Gavin & Stacey star Russell Tovey to debut in BBC Three comedy Starstruck

British actor Russell Tovey will star alongside Minnie Driver in one of BBC Threes “most successful” shows for its second series.

Essex-born Tovey, 40, known for playing Budgie in BBC comedy-drama Gavin & Stacey, will play an “annoying” director in comedy Starstruck – written by Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning writer Rose Matafeo.

New Zealand comic and actor Matafeo, 29, told The One Show that she “can’t believe” the amazing actors that star in the series, including returning actress Minnie Driver.

Introducing her on the BBC chat show, co-host Ronan Keating said she is “responsible for one of BBC Three’s most successful shows.”

Matafeo said: “Russell Tovey was an incredible get.

“He plays a director in the second series, a director Russell possibly had a bit of fun playing because he is sort of an amalgamation of every annoying director actors have potentially had to work with.

“I think it was perhaps a cathartic experience for him, I’m not sure.

“He is so funny in it and it is really scary to see proper actors come in and act because I am truly not a proper actor, I come from doing comedy and I’m like ‘you know your lines, this is amazing’ – they teach me a lot.”

Russell Tovey
Russell Tovey plays a director in the upcoming series of Starstruck (Matt Crossick/PA)

Matafeo created and stars in the six-part series on BBC Three which follows the life of Jessie, an east London millennial navigating the problems of becoming romantically involved with a film star.

BBC Three was revived as a linear service on Tuesday night nearly six years after it moved online.

Matafeo, who lives in London, was the first person of colour to win the award for best comedy show for a solo performance at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe with her stand-up routine Horndog.

The second series of Starstruck airs on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer on February 7 at 10pm.