Actor and comedian Steve Coogan has said he sang rebel song Come Out, Ye Black and Tans on primetime BBC television last year as a "private bet" and as part of an "in-joke".

Coogan, whose parents are both from Ireland, appeared as both Alan Partridge and west of Ireland farmer Martin Brennan on an episode of the spoof magazine show This Time with Alan Partridge last March.

In a scene that became the standout moment from the whole series, Martin scandalised bungling TV host Alan when he performed an impromptu rendition of Come Out, Ye Black and Tans, followed by a verse of The Men Behind the Wire.

Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment ahead of the release of his new movie Greed, Coogan said, "As someone who is half-Irish, I was hoping that my fellow Irishmen would appreciate it and they did.

"It was kinda like a little in-joke, a private bet - I wonder could we get, just for the mischief, an Irish rebel song on primetime BBC One and we managed to do that. Hahahaha. In fact, we got two Irish rebel songs in!"

Alan finally gets a second series 

Asked if there was much resistance to the idea from the BBC, Coogan said, "No, no. It's an in-joke for us but it works comically because Alan Partridge plays a member of the establishment who is appalled by it and that’s where the comedy comes from so artistically it’s entirely justifiable but it also makes me have a private chuckle."

There was further good news for Alan on Friday when the BBC announced that he would be finally getting a second series as This Time with Alan Partridge will be back for another run. 

Steve Coogan as Sir Richard McCreadie in Greed 

In Greed, Coogan plays Sir Richard McCreadie, a second-generation Irishman in the UK who has made a fortune in the fashion industry but now faces a professional and personal crisis as his 60th birthday looms.

The movie, which was directed by regular Coogan collaborator Michael Winterbottom, also stars Isla Fisher and Shirley Henderson and features numerous celebrity cameos from the likes of Keira Knightly, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Stephen Fry, James Blunt, and Colin Firth.

This Time with Alan Partridge is currently screening on RTÉ2 and is also available on the RTÉ Player.

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Alan Corr @CorrAlan2