‘Deep Fake Neighbour Wars’ Brings AI Synthetic Media to British TV Comedy
A new UK television show will employ deepfake synthetic media technology to mimic and mock celebrities. Deep Fake Neighbour Wars will be the first long-form TV show using AI to recreate famous people’s faces atop those of celebrity impersonators engaging in silly arguments.
The central concept of Deep Fake Neighbour Wars is imagining what it would be like if celebrities were just regular people who argue with their neighbors while still embodying how the public perceives them. Famous individuals like Nicki Minaj, Tom Holland, Mark Zuckerberg, Billie Eilish, and Beyonce must all contend with modern inconveniences, and AI makes the 35 performers look much more like their authentic counterparts. The show was created by comedian Spencer Jones, himself known for his impressions of an Elizabethan Ricky Gervais on Upstart Crow. The show’s title is also a joke. It references Neighbours At War, a New Zealand about people who look like celebrities engaging in shenanigans. Deep Fake Neighbour Wars premieres on the ITVX streaming service in January.
“I hope the famous people in the show have a laugh at our versions of them,” Jones said. “We just wanted to make a silly show reimagining them as everyday people. But now I have seen the quality of the deep fake results, I am worried about the future of humanity. Sorry everybody!”
The comedic element stands out compared to other art designed to explore what deepfakes can do. The most recent season of the BBC-produced TV thriller The Capture revolved almost exclusively around how deep fakes can be misused to steal people’s identities.