The late actor played the beloved New York cop on the hit 1970s series and in a number of subsequent Tv movies, and The Fast and The Furious star is taking over the iconic role in a new film adaptation.
Diesel reveals the original show was filmed in his neighbourhood during his childhood, and he hopes to live up to Savalas' portrayal of the character.
Speaking on Britain's The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday night (11May13), he says, "I am doing the role. (I have) huge shoes (to fill)... it was shot in my neighbourhood growing up, in the village, downtown New York so I would see Telly Savalas when I was a kid coming into my building and he had no idea that someday I would portray him, portray Kojak."
Diesel also revealed to Ross he would love to star in a musical, and he showed off his singing voice by performing a line from Guys and Dolls song I'll Know.