British funnyman Ricky Gervais' new TV comedy EXTRAS has been awarded a second series despite receiving a lukewarm response from critics.

The BBC made no hesitation over the decision to commission a second series of Gervais' follow up to internationally acclaimed TV show The Office, because viewers have been flocking to watch it despite the unenthusiastic reviews.

And Gervais is relieved to have received confirmation of a second series because he had already promised a host of actors roles in forthcoming episodes.

He says, "It's a good job - I had booked the studio and promised about 30 actors a job. Mind you, we'd done that before the first series had been commissioned, too."

BBC2 Controller ROLY KEATING says, "Extras sums up everything our comedy stands for - brilliant scripts, superb observation and sometimes very black humour."