Taylor Lautner in Cuckoo

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The BBC have announced that Hollywood star Taylor Lautner (pictured) will replace Andy Samberg in BBC Three’s sitcom Cuckoo.

Lautner, who is perhaps best known for playing Jacob Black in the Twilight films, will become the lead actor in Cuckoo as Andy Samberg is now too busy with other commitments – including US comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine – to film a second series of the British sitcom.

Cuckoo focuses on the Thomas family. The first series, which was first shown in September 2012, saw Ken (Greg Davies) and Lorna (Helen Baxendale) collect their daughter Rachel (Tamla Kari) from the airport, only to find she is now accompanied by Cuckoo – a squared-jawed, self-appointed ‘spiritual ninja’… who they soon learn is now their son-in-law too.

The producers explain the transition between lead actors will be managed as follows: “Shortly after renewing their wedding vows, Cuckoo flew the coop to continue researching his book. While on walkabout in the foothills of the Himalayas, he went missing… eventually presumed dead.

“It’s now two years since his disappearance and life in the Thompson family house is only just getting back to normal. Ken and Lorna are looking forward to a future without the kids under their feet. Dylan (Tyger Drew-Honey) is about to go to university and Rachel is rebuilding her life with her new boyfriend, a nice-but-dull lawyer, Ben. Despite appearances, Cuckoo’s absence is still felt – not least by his young widow, Rachel. Everyone worries she’s lost her mojo since the tragic events in Asia.

This fragile equilibrium is well and truly shattered when a handsome and mysterious young stranger (Taylor Lautner) appears in Lichfield, looking for the man who found fame and philosophy in the simplest of hot snacks: the jack-et po-ta-to.”

The BBC is clearly excited to welcome a new American star to the format, saying: “Thanks to his role in the blockbuster Twilight franchise, playing Jacob Black, Lautner is one of the most widely recognised film actors of his generation. He was also the youngest host of Saturday Night Live, and received rave reviews for his performance opposite Don Johnson in Boogie Nights at the third ‘Live Read, directed by Jason Reitman’ event at LACMA.”

BBC Three controller Zai Bennett says “Cuckoo was one of BBC Three’s most stand out comedies, so I’m delighted to welcome it back with the addition of superstar Taylor Lautner joining the critically acclaimed Greg Davies and an outstanding British comedy cast for what will be one of the comedy treats of the year.”

Executive producer Ash Atalla from production company Rough Cut Television adds: “Cuckoo is one of my favourite shows I’ve ever been involved in. We can’t wait to come back bigger and better.”

Production on Series 2 is set to begin shortly, with the episodes expected to be shown later in the year.

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