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Gervais gets dolphin role in Family Guy

The American cartoon show Family Guy has recruited Ricky Gervais to provide the voice for a new character – a talking dolphin named Billy Finn – in a forthcoming series.

The Office star has joined the cast for a storyline involving the marine mammal moving into the comedy's fictional town of Quahog in Rhode Island, after a chance meeting on a fishing trip.

The surreal show written by Seth MacFarlane follows the Griffin family, who include Brian the talking dog and a psychopathic baby called Stewie.

Gervais said: "Family Guy is my favourite show at the moment. I watch two a night and I'm slightly obsessed. When Seth MacFarlane phoned me out of the blue and said he was a huge fan I was delighted. It was such a joy working with the team and I really like the way my character looks too."