Australian comic superstar Magda Szubanski may have had the "best time" on the Kiwi set of hit comedy series Educators this year, but when the new series goes to air next week, you won't spot her in the episodes, all thanks to the global pandemic.
The Kath and Kim star flew over for a weekend just before the border lockdowns and filmed a series of hilarious scenes for the show.
But the episodes could not be completed, because she and Aussie compatriot Rick Donald, who plays the school's PE teacher, had to rush back to Australia before the borders closed, leaving their work sitting idle in the edit suite.
Szubanski agreed to guest star after meeting show co-creator and star Jackie van Beek at least year's Big Screen symposium.
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The award-winning TVNZ OnDemand show's producers hoped to get the duo back when the transtasman bubble opened, but as that's not on the horizon, it was assumed the footage might not see the light of day.
This week, Educators' producer Rachel Jean rang Szubanski, who suggested releasing some of her footage on our social media as promo teasers for the show.
Jean says the team thinks Szubanski is a comedy goddess and is pleased her work, which was gold, will still get an audience.
"I don't think I have seen as much laughing on set as when Magda was with us," says Jean.
"When she heard her scenes might not see the light of day, she suggested we use some of it as teasers, just because she loved the character and the experience so much. If someone like Magda insists she wants her footage used to promote the show, I guess you don't really argue."
Hilariously, the Magda footage also involves one of the Herald's own, former entertainment editor Chris Reed, who also made a cameo appearance in some of her scenes, where the pair bonded over their mutual original hometown of Liverpool in England.