Bouncing back

Coogan returns to TV

Steve Coogan is planning a return to TV with a raft of new ‘flawed and inadequate’ characters.

His creations will be unveiled in a new series of comedy profiles for the BBC, similar to his 1995 series Coogan’s Run.

After spending several weeks developing the characters in the London offices of his production company Baby Cow, Coogan  says he has four that he is completely happy with.

And for other installments in the untitled show, to be filmed soon, he may revive old favourites.

His series comes after some time making inroads into Hollywood, most lucratively with the critically slated Jackie Chan remake of Around The World In 80 Days, although Coogan himself escaped the reviewers’ mauling.

In an interview with The Independent, Coogan said his time in America had reinvigorated his interest in developing new comic characters.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder," he said. "I'm glad that I have not done something in a while.

“I need to feel enthusiastic, that I'm personally rooting for it to happen rather than bein g told to get on with it. Right now, I've got an appetite.

"I'm trying to develop some new characters that have a certain subtlety to them. It's a bit difficult to make general observations about them, but they're slightly inadequate people. People with issues."

But Coogan has not abandoned his Hollywood ambitions. This weekend it emerged that he is to star in a Hollywood version of cult TV classic The Persuaders opposite Ben Stiller.

He will play suave sleuth Lord Brett Sinclair, the role Roger Moore took in the original Seventies TV series.

Stiller will play his millionaire American partner in crimebusting, Danny Wilde, originally played by Tony Curtis

Coogan said: “"Ben's a big fan of Alan Partridge and I'm a fan of his.  It's all very exciting.

“He's a somebody and I'm a nobody, so I'm very grateful for the relationship right now".

>>> The Independent interview

Published: 3 Jan 2005

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