Steve Coogan: “Alan Partridge was an albatross around my neck”

Coogan is only bringing his alter ego back now because he doesn't have to...

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge

It’s the character for which he’s most recognised, the one that gave him his big break and made him a household name, yet Steve Coogan admits that he hasn’t always loved Alan Gordon Partridge.

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“Alan was an albatross around my neck until about eight years ago, when I started doing stuff like The Trip and Philomena,” says Coogan, in an interview in the Christmas double issue of Radio Times magazine.

“When I got an Oscar nomination for Philomena [the film he co-wrote, and starred in with Judi Dench], I thought, ‘Well, I’ve definitely drawn a line under something.’ So counterintuitively, I didn’t want to do Alan because I had to do Alan; I wanted to do Alan because I wanted to do Alan.”

And do Alan he has, with his radio and TV presenting alter ego back on the Beeb for a brand new TV series next year, following a documentary this Christmas celebrating his 25th anniversary.

Not that Coogan believes there’s been a complete lack of Alan since his last series. “Unbelievably, you look around the world now and see that there are still broadcasters with full-on red-blooded Alan-like attitudes.”

But there’ll only ever be one Alan Partridge.

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Read the full interview in the Radio Times Christmas double issue, on sale nationwide from Tuesday 11th December, and find out what Partridge would think of Coogan and how they differ on Brexit…

Radio Times Christmas Cover 2017