Kayvan Novak Reveals Fox News's Bill O'Reilly Inspired 'Britain Today Tonight'

The controversial anchorman is pretty similar to the host of Channel 4's spoof news show.

03/05/2017 14:07 BST | Updated 04/05/2017 11:29 BST

Kayvan Novak - the man behind ‘Fonejacker’ and ‘Facejacker’ - has revealed how controversial former Fox News broadcaster Bill O’Reilly has inspired his new series ‘Britain Today Tonight’.

The prankster returns to Channel 4 on Friday (5 May) with a spoof US news show that examines UK issues, and as well as performing a range of hidden camera pranks on the public, he’ll also be playing the part of the American anchorman, Douglas ‘Digger’ Daly.

And if you’re familiar with the interview styles of the likes of Bill O’Reilly, who was recently fired from Fox News over allegations of sexual harassment, you may notice some similarities between them.

BUILD/Tom D Morgan
Kayvan Novak made an appearance on 'BUILD'

Speaking about the process of creating ‘Britain Today Tonight’, Kayvan told HuffPost UK during an interview on ‘BUILD’: “After ‘Facejacker’ and ‘Fonejacker’, I thought, ‘I’ve done characters and I’ve pranked members of the general public but I’ve done it for no particular reason’.

“And then I thought, ‘well would I be able to prank people for maybe a reason inspired by current affairs’.

“On YouTube, I started watching Fox News, especially presenters like Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity, who are quite aggressive really, but at the same time, they invited people on their show under the pretense they would be given a fair hearing.

“Then what they do is basically try and humiliate them, wind them up, get them all hot-headed, and then go, ‘we’ve heard enough from you. Cut him off, get him out of here’. So I was like, I want to do that.”

Channel 4
Kayvan plays Douglas 'Digger' Daly on 'Britain Today Tonight'

With Kayvan also playing the reporters and even some of the subjects of the reports, this is the ‘news’ as you have never seen it before - something which he claimed couldn’t have come at a better time. 

Admitting the show had actually been in development since 2014, he said: “We’ve kind of lucked out with all of the fake news. Who do you trust? We’ve got Donald Trump as president - everything has become slightly caricatured in a way. We’re ingesting information in a more simplistic way than ever before. 

Teresa Kroeger via Getty Images
Bill O'Reilly was recently fired from Fox News

During the interview, Kayvan also addressed rumours of a potential film featuring the characters of his hit Channel 4 series ‘Fonejacker’ and ‘Facejacker’. 

‘Fonejacker’ began back in 2006, and later became ‘Facejacker’ when the characters he’d created were also given faces, with the last series airing in 2012. 

Admitting it would be difficult to being them back after such a long time away from screens, Kayvan said: “It’s something I get excited about and then go, ‘that’s not a good idea’.

“You go and have meetings with film people and they ask, ‘what’s going to elevate it from TV?’ You meet with people who share the enthusiasm of the characters up to a point, but then their film brain kicks in, and you’re like, ‘this might be more trouble than it’s worth’.

“But I watch a lot of YouTube videos... These characters haven’t been around for four years - telly won’t have them - so maybe they have to make their own YouTube channel?”

Channel 4
Kayvan is best known for 'Fonejacker' and 'Facejacker'

So while fans shouldn’t expect to see a ‘Fonejacker’ revival any time soon, Kayvan did tease a potential spin-off for his character from Channel 4 sitcom, ‘Phoneshop’.

“We’re chatting about a Razz Prince from ‘PhoneShop’ spin-off actually,” he admitted. “We’ve done a few improvisations. I guess it’s about where you meet him - do you meet him before ‘PhoneShop’ or after?

“So, watch this space...” 

‘Britain Today Tonight’ starts with a double bill on Friday (5 May) at 10pm on Channel 4. 

Watch the full interview with Kayvan below...