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Sir Patrick Stewart (Pic: BBC News)
Sir Patrick Stewart (Pic: BBC News)
Sir Patrick Stewart (Pic: BBC News)

Sir Patrick Stewart is about to embark on his longest prolonged period on TV since his final journeys as Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the early ’90s. The veteran British actor has signed up to play the lead role in Blunt Talk, a new series for Starz that will air next year.

The series, executive produced by Patrick’s old Family Guy/American Dad buddy Seth Macfarlane and written by Bored To Death creator Jonathan Ames, is the story of Walter Blunt, a British news presenter who travels to America to work in cable news, so that he can educate everyone on living a better life (as he sees it). Naturally there are complications, not least from his own poor relationships with former wives and children, and his troublesome news staff.

Starz’ chief executive officer Chris Albrecht encapsulated his appeal, telling BBC News: “In the character of Walter Blunt, Seth, Jonathan and Patrick have found the alchemy that makes a borderline alcoholic, mad-genius-Brit the man you want fighting in America’s corner.

For his part, Sir Patrick is just delighted to be working with Seth again: “My career took an abrupt and radical left turn when Seth MacFarlane created CIA deputy director Avery Bullock on American Dad. This new character, Walter Blunt, is not at all like Avery, thank God, because this is live action and I am a Knight of the Realm.

“Blunt is, however, much smarter than Avery and has his own TV show, which has to be better than being deputy director of the CIA.”

Not that this signals a new era of grown-up responsibility for Seth, if his phone calls to Jonathan Ames are anything to go by.

Jonathan explains: “The only problem is that sometimes on conference calls Seth will uncannily recreate Patrick’s voice, and I’m not sure who’s talking, but other than that it’s been smooth sailing.”

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By Fraser McAlpine