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Ted Lasso star Kola Bokkini's bird song impression is so impressive that it made its way into the show

Sometimes hidden talents come out of hiding.

Isaac McAdoo on a throne in Ted Lasso
Image credit: AppleTV+

If there is one thing you should always be wary of, it's what you do on the set of a film or TV show. Not just because there are cameras everywhere and you never know what is going to get caught on film but also because directors are always on the lookout for stuff to slip into the script. Kola Bokinni, who played Isaac McAdoo in Apple TV+ hit show Ted Lasso, found that out when his gift for birdsong became a plot point in the show.

It all came out during the Ted Lasso cast panel at MCM London in May 2024. A member of the audience asked the cast if they had any hidden talents and Toheeb Jimoh (Sam Obisanya) was quick to force Bokinni to recreate the sound. Admittedly, it is a very good birdsong impression, but fans of the show already knew that. During season 3, Isaac woke up teammate Zava with a gentle whistle, but that wasn’t what was originally in the script.

Billy Harris, who plays Colin on the show, explained the rest of the story. “Jason added that scene in the locker room because you were joking around with that. And it was supposed to be Phil with the loud whistle that wakes Zava up. You were out between takes just messing around and Jason was like, ‘Actually, try that. That wakes up Zava.’”

Toheeb, however, had a different version of the story. “I remember telling Jason between takes that Kola knows how to do a bird whistle. And he did it and Jason was like, ‘Put it in the show. Put it in the show!’”

Which version is true? We may never know, but we’re just thankful that such a random hidden talent managed to work its way into Ted Lasso for everyone to see. And if Kola ever needs work at least he can add Professional Birdwhistler to his resume.

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Trent Cannon

Trent Cannon: Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)


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