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Tim Canterbury

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Title: Tim Canterbury  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Martin Freeman, Dawn Tinsley, Jim Halpert, Gareth Keenan, The Office characters
Collection: Fictional Characters Introduced in 2001, Fictional English People, Fictional Salespeople, The Office Characters
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Tim Canterbury

Tim Canterbury
First appearance Pilot
Last appearance Christmas Special Part 2
Created by Ricky Gervais
Stephen Merchant
Portrayed by Martin Freeman
Gender Male
Occupation Sales representative
Spouse(s) Dawn Tinsley

Tim Canterbury is a main character in the BBC sitcom The Office, portrayed by Martin Freeman. He is a 30-year-old sales representative for paper merchants Wernham Hogg. He has quite a self-deprecating and ironic sense of humour.[1]

Tim flirts with, and feels great attraction to, receptionist Dawn Tinsley.[2] His office nemesis is Gareth Keenan, with whom he regularly exchanges insults and on whom he frequently plays practical jokes. His relationship with his boss David Brent is mixed; at times Tim seems to get along well with David, and often good-naturedly humours Brent's attempts at comedy and social interaction. However, like the other employees, he is often exasperated and annoyed by Brent's more extreme personality flaws.

In many ways, he is Brent's complete opposite. While Brent tends to annoy people with his incessant displays of vanity and childlike need to be loved, Tim is liked by almost everyone due largely to his humility, his sense of humour and his overall good-natured attitude. However, he lives an unsatisfying life – at 30, he still lives with his parents and works a job for which he has no passion or even interest. Having dropped out of university after a year, he hopes to return there and get a Psychology degree, but his hidden insecurity prevents him from doing so. His regular pranks on Gareth are one of his ways of maintaining his sanity.

Tim's equivalent in the American version of The Office is Jim Halpert. His French equivalents are Paul Delorme (played by Jeremie Elkaim) and Louis Tremblay.

Relationship with Dawn Tinsley

Aside from being her colleague and close friend, Tim harbours strong feelings for Dawn. Their relationship is seen to be very flirtatious at times. However, Dawn's engagement to Lee prevents them from becoming more than friends for quite some time. Their friendship seems to suffer after the episode Training Day, in which Dawn and Lee are having problems.[3] Tim consoles her throughout the episode, but mistakenly comes to the conclusion that Lee and Dawn have split. He then asks Dawn out on a date in front of everyone, where she tells him that she and Lee are still together. Embarrassed, Tim insists he was just asking her out as a friend.

During the second series Dawn and Tim remain friends, but don't seem to be as close anymore. Tim starts to take his job more seriously after being promoted and becomes somewhat distant toward Dawn at first. Tim also begins to date Rachel, one of the former Swindon employees, and Dawn grows jealous (along with Gareth, who claims he had feelings for Rachel before Tim). In the fifth episode of the second season, Dawn is selling kisses for Red Nose Day. After Tim makes a contribution, they share a kiss. Tim is then driven to choose between Rachel and Dawn, unaware of Dawn and Lee's plans to move to the United States. In the next episode he makes his decision, breaking up with Rachel. Tim soon discovers that Dawn is leaving for Florida with Lee. Initially Tim seems reluctant to say anything, but changes his mind during an interview with the camera crew and runs to tell Dawn how he feels. Their conversation is kept private as Tim takes off his mic, but he emerges unsuccessful and admits Dawn said no. The second series ends with both Dawn and Tim depressed.[4]

Nearly two years pass, with Tim remaining complacent in his job at Wernham-Hogg and Dawn existing unhappily with Lee in Florida. Dawn and Lee are flown back for the reunion, and she resumes her friendship with Tim briefly. When Dawn receives a Christmas present from Tim encouraging her to hold on to her dream of becoming an illustrator, she returns to the Christmas party without Lee, where she and Tim kiss and finally become a couple.[4]


  1. ^ "The Office > Characters > Tim Canterbury".  
  2. ^ "The Office > Characters > Dawn Tinsley".  
  3. ^ "Ricky Gervais...Obviously > Episode Guide > Episode 4". Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Ricky Gervais...Obviously > Episode Guide > Episode 14". Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
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