Kayvan Novak

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Kayvan Novak
Kayvan Novak.jpg
Novak at a premiere in 2012
Born (1978-11-23) 23 November 1978 (age 41)
London, England
MediumTelevision, film
Years active2002–present
GenresCharacter comedy, satire, sketch comedy
Subject(s)Practical jokes
Partner(s)Talitha Stone

Kayvan Novak (Persian: کیوان نواک‎; born 23 November 1978)[citation needed] is a British actor, voice actor, and comedian.[1][2] He is best known for co-creating and starring in the comedy series Fonejacker from 2006 to 2008 with a one-off in 2012 (for which he won the BAFTA Television Award for Best Comedy (Programme or Series) in 2008).

He is also known for his role as Waj in the 2010 comedy film Four Lions and the vampire "Nandor the Relentless" in the critically acclaimed mockumentary series What We Do in the Shadows.

Early life[edit]

Novak was born in London to Iranian parents.[3] He was privately educated at Highgate School and the Fine Arts College in Hampstead, before attending the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.[4] In one of his early Facejacker episodes, he had revisited his former school of Fine Arts College, acting as Brian Badonde.


Novak initially appeared on various British shows such as Family Affairs, Holby City, and Spooks. In 2005, he and Ed Tracy created Fonejacker, a prank call show as part of Channel 4's Comedy Lab strand.[5] After the pilot, he was given a Christmas special and a six-part series, which began airing on 5 July 2007 on E4 and 7 September 2007 on Channel 4. In November 2009, he appeared on the Channel 4 show The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, playing a bomb disposal officer. In April 2010, Novak began appearing in a spin-off of Fonejacker called Facejacker, in which he adopted various disguises, including several characters heard in Fonejacker. Novak announced on BBC Radio 1 in May 2012 that the character Terry Tibbs, a mainstay of both shows, would be getting a spin-off chat show which aired in August 2012.[6] Novak played Simon in the Channel 4 sitcom pilot Bad Sugar.[2]

Novak filmed a scene for This Is England '86 which was cut from the final broadcast, but appears in the DVD extras. He was also one of the main characters in the television show Sirens, which began on 27 June 2011 on Channel 4 in the UK. Novak also featured in two episodes of Phone Shop, the first in Series 1, entitled "The First Temptation of Chris", and the second in Series 2, entitled "Revenge of the Razz". He played area manager Razz Prince. In the last series of BBC 2's Rev., he played the local Imam Yussef Hasan, a local religious rival against the title character.[7] In addition to acting, Novak has made appearances as himself on shows Soccer AM, 8 out of 10 Cats, Celebrity Big Brother's Little Brother, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Novak appeared as an intelligence officer in the Academy Award-winning film Syriana. In 2008, he appeared in micro-budget B-movie The Blue Tower.[8] He also appeared in the 2010 comedy Four Lions, in which he played the dim-witted Waj, a role for which he won the award for Best Comedy Performance in a British Film at the 2010 British Comedy Awards, beating fellow actor Nigel Lindsay for the same award in the same film.[9] Novak plans to create a film based on the Fonejacker and Facejacker characters, and in 2011 was reported to be in talks with Film4 and Hat Trick Productions.[6] In November 2012, Novak told the Metro newspaper that he hoped that such a film would be released in 2014.[10]

Novak appeared as Alok in the first series of BBC Radio 4 comedy Fags, Mags and Bags. He has provided voice work for three video games: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Perfect Dark Zero, and Kameo. He also voiced various characters in the ITV spoof sketch show Headcases, and in the 2012 Channel 4 animated series Full English. He lent his vocals to British band Beady Eye's 2013 song "Flick of the Finger".[11]

In 2013, he appeared as Effy Stonem's boss in the Skins episode "Skins Fire". He voiced a Cyberman head called Handles in the Doctor Who 2013 Christmas special "The Time of the Doctor".[12] He had a starring role in the last episode of the first series of Uncle as Mo, the boss of a fictional record label.[13] In 2014, he played Paul in the second episode ("A Quiet Night In") of Inside No. 9.[14] Also in 2014, he appeared in Episode 1, Series 3 of Rev. as the Imam, Yussef Hasan.

Since 2015, he has voiced the character of Brains in the revived ITV series Thunderbirds Are Go.[15] In 2015 he featured in the sitcom Asylum as "Rafael".[16] In May 2015 he appeared in a new comedy series called SunTrap on BBC1. In May 2017, Novak appeared in Channel 4's Britain Today, Tonight.[17][18]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Syriana Arash
2010 A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures Fluffy (voice)
Four Lions Waj
2014 Cuban Fury Bejan
Captcha Clarence Short film
The Last Sparks of Sundown Seven
Paddington Grant the Animal Supplier
2016 Prevenge Tom
2018 Early Man Dino / Jurgend (voice)
2019 The Day Shall Come Reza
2019 Men in Black: International Vungus/Nasr/Bassam


Year Title Role Notes
2002 The American Embassy Ahmed Rallah Episode: "China Cup"
Judge John Deed Ali Abdul Moncheri Episode: "Political Expediency"
Family Affairs Amir Sadati 1 episode
2003 Trial & Retribution Craig Board 2 episodes
2004 Holby City Reza Abbassi 5 episodes
Spooks Sevilin Ozal 1 episode (uncredited)
A Line in the Sand Vahid TV movie
She's Gone Arto Fazouk TV movie
2005 Murphy's Law Masud Episode: Boy's Night Out
The Government Inspector Qasim Hamdani TV movie
2006 Comedy Lab Fonejacker 1 episode (voice)
2007 Be More Ethnic Ranjit Pradesh TV movie
2007–2008 Fonejacker The Fonejacker Main cast; 13 episodes

BAFTA Television Award for Best Comedy (Programme or Series) in 2008

2008 Headcases Various roles 1 episode (voice)
2008 The Big Fat Quiz of the Year The Fonejacker
2009 Comedy Showcase Bomb Disposal Officer 1 episode
2010 The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Bomb Disposal Officer Episode: "In Which Claims Are Made and a Journey Ensues"
Channel 4's Comedy Gala Terry Tibbs
2010–2011 PhoneShop Razz Prince 2 episodes
2010–2012 Facejacker Terry Tibbs/ various characters Main cast; 7 episodes
2011 Sirens Rachid Mansaur Main cast; 6 episodes
2012 Hacks Rav TV movie
Verry Terry Terry Tibbs (Host) TV movie
Bad Sugar Simon TV movie
Full English Dusty Johnson/Jason Johnson Main cast; 2 episodes
2013 10 O'Clock Live Pat Putterson 3 episodes
Skins Jake Abbasi Series 7, episodes 1–2, "Fire"
Doctor Who Handles Episode: "The Time of the Doctor"
Homeboys Sergio TV movie
2014 Inside No. 9 Paul Episode: "A Quiet Night In"
Uncle Mo Episode: "Nephew"
Rev. Yussef Hasan 1 episode
Puppy Love Phil Evans 1 episode
Walter DS Mike Minorsky TV movie
2015–2020 Thunderbirds Are Go Brains
Ned Tedford
Main cast; 21 episodes
2015–present Danger Mouse Dr. Loo-cifer
Isambard King Kong Brunel
Recurring cast
2015 Asylum Rafael & Creator 3 episodes
SunTrap Woody 6 episodes
Top Coppers Gerard Cliché 1 episode
2016 Counterfeit Cat Betty, Throckmorton, various characters
2017 Quacks Kapoor Episode: "The Mesmerist"
2017–present Britain Today, Tonight Various characters
2019–present What We Do in the Shadows Nandor Main cast
2019 A Christmas Carol Ali Baba Miniseries
2020 Robot Chicken King Arthur, Albus Dumbledore (voice) Episode: "Max Caenen in: Why Would He Know If His Mother's A Size Queen"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Lord Victor Quartermaine
2005 Kameo Additional Voice Talent
2005 Perfect Dark Zero Additional Voice Talent
2008 Haze Additional Voice Talent


  1. ^ Pool, Hannah (23 October 2008). "Question time". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 February 2015. I'm Iranian, which means I feel that I have more right to take off other races and religions, being an "ethnic" myself ... Does being first-generation British give you a particular insight? Yes. It gives you a heightened sensitivity. I was born in London. In a lot of ways I'm English, but I have this Iranianness
  2. ^ a b Kadivar, Darius Syriana breaks Iranian stereotypes Archived 26 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Persian Mirror. Retrieved 3 August 2007.
  3. ^ "Cuban Fury: why Kayvan Novak isn't playing the 'foreign bad guy' any more". The Guardian. 13 February 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  4. ^ "kayvannovak.co.tv". kayvan-novak.co.tv. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  5. ^ Comedy Lab, Channel 4. Retrieved 3 August 2007.
  6. ^ a b International Business Times. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  7. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588221/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast
  8. ^ last accessed 1 December 2012.
  9. ^ "British Comedy Awards 2010". The BCA. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  10. ^ metrowebukmetro (8 November 2012). "'Exciting' Facejacker movie in the pipeline, reveals star Kayvan Novak". Metro. UK. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Beady Eye Interview". Shortlist.com. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  12. ^ "BBC One – Doctor Who, The Time of the Doctor". BBC. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Episode 1.6 – Nephew". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Episode 1.2 – A Quiet Night In". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  15. ^ John Plunkett (30 September 2013). "Thunderbirds are Go! blends old and new for return of classic series". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  16. ^ Newal, Sally (9 February 2015). "Asylum, BBC4 – TV review". Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Kayvan Novak to star in new entertainment series". 4 November 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Britain Today, Tonight". 2 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.

External links[edit]