Steve Coogan has assured fans that he isn't planning to retire his comedy character Alan Partridge, who returns to BBC One this weekend for a second series of This Time.
This summer marks 30 years since the character made his debut on BBC Radio 4's satirical news programme On The Hour, and in that time some viewers have worried that Coogan could decide to leave the role behind.
However, at a virtual event to mark the launch of This Time series two, the star credited his other projects – such as BAFTA nominated film Stan & Ollie – for taking "the curse" off Alan and reigniting his enthusiasm for the hapless broadcaster.
"If it was all I was doing, I would regard it as an albatross," he says. "But because I'm able to do these other things, that has sort of taken the curse off Alan for me. So that means that now I do Alan Partridge because I want to, not because I have to, and that's really important for me."
Coogan had previously taken an extended break from his comedy creation between the second series of acclaimed sitcom I'm Alan Partridge and the launch of Mid-Morning Matters, which saw him team up with writers Neil and Rob Gibbons.
Since that collaboration was forged, fans have seen a wealth of Partridge content ranging from 2013's feature film Alpha Papa to Audible podcast From The Oasthouse.
"People used to say, 'When are you going to kill off Alan Partridge?' They’ve just stopped asking that now," Coogan continues. "He’s sort of like an old friend. I wouldn't like to never do it again because it's enjoyable as part of everything else I do.
"I love working with Rob and Neil and Susannah [Fielding] and Felicity [Montagu] and Tim [Key], and I wouldn't want to not work with them so that's another important part of it."
This will be music to the ears of Patridge fans, as Coogan reveals there's much more life in his famous alter-ego: "I would like to keep coming back as long as I think it's funny... The thing about Alan is the world changes and then Alan is a reflection of that changing world, so it can keep going.
"And you can keep sort of tightening the nut with Alan. It might be that one day he oversteps the mark and implodes, but part of it is finding out – just keep pushing him until he falls off a cliff or something."
This Time with Alan Partridge returns to BBC One at 9:30pm on Friday 30th April. While you're waiting, visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.