Johnny Vegas is to become a presenter on TV shopping network.
He will appear live on the Ideal World channel as part of an ambitious stage comedy for the Manchester International Festival.
And Another Thing… is based around three characters who work at the station. Audiences in the theatre will get to see how they flip between their on-air and off-air personas, while TV viewers will get the unexpected surprise of seeing Vegas selling to them.
He said: ‘Pre-recording the selling section would be easier, but where’s the fun in that? It has to be live and we have to be really selling. It’s risky, anything could go wrong - but when you see the show you'll understand why it can’t be done any other way.’
Ideal World’s chief executive Mike Hancox said the link-up would be ‘complex’, adding: ‘No one has ever given live selling on TV a major part in a theatrical production. It's unheard of but we know world firsts are what the Manchester International Festival is all about.
‘Johnny called me directly to let me know how Ideal World‘s involvement in this would be ground-breaking for the arts and for shopping telly generally. I couldn't really say no… It's taken weeks of planning and perhaps a bit of nail-biting terror but we're absolutely thrilled to be a part of it.’
In 2007, Vegas staged another unique show at the Manchester festival in collaboration with Stewart Lee – a site-specific piece called Interiors in which the audience were shown around a house as if potential buyers.
Alex Poots, director of the Manchester International Festival said: ‘We trusted Johnny to create something dramatic, unexpected and unique. He hasn't disappointed.’
And Another Thing… opens at the festival’s Pavilion Theatre on Albert Square on July 11.