Ricky Gervais backs Steve Carrell's decision to leave 'The Office'.
The British funnyman - who created the UK version of the show, in which he played lead character David Brent - thinks the US actor has chosen the right time to quit the American programme at the end of the next season, even though he will suffer financially as a result of his friend's decision.
He said: "It was expected of me, as executive producer, to persuade him to stay on. With syndication in full swing the more successful the show remains, the more billions we all make. It was tempting, but the truth is, I believe he is doing the right thing. He's fulfilled his contract and more, and is a huge film star now. I knocked it on the head after 12 episodes and a Christmas special.
"I'd be lying if I said he should do more. He shouldn't. He should move on, continue to do great work, and buy a new house every time 'The Office' is repeated somewhere. (That's what I do. Maybe I'll buy one next door to him one day. That'll teach him.)"
Ricky also paid tribute to the 'Get Smart' star, describing him as the nicest, most hardworking man in America.
He added on his official blog: "It was of course inevitable (and sad), but I wish him all the luck in the world.
"He is quite possibly the nicest, hardest-working man in America and it has been a joy working with him over the last six years. (And taking the p**s out of him at every award show.)
"Good luck Steve."
Earlier this week, 47-year-old funnyman Carrell - who has played Michael Scott in the US version of the hit British sitcom since 2005 - confirmed he would leave the show following the 2010-2011 series.