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Stephen John "Steve" Coogan (born 14 October 1965) is an Englishmarker comedian, actor, writer and producer. His best known character in the United Kingdom is Alan Partridge, the grotesque sports reporter-turned-television chat show host-turned-regional radio presenter who featured in several television series, such as The Day Today, Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge and I'm Alan Partridge. Outside the UK, Coogan is better known for his film roles.

Early life

Coogan is one of seven children born to an IBM engineer father and a homemaker mother. He was born in his parents' house and raised in Alkringtonmarker, a suburb of Middleton, Lancashiremarker, to a large Irish Catholic family. He had a happy childhood growing up with four brothers and two sisters, and in addition his parents fostered children on a short-term basis, sometimes accommodating two or three foster children at a time. He had an talent for impersonation, and he wanted to go to drama school despite being advised by a teacher that it could lead to a precarious profession. He went to five interviews for drama school in London, and then - after gaining confidence by joining a theatre company in Manchester - gained a place at the Manchester Polytechnicmarker School of Theatre. Coogan's brother Martin was the vocalist and wrote the music for The Mock Turtles, a successful indie rock band in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Coogan started out as a comic and mimic in Ipswichmarker, as well as doing voice-over work for adverts and impressions on Spitting Image. In 1988, he did impressions of Prince Charles which featured on the Urban label release "Don't Believe the Hype" by Acid House artist Mista E. The impressions were also used as jingles in 1988/89 on the BBC Radio 1 FM Friday night dance music show Jeff Young's Big Beat.

Alan Partridge

He collaborated with Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci, amongst others, on the Radio 4 comedy show On the Hour, where he helped give birth to his most famous creation Alan Partridge. Alan went on to have his own radio show and also appeared on TV in The Day Today and his own chat show, Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge. In 1997 he returned with the sitcom I'm Alan Partridge, which was followed by a second series in 2002.Partridge is part of Coogan's 2008 stand-up tour, and an Alan Partridge movie is in production.

Other TV roles

Paul Calf first began as a character named 'Duncan Disorderly' in Coogan's early stand-up routines. Calf first came to wider public notice in 1993 with several appearances on Saturday Zoo, a late night variety show presented by Jonathan Ross on Channel 4. Paul has appeared in two video diaries, an episode of Coogan's Run, and in various stand-up performances. He is an unemployed Mancunianmarker wastrel with a particular hatred of students. His catchphrase is "Bag of shite."

Paul lives in a council house in the fictional town of Ottle with his mother and his sister, Pauline Calf (also played by Coogan). His father died some time before the first video diary was made. For a long time he was obsessed with getting back together with his ex-girlfriend, Julie. Paul's best friend is "Fat" Bob (played by John Thomson), a car mechanic who eventually married Pauline. Paul supports Manchester City and is very partial to Wagon Wheels.He wears Burton suits, sports a bleached mullet and drives a Ford Cortina.

Other Coogan creations include Tommy Saxondale, Duncan Thicket, and Portuguese Eurovision winner Tony Ferrino. Duncan Thicket has appeared on a tour of live shows. Other TV shows he has starred in include Coogan's Run, Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible, Monkey Trousers and Saxondale. Coogan has provided voices for the animated series I Am Not an Animal, the one-off BBC2 comedy about sheep Combat Sheep, two Christmas specials starring Robbie the Reindeer, and an episode of the BBC Radio Four spoof sci-fi series Nebulous.

He starred in BBC2's The Private Life of Samuel Pepys in 2003, and Cruise of the Gods in 2002. In 2006, he had a cameo in the Little Britain Christmas special as a pilot taking Lou and Andy to Disneyland. In 2007, Coogan played a psychiatrist on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm and in 2008 starred in the BBC1 drama Sunshine.

He provided the voices of Philip Masterson-Bowie (a horse) and Mark Andrews (a sparrow) from animated comedy series I Am Not an Animal.

Film roles

Notable film roles include Factory Records boss Tony Wilson in the film 24 Hour Party People, Mole in Terry Jones' The Wind in the Willows, Phileas Fogg in a remake of Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days with Jackie Chan, Ambassador Mercy in Marie Antoinette, Bruce Tick in Sweet Revenge, and Octavius, the first Roman Emperor and nephew to Julius Caesar, in Night at the Museum. He has also played himself twice on screen. First, in one of the vignettes of Jim Jarmusch's 2003 film Coffee and Cigarettes, alongside Alfred Molina. Second, in 2006 Coogan starred with Rob Brydon in Michael Winterbottom's A Cock and Bull Story, a self-referential film of the "unfilmable" self-referential novel Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne. In the film, Coogan plays a fictional, womanizing version of himself.

The first film he co-wrote with Henry Normal was The Parole Officer. He also acted in this alongside Ben Miller and Lena Headey. Coogan has an uncredited cameo in Hot Fuzz, scripted by Shaun of the Dead writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright.He stars as a failed actor turned high school drama teacher in the 2008 film Hamlet 2 and had a role in Tropic Thunder. It was announced on 8 August 2007, that he is also to star in a film adaptation of the life of Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards, which is still in pre-production.He was also recently in Finding Amanda alongside Brittany Snow and Matthew Broderick. He returned as Octavius in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, out on 22 May 2009 - Memorial Day. He will also play Hades in the upcoming Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief out February 12, 2010.


Year Film Role Notes
1989 Resurrected Youth 2
1995 The Indian in the Cupboard Tommy Atkins
1996 The Wind in the Willows Mole
1998 Sweet Revenge Bruce Tick
2001 The Parole Officer Simon Garden Writer
2002 24 Hour Party People Tony Wilson
2003 Coffee and Cigarettes Steve Segment: Cousins?
2004 Ella Enchanted Heston the snake Voice Only
Around the World in 80 Days Phileas Fogg
2005 Happy Endings Charley
A Cock and Bull Story Tristram Shandy/ Walter Shandy/ Steve Coogan
2006 The Alibi Ray Elliot
Night at the Museum Octavius
Marie Antoinette Ambassador Mercy
2007 For The Love Of God Graham
Hot Fuzz Metropolitan Police Inspector Uncredited
2008 Finding Amanda Michael Henry
Tales of the Riverbank Roderick Voice Only
Tropic Thunder Damien Cockburn
Hamlet 2 Dana Marschz
2009 What Goes Up Campbell Babbitt Producer
In the Loop Paul Michaelson
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Octavius
2010 Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Hades Completed
The Other Guys TBA Filming
Marmaduke Raisin Voice Only


Coogan's show Steve Coogan in character with John Thomson was winner of the Perrier award for best show at the 1992 Edinburgh Fringe. He has won numerous awards for his work in TV including British Comedy Awards, BAFTAs, and The South Bank Show award for comedy. In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. In 2005, a poll to find The Comedians' Comedian saw him being voted amongst the top 20 greatest comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.

Return to stand-up

In March 2008, it was confirmed that Coogan would return to doing stand-up comedy as part of his first stand-up tour in ten years. The tour, named "Steve Coogan is Alan Partridge and other less successful characters", saw the return of some of his old characters including Paul Calf and Alan Partridge. Reviews of the opening night were mixed and such reviews continued as the tour progressed.

Production company

Coogan, along with writing partner Henry Normal, founded Baby Cow Productions in 1999. Together they are the executive producers for such shows as The Mighty Boosh, starring Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, Nighty Night, starring Julia Davis, Marion and Geoff, starring Rob Brydon, and Human Remains, starring Davis and Brydon. Baby Cow Productions latest venture is Where Are the Joneses, an online sitcom which uses wiki technology to allow the audience to upload scripts and storyline ideas.

Personal life

One of his brothers, Brendan, is a former Top Gear presenter, and another, Martin, was the lead singer of the early 1990s band The Mock Turtles. All the brothers attended the Cardinal Langley RC High School.

A favourite of the British tabloids, Coogan's personal life has made headlines since the early 1990s. In August 2005, the News of the World stated that rock star Courtney Love had claimed to be pregnant with Coogan's child, following a two-week long fling the pair allegedly had while staying at the same hotel, although this claim has been dismissed by both parties. The news came a month after Coogan had divorced his wife, Caroline Hickman, whom he married in 2002, on the grounds that the marriage had irretrievably broken down. He lives in Brightonmarker to be close to his daughter, from a previous relationship.

On the commentary for Series 2 of I'm Alan Partridge, Coogan states that he is a socialist who enjoys paying taxes, whilst discussing the eponymous character's investigation by the Inland Revenue.

A well noted car enthusiast, he has had a succession of Ferrarismarker, but stopped buying them after realising that the depreciation and running costs were greater than hiring a private plane. Coogan currently drives one of the final air-cooled Porsche 911 Carrera 4s.

Owen Wilson controversy

In August 2007, the New York Post wrote that Coogan was being "blamed" in a story following Owen Wilson's suicide attempts for allegedly supplying the actor with hard drugs. Courtney Love said after Wilson's failed attempts, "I was just out of rehab, and he was right there with the drugs. I tried to warn Owen. I tried to warn his friends. I hope from the bottom of my heart that Owen stays the hell away from that guy." Steve Coogan responded through Access Hollywood, denying Love's accusations and offering support to Wilson. "My thoughts are with my friend Owen at this difficult time, but I do want to set the record straight and say that the allegations...are completely and utterly false," he said.


  1. BBC Comedy

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