Chris O'Dowd to star in Spinal Tap-style series on BBC

Chris O'Dowd and fiancee Dawn Porter O'Dowd will play Tom Chadwick in the eight-part series

Filmmaker Christopher Guest is bringing his humour to the small screen with a documentary-style comedy series for BBC Two.

Family Tree will feature Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, who starred in hit movie Bridesmaids and Channel 4's The IT Crowd.

The eight-part series is said to be in the same style as Guest's mockumentaries, such as the acclaimed This is Spinal Tap and Best in Show.

It will be broadcast in the US on HBO.

Family Tree follows the recently unemployed and single Tom Chadwick (O'Dowd) who looks into his ancestry after suffering an identity crisis.

The programme, to be screened next year, will also include appearances by Guest and the show's executive producer Jim Piddock, who worked with Guest on Best In Show and For Your Consideration.

Karen Murphy, who has also collaborated with Guest on numerous projects, will also co-produce.

Guest was born in the US and is married to the actress Jamie Lee Curtis. He became a hereditary peer in the House of Lords after the death of his father, who was British, in 1996.

Commenting on the new show, BBC executive editor, Chris Sussman said: "We are all ludicrously excited about the opportunity to work with Christopher Guest.

"He has British roots but this is his first ever project over here, and we are very pleased to have it on the BBC."

The 1984 film, This is Spinal Tap, is an American rock and roll mock documentary about about the heavy metal music band, Spinal Tap - "one of England's loudest bands".

The film satirizes the behaviour and musical pretensions of hard rock and metal bands.

Many real life rock musicians reportedly failed to see the humour in the film as fictional scenes, which include the band getting lost on the way to the stage, so closely matched their own antics.

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