TV funnyman Harry Enfield has admitted that he feared for his small screen career after the success of Ricky Gervais’ show The Office.

The comic – who returns to TV this week with sketch show Harry and Paul, said that Gervais’ documentary spoof had made him feel “past it” and sounded the death knell for sketch shows.

However he added that he was encouraged to continue following the success of Matt Lucas and David Walliams in Little Britain.

“I love Little Britain,” he said, “I wouldn’t have started doing all this again if it wasn’t for that.”

“I thought we were past it because everything was so cool, with Ricky coming up with his amazing, just so well observed comedy. I think what we did was well observed too but he got the ultimate thing to observe, an office, that I just thought it was much cleverer.”

“It didn’t have any jokes, it was just painfully truthful and embarrassing and really really funny so I just thought, ‘that’s it, I’m over’. Then Little Britain came along and that was fantastically uncool and everybody loved it, so we got back into it.”

Enfield first found fame in the 1980s on the sketch show Saturday Live, and then spent many years making shows for the BBC before an unsuccessful move to Sky in 2000.

He returned to the BBC in 2007 to make Harry and Paul with long-time collaborator Paul Whitehouse. The third series of the show begins on September 28.