IT IS fair to say the vast majority of people have delved into a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime to help keep themselves occupied in front of the TV during lockdown.

But for Saints star Jack Stephens, a 2001 British comedy classic is a show he has seen “about 50 times”.

A big fan of Ricky Gervais, the Torpoint-born defender admits he still puts on an episode of famous mockumentary ‘The Office’ as a change of direction from the intensity of top-flight football.

“It’s important to try and find that laughter, watch things that make you happy and find the enjoyment really,” said the 26-year-old.

“Whether it’s The Office, Only Fools & Horses – anything like that I tend to switch on when there is nothing else on.

“I like Ricky Gervais. I think The Office is the best, I can still watch that now, even though I’ve probably seen it about 50 times.

“I still go back and watch an episode here and there.

“To be fair, his latest stuff, the After Life stuff goes both sides – it’s obviously really funny but quite real as well.

“I watched him live in his last stand-up he did. I actually watched him in Portsmouth, so I had to keep my head down a little bit! He was brilliant.

“He’s moved on a little bit from The Office days, but I do like watching them.”

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While the show written and directed by Gervais and Stephen Merchant keeps him laughing away from football – it has been all smiles on the pitch for Stephens since his return to Saints’ starting XI.

The centre-half was recalled to the heart of the back four for the club’s past three games, after Danish star Jannik Vestergaard picked up a knee injury.

Stephens has helped Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men keep clean sheets against Fulham, West Ham and most recently Liverpool – where the man nicknamed ‘the Cornish Maldini’ put in a sublime display to keep out Jurgen Klopp’s dangerous strike force.

“From a personal point of view, to come back into the team and keep the clean sheets we have and be part of that has been really good,” he added.

“The results have been brilliant for us. Last week was a great result, it just gives us a platform to move on now.

“We’ve worked very hard as a team and as a unit to limit the amount of chances the opposition get and I think the past few games we have been really good at it.

“Now we need to keep this going and try to remain consistent.”

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Vestergaard replaced Stephens after the first two games of the Premier League campaign, following Saints’ defeats against Crystal Palace and Tottenham.

The Cornishman came off the bench at Aston Villa and played 90 minutes at left-back during a 2-0 win over Newcastle at St Mary’s in November – but then had to wait another six games before being recalled on Boxing Day.

He added: “It’s not been a nice wait. I don’t like not playing.

“We have been in great form. Credit to all the lads that have played up until this point, we have put ourselves in a really good position.

“I knew I would get my chance again but I just had to be patient and make sure I was ready for when I was called upon.

“Whether the team is winning or losing, it’s still frustrating when you are not playing.

“Obviously it’s much better when we are winning but for me it was just a case of being ready, just keeping my head, making sure I worked hard and then when I get my chance, it’s important I take it.

“It’s no good me sitting around, moaning and complaining that I’m not playing and then, when I get my chance, I’m not ready.

“I knew it would come and, thankfully, it did at Fulham on Boxing Day.

“There’s competition all the time in football. Jannik and Jan started to build a good relationship and unfortunately for Jannik, he’s picked up a little injury.

“It was my opportunity to step in and build a partnership with Jan. We’ve got off a good start – now it’s up to me to keep my place.”

While playing the guitar and listening to The Killers is also something Stephens does away from the game, his love of all sports helps make him the competitor he is.

While St Mary’s is his regular stomping ground, the former England under-21 international was a keen watcher of the PDC World Championship darts at the Alexandra Palace over Christmas.

Throughout the first lockdown, he took to the oche himself over FaceTime against Saints keeper Alex McCarthy.

“I watch pretty much every sport on TV – if I’m allowed to,” said Stephens, who is also a follower of the England cricket team.

“Watching the darts is always good fun, there’s always plenty of excitement.

“When you watched the final when Gerwyn Price couldn’t hit a double for anything towards the end – I think in his interview after he said the nerves got the better of him.

“It does show the very best in the world, nerves do get to them.

“It’s always good to watch other sports, not so much to learn about other sports but taking your mind off football a little bit, having a change of direction and not just watching 15 games of football every day.”

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And with three shutouts under his belt, Stephens will hope to keep his place when the St Mary’s side head to Leicester on Saturday (8pm).