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Steve Coogan talks about his Irish roots

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Coogan: "I spent nearly every summer of my life growing up in the west of Ireland."

Steve Coogan says that his own childhood summers in Ireland and Alan Partridge's "basic ignorance" let him get away with making gags about the Irish.

Speaking to RTÉ Ten, the 47-year-old actor who stars in the beloved DJ's big-screen debut, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, said: "I'm half Irish and Alan does make all sorts of Irish references. I spent nearly every summer of my life growing up in the west of Ireland and I'm very familiar with Mayo and Cork and west Cork.

"A lot of the humour I do as Alan is British prejudice against the Irish which can sound just like jokes against the Irish but it has to be put into the context of Alan's ignorance which is why we get away with it. Also, the director of Alpha Papa is Irish."

Click on the link to watch Steve Coogan's interview with RTÉ Ten.

In the long-awaiting Partridge movie, which was directed by Moone Boy and Fr Ted director Declan Lowney, Colm Meaney stars as Pat Farrell, a disgruntled former employee who places a Norwich radio station under siege when he is fired.

Coogan says he was keen on Meaney to play the part early on in the planning. "I wanted someone Irish to play that part because it gave him an `otherness'. It meant he was from somewhere else, he had an outsider quality in Norwich.

"We cast Colm because we needed someone who could have a certain amount of pathos but also look vulnerable and also look threatening."

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is in cinemas from Wednesday, August 7th.

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