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How to watch Zelensky in comedy 'Servant of the People'

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky has picked up many admirers around the world as he stands up to Russia's invasion, but he played the 'role' before.

Update:
Servant of the People
ARIS MESSINISAFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin continues his merciless invasion on neighbouring Ukraine, met with condemnation and severe sanctions from the West and other nations opposed to his regime’s actions. On the other side of this for-the-time-being localised war, stands President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a leader that has gained much admiration for his bravery in the David and Goliath battle.

But were you aware that Zelenskyy (if you’ve seen different spelling of his name read below for more info) was a famous comedian in Ukraine before entering politics? I’m guessing that you arrived at this article because you do.

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Servant of the People: Zelenskyy plays president

The man currently fighting every minute for the survival of his people and Ukrainian sovereignty - not to mention trying to avoid his own assassination under Putin’s orders - acted in a satirical show called ‘Servant of the People’. In this mock-umentary, Zelenskyy plays a character called Vasiliy Petrovich Goloborodko, a high school teacher who unexpectedly becomes president of Ukraine when a student’s video goes viral. In that video the teacher was captured denouncing corruption in the country, something that, unsurprisingly, was a popular stance. The series ran for three seasons and a movie followed.

Who could have thought at the time of filming that it would become his reality, now one of brutal consequences?

How can I watch Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People?

If you would like to see Zelenskyy in a much more light-hearted setting as president, this is currently going to be determined by where you are in the world, and it’s not great news for those in the United States.

The rights to the seasons and movie are owned by Eccho Rights and was showing on Netflix in the US before jumped into the race to be president. At the time of writing, no other network has secured it, although as you can see within this article, YouTube can give you a flavour.

In the United Kingdom, savvy-as-ever Channel 4 have snapped up the rights and will begin their screening on Sunday 6 March with a special called Zelenskyy: The Man Who Took on Putin. It is also confirmed to be shown on MBC in the Middle East, PRO TV in Romania and in Greece on ANT 1.

Zelensky, Zelenskyy or Zelenskiy?

If you've been scanning various news sources over recent weeks (always good to get a selection of perspectives, eh Putin?), you may be wondering whose got the surname spelling right. The spelling of the name of Ukraine's president is likely to be different on every website you read. The BBC and AFP has his name down as 'Zelensky', the Guardian and Reuters have it as 'Zelenskiy', while Sky and Al Jazeera are calling him Zelenskyy. (Here on AS USA we go with Zelenskyy). In Ukrainian it's written: Зеленський.

It's not often that a leader of a nation can have so many different versions of their name. Which is the correct spelling? President Volodymyr actually told the press way back in May 2019 how his name was spelt, but the confusion gives an insight into the complexity the Ukrainian language, a problem exacerbated by political tensions that have manifested into the war in the country.

We've dedicated a whole article to explaining the correct spelling of the Ukrainian president's name.