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|Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:55 am Post subject: Coogan: We were crude and unsophisticated
|Poor verdict of Partridge on The Day Today
|Steve Coogan has branded his Alan Partridge contributions to groundbreaking satire The Day Today as ‘crude’ and ‘unsophisticated’.
His most enduring creation came to prominence on Chris Morris’s acclaimed 1994 comedy series, where he was the hapless sports reporter often ignorant of the activities he was commentating on.
‘When I watch that back now, it seems quite crude – not especially sophisticated,’ he said. ‘A lot of the stuff we thought was funny then, I don’t think would pass muster now.’
But he said the character had evolved over the past 20 years. ‘Originally we made Alan two-dimensional, insofar as he was intolerant and bigoted. Yet there’s more humour iin making him attempt to move with the times; in trying to say the right thing but getting it wrong.’
And he said that the character was more subtle these days, especially in the internet series Mid Morning Matters – which is being repackaged for Sky Atlantic – set in the claustrophobic confines of a tiny radio studio,
‘Because audiences know the character, you can use that to explore things, as people really play attention to detail,’ he said. ‘ Mid Morning Matters is some of the best stuff we’ve done. Now the character is known you can do more nuanced and subtle
‘The way we perform him has definitely changed,’ he added slipping into the first-person plural at a Sky Atlantic launch event,
Coogan also admitted that he persoanlly chimed with some of Partridge’s less popular ideas.
‘Some of the things Alan says are things that I think,’ he said. ‘But – importantly – I edit myself. We all do that otherwise you upset people.
‘Sometimes when we were writing, I’d say something as myself and Armando [Iannucci] and Patrick [Marber] would say, “write that down”. I wasn’t trying to be funny, just being me. I’m exploiting the weakness in my own character.’
Coogan added that Partridge wasn’t based on any real TV presenter – but admitted that he had a strange fascination with Richard Madely.
‘Sometimes the things he says are almost too ridiculous for Alan Partridge,’ he said. ‘I find him quite fascinating. He wasn’t the basis for Alan, but some of the things he says are quite Alan-like.’
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