British Comedy Guide

BBC Three confirms Celebrity Voicemail pilot

Wednesday 26th July 2017, 8:41pm

The Celebrity Voicemail Show. Kayvan Novak. Copyright: BBC.

Kayvan Novak has adapted his critically acclaimed Radio 4 comedy, The Celebrity Voicemail Show, to become a BBC Three TV show.

The BBC explains the format as follows: "Celebrity Voicemail imagines what it would be like to listen to the voicemails left on a celebrity's answerphone. Over the course of each episode the viewer sees a number of characters leaving messages for that episode's celebrity and a narrative is constructed. Often what's happening in the background is as important as the message itself."

In the pilot episode filmed for BBC Three, the Fonejacker star imagines the answerphone messages that might have been left for Star Wars director George Lucas midway through his hectic, and often shambolic, first phase of shooting on Star Wars in the Tunisian desert.

The producers say: "From Alec Guinness' agent quibbling over a percentage of the unfinished film's gross profits, to an inept special effects technician struggling to find a sound suitable for 'the electric swords'. This episode provides a hilarious and informative alternate viewpoint on an audacious project that flirted with complete disaster, yet managed to achieve success beyond its young director's wildest dreams."

Kayvan Novak says: "Being able to take my radio show and turn it into television is what makes the BBC such a unique and special place in the world of comedy."

Celebrity Voicemail will be one of the shows that makes up BBC Three's Comedy Slices pilot list, the new name for BBC Comedy Feeds. The BBC has announced a total of 12 pilots across various channels. Full list

The Comedy Slices are expected to be published online in October.

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