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Steve Coogan uses Alan Partridge ‘to say all the things he can’t say in real life’


Steve Coogan admits he uses irreverent character Alan Partridge ‘to say all the things he can’t say in real life’ as a way of navigating cancel culture

Steve Coogan has explained how he uses his comedy alter-ego Alan Partridge as a way of avoiding being ‘cancelled’.

The actor, 55, has portrayed Alan on and off since he was 26, and admits his irreverence allows him to get away with making inappropriate statements he otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to.

‘There are things I say as Alan, that I couldn’t possibly say as me as I’ll get cancelled,’ he told Jonathan Ross on this week’s episode of The Jonathan Ross Show. ‘I use Alan as a Trojan Horse to say all the things I couldn’t possibly say in reality.

‘Trojan horse!’ Steve Coogan has explained how he uses his comedy alter-ego Alan Partridge as a way of avoiding being ‘cancelled’

‘Some of the things he says are obnoxious or not very nice and sometimes he says things I secretly agree with. I half like him and half can’t bear him.

‘He’s like slipping on an old jacket. If I’m walking along the street and I think, ‘What would Alan think of that?’ and I make a note of it.’

Of the origins of the character – an inept broadcaster with an idiotic sense of his own celebrity – Steve added: ‘It was just a silly voice I did. I was 26. I was trying to play a middle aged man and now I am one.

‘They used to give me this latex to give me crow’s feet – I’ve since acquired them. In make-up it’s a lot quicker.’

Icon: The actor, 55, has portrayed Alan on and off since he was 26, and admits his irreverence allows him to get away with making inappropriate statements he otherwise wouldn't be allowed to

Icon: The actor, 55, has portrayed Alan on and off since he was 26, and admits his irreverence allows him to get away with making inappropriate statements he otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to

Funny man: 'There are things I say as Alan, that I couldn't possibly say as me as I'll get cancelled,' he told Jonathan Ross on this week's episode of The Jonathan Ross Show. 'I use Alan as a Trojan Horse to say all the things I couldn't possibly say in reality'

Funny man: ‘There are things I say as Alan, that I couldn’t possibly say as me as I’ll get cancelled,’ he told Jonathan Ross on this week’s episode of The Jonathan Ross Show. ‘I use Alan as a Trojan Horse to say all the things I couldn’t possibly say in reality’

He went on: ‘There was a time when it was sort of all I was doing. Since I’ve managed doing other stuff, I do him because I like doing him, not because I have to.

‘It’s nice to have a bit of variety. When I did something like [film] Philomena – and I’m doing another film with the same writer/director about the woman who found Richard III in the car park – using comedy as a tool in your box rather than an end in itself. A serious recipe with a bit of comedy paprika.’

Speaking of impersonations he said: ‘I think it’s a young man’s game. Anyone over 40 [doing it] needs to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror. I just walked away from it. I don’t mind doing it as a party piece.’ 

He said: 'Some of the things he says are obnoxious or not very nice and sometimes he says things I secretly agree with. I half like him and half can't bear him'

He said: ‘Some of the things he says are obnoxious or not very nice and sometimes he says things I secretly agree with. I half like him and half can’t bear him’

He added: 'He's like slipping on an old jacket. If I'm walking along the street and I think, 'What would Alan think of that?' and I make a note of it'

He added: ‘He’s like slipping on an old jacket. If I’m walking along the street and I think, ‘What would Alan think of that?’ and I make a note of it’

Steve has been filming for a new ITV crime drama about the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

The actor will play DCI Clive Driscoll, who was heavily involved in the investigation, and was spotted filming scenes for the series in Northolt in March.

Entitled Stephen, the series is a follow-up drama to another series from 1999, and has been endorsed by the murdered teen’s parents Doreen and Neville Lawrence, played in the original by Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Hugh Quarshie respectively.

The drama will portray events starting from 2006, 13 years after 18-year-old Stephen’s death on the evening of 22 April 1993 in a racially motivated attack whilst waiting for a bus in Well Hall Road, Eltham.

Continuation: Steve has been filming for a new ITV crime drama about the murder of Stephen Lawrence [Stephen is pictured]

Continuation: Steve has been filming for a new ITV crime drama about the murder of Stephen Lawrence [Stephen is pictured]

The show tells the story of his parents’ ongoing struggle to achieve justice for their sons’ death.

It also follows the plights of the detective – DCI Clive Driscoll [Coogan] – who worked closely with the Lawrences to put together an investigation that finally – more than 18 years after his death – secured the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen.

Even though the Lawrences knew the identity of their son’s killers, the original investigation failed to convict those responsible.

Their extraordinary campaign for justice led to a public inquiry which branded Metropolitan Police institutionally racist and brought about sweeping changes in the law and police practices and transformed thinking and understanding of racial inequality in the UK. 

Police: Coogan will play DCI Clive Driscoll, who worked closely with the Lawrences to put together an investigation that finally – more than 18 years after his death – secured the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen

Police: Coogan will play DCI Clive Driscoll, who worked closely with the Lawrences to put together an investigation that finally – more than 18 years after his death – secured the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen

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