finished a new sitcom for BBC/HBO called 'Life's Too Short', starring Warwick Davis.
Merchant also returned to his roots as a stand-up comedian this year. He toured his first solo show, 'Hello Ladies', to great acclaim across the UK and is finishing with shows in the US in early 2012.