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Novak in Assange-inspired comedy


Kayvan Novak is to star in BBC4 comedy Asylum

Kayvan Novak is to star in BBC4 comedy Asylum

Kayvan Novak is to star in BBC4 comedy Asylum

Fonejacker star Kayvan Novak is starring in a new comedy inspired by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's stay in the Ecuadorian embassy.

The BBC4 show, called Asylum, is described as "a satirical comedy about a government whistle-blower and a millionaire internet entrepreneur trapped together in a London embassy".

It was dreamt up by Novak and his Fonejacker producer Tom Thostrup and is written by newcomers Peter Bowden and Thom Phipps.

Assange has been in the South American country's central London embassy for more than two years after taking refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces sex-related allegations.

He has said he believes he will be extradited to the United States if he travels to Sweden.

The comedy is one of a string of shows created to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta which was one of the first attempts to limit the powers of the monarchy and develop a functioning legal system and parliamentary democracy.

The Taking Liberties season includes a day of debate on the 750th anniversary of England's first parliament, a fly-on-the-wall documentary by Michael Cockerell filmed inside the House of Commons, and a series on the struggle to win votes for women, presented by Amanda Vickery.

David Starkey and Melvyn Bragg will present documentaries tracing the document's history and Ben Miller stars as King John in a Horrible Histories special.

BBC director-general Tony Hall said: "I am delighted to announce this new season marking the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. The BBC should be the place where the great events in our nation's history are commemorated.

"Michael Cockerell, David Starkey, Melvyn Bragg, Amanda Vickery, Nick Robinson and Helena Kennedy QC amongst others will be presenting a season of programmes examining what Magna Carta's key themes of freedom, power and justice mean to Britain and the world today."