The BBC will air a spoof talk-show fronted by an animated Vladimir Putin. The U.K. pubcaster has ordered two pilot episodes of “Tonight With Vladimir Putin,” a semi-scripted talk show hosted by a CGI representation of the Russian leader.
The first guest will be Alistair Campbell, a former high-ranking political spin doctor in the U.K. Other interviewees are plucked from the world of British TV and popular culture. Visual effects specialist Framestore has used performance capture technology to enable the 3D animated Putin character to walk around the set and interact with guests.
The producers said that the animated Putin will be seen trying to get to grips with feminism and diversity. “Everybody’s favorite bear-wrestling global strongman, Vladimir Putin, has finally achieved his ultimate goal: a chat-show on the BBC,” the BBC said as it announced the show.
U.K.-Russia relations are strained, notably in the wake of the poisoning of a former Russian military officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter last year. British officials have named two Russian nationals as suspects in the case, which is now the subject of a BBC drama. The Russian state-owned news channel RT, formerly Russia Today, was found to have breached U.K. broadcasting rules in the wake of the attack.
Phil McIntyre Television and Framestore are producing “Tonight With Vladimir Putin” for BBC Two. Putin is written and performed by Natt Tapley. Rachel Ashdown commissioned the show for the BBC.