Joe Lycett will investigate water companies as “the UK faces a sewage crisis” for a new Channel 4 documentary.

The investigative special, titled Joe Lycett vs Poo, comes as water companies continue to face scrutiny over sewage spills, crumbling infrastructure and governance issues.

As part of the programme, Lycett took part in a stunt to launch his latest fake podcast – Turdcast – where a giant inflatable toilet dubbed the Turdis accidentally leaked fake sewage into Liverpool Docks.

The stunt had no environmental or biological impact on the area and the spillage was marine mud, it was confirmed.

Lycett, 35, said: “I spilled fake sewage because I wanted to get people talking about the billions of litres of real sewage that are released every year by our water companies.

“Last year, according to one analysis the water companies paid shareholders £1.4 billion in dividends. That’s a lot of money that could have been used to improve the sewer network and reduce spills.

“We’re asking the water companies to stop paying dividends and instead invest the money in solving this problem.”

The comedian is asking people to “write to your water company” to sign up to Joe’s Poo Promise.

The TV show comes after Lycett took on the oil industry and former England footballer David Beckham, to highlight the true cost of the Qatar World Cup, in different Channel 4 specials.

His latest hour-long documentary is billed as an investigation into “how our waterways have become so polluted and why water companies have been allowed to taint one of our most precious resources”.

Tom Beck, head of live events and commissioning editor for Channel 4, said: “Joe is our leading mischief maker; he uses humour, wit and absolute fearlessness to call out companies, celebrities and even our politicians.

“He’s taken on the oil giants and David Beckham; now he’s highlighting one of our biggest environmental issues by diving into the murky waters of the utility companies polluting our seas and rivers.

“It will be provocative, revealing, important and feature lots of poo jokes. Who else could promise all of that?”

Iain Wimbush, joint managing director of Rumpus Media, said: “Having tackled national treasures, entire states and oil giants, Joe has now set his sights on the growing scourge of poor practice by water companies.

“Joe has an innate ability to find new ways to get people engaged with subjects that might not be getting the attention they deserve, and we look forward to a day when we can all enjoy waters in the UK without fear of finding they’re filled with excrement.”

The programme is set to air in 2024.