This Is Spinal Tap star Christopher Guest is to create a new documentary-style comedy series for BBC2.

Christopher – behind hit movies such as Best In Show and A Mighty Wind – will direct and write eight-part series Family Tree, to be screened next year.

The programme will star Irish actor Chris O’Dowd, known for his roles in movie hit Bridesmaids and TV’s The IT Crowd.

Each half-hour episode is said to be ‘in the same style’ as Christopher’s mock documentary movies and follows Tom Chadwick (Chris) as he looks into his ancestry after losing his job and girlfriend and suffers an identity crisis.

Christopher, who is married to actress Jamie Lee Curtis and is a hereditary peer although US born, co-wrote and created the series with British writer and actor Jim Piddock, his collaborator on Best In Show and For Your Consideration.

Executive editor for the BBC Chris Sussman said: “We are all ludicrously excited about the opportunity to work with Christopher Guest. He has British roots, but this is his first ever project over here, and we are very pleased to have it on the BBC.”

It will also be screened by US broadcaster HBO.