Alan Partridge has qualities in common with Prime Minister David Cameron, his creator Steve Coogan has suggested.
Speaking exclusively to Radio Times, Coogan said that over the nearly 20 years he has existed Partridge has moved from being “an out-and-out Daily Mail-reading Little Englander fascist” to a more “liberalised Tory”.
He said: If he [Alan] was a real person, I’d probably just hate him, but there’s enough humanity in him for me to have empathy. You look at David Cameron and he’s a Tory but he’s canny, he tries to be hip, so he’s a Tory that used to like the Smiths. Alan has to reflect that.”
Coogan was also frank about the impact of his own private indiscretions adding that celebrities should never explain themselves.
“Celebrities who go round apologising are pitiful, and don’t do themselves any favours. They shouldn’t have to justify themselves on these preconceived, pious, sanctimonious projections of the slightly antiquated morality of these tabloid newspapers.”
Speaking of his involvement in the pressure group Hacked Off which is campaigning for greater regulation of the press and the implementation of the recommendations of Lord Justice Leveson’s report into press abuses, he said: “When my life has been the subject of tabloid intrusion, what I have never done is get engaged in justifying myself.
“I got involved in Leveson because I knew no one else in the public eye would. They didn’t want to take the risk. I thought the way [the press] behaved – and yes it was towards me, but also towards a lot of other people who didn’t have a voice like me – was just wrong.
“And what makes them feel uncomfortable is when you say something and there’s no ulterior motive; they get p****d off that you might be doing something on a point of principle. If someone’s a victim of crime and they’re a forgotten person, like thousands of people who’ve been f****d over by the tabloids, if they got on their moral high horse, no one’s going to listen to them. The double-edged sword of being in the public eye is that you’ll be afforded some sort of platform.”
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news