Leonard Nimoy guests on The Big Bang Theory

After years of references to Spock on the show, the comedy series finally welcomes the Star Trek star

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Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy will make a long-awaited guest appearance in an episode of The Big Bang Theory that airs this week in America. He won’t actually be seen in the programme – he’s doing a voice-only spot – but photographs of him filming have now been released.

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“We’ve been chasing Leonard for years,” said co-creator Chuck Lorre. “And he finally gave up. We caught him.”

Executive producer Steve Molaro said: “For years, we thought it would be fantastic to have Leonard Nimoy appear on the show and we think we’ve found a really different and fun way to make that happen. As thrilled as we are that he’s doing it, we’re even more thrilled just to get our pictures taken with him.”

The 81-year-old came out of retirement to appear on the episode and said after filming: “I thoroughly enjoyed myself. [It’s] a talented company and a smart show; they made me welcome.”

No details of how Nimoy’s voice will feature in the story have been released but it simply must revolve around the character of Sheldon (Jim Parsons). He’s an extremely clever, extraordinarily uncomfortable and socially awkward character who has long had a Spock/Nimoy obsession. From a 2008 season two episode, watch Sheldon’s reaction to being given a napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy.

It was such a popular episode that even the man himself heard about it: here is Nimoy being asked about The Big Bang Theory in 2009.

Three years later, he saw that napkin: it’s a framed item on the set. “Amazing,” he said.

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The Big Bang Theory airs on Thursday nights at 8pm on E4. Currently UK screenings are around eight weeks behind the original American ones, so expect to see Leonard Nimoy’s appearance toward the end of May.