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

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It’s a bumper 12 months ahead for fans of Alan Partridge. Firstly, there’s a documentary coming to the BBC over Christmas, looking back over 25 years of Steve Coogan’s most famous character (and the people behind it). And then, in 2018, a brand new Alan Partridge TV series is heading to the BBC.

But why now? Chatting to the Radio Times, Coogan admitted that he’d struggled with the character.

“Alan was an albatross around my neck until about eight years ago, when I started doing stuff like The Trip and Philomena”, he said. It’s something he also explores in his excellent autobiography, where he discusses the process of writing Philomena, in which he ultimately co-starred.

“When I got an Oscar nomination for Philomena, 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”.

As such, he gradually returned to the character, with the Alpha Papa movie and Mid-Morning Matters shows on Sky. But next year? Alan finally goes back properly to the BBC…

Radio Times.