Belfast Telegraph

Coogan: I won't abandon Partridge

Steve Coogan has promised he won't abandon Alan Partridge as it was revealed he plans to move into directing.

The actor and comedian accepted the award for best adapted screenplay for Philomena, with his writing partner Jeff Pope, at the film Baftas in London.

Coogan - who rose to fame as comedy alter ego Alan Partridge - admitted Philomena, the true story of an Irish woman's search for the baby she was forced to give up for adoption by the nuns in the convent where she gave birth, had been a "labour of love".

He confessed: "This is the first Bafta I've won for film, I've got a few for telly which I'm very proud of but this is the most exciting Bafta I've ever won, because it was something different I was trying to do and an exercise in sincerity so I'm very pleased.

"It's very, very gratifying. When you're successful in one field, as I was, although it's very enjoyable it's difficult as you get put in a box and it's hard to get out of that box. So for me it was a vindication. No one advised me to do this, I read an article, I found it moving and I went with my gut instincts, so this is very nice to win this."

But he promised he was not giving up comedy altogether.

Coogan revealed: "I made my serious film and I also did the Alan Partridge film which is a very silly film, but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

"I don't want to abandon Alan Partridge. I just wanted to show I can do something else, that I'm not a one trick pony. But I quite like the Alan Partridge pony, so I'll do something else with him.

"But it's exciting to do something different, it gets you up in the morning. It's exciting to do something you might fail at."

Coogan revealed he and Jeff Pope have several films in the pipeline but he probably won't be in them as they're all "strong roles for women, and I'm not a woman".

But Pope revealed: "He might direct them."

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