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What Steve Coogan thinks of Norwich’s new Alan Partridge statue

PUBLISHED: 06:30 26 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:40 26 September 2020

A statue of Alan Partridge is placed outside The Forum. The statue was created by sculptors Gavin Fulcher and Nic Dutton.  Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

A statue of Alan Partridge is placed outside The Forum. The statue was created by sculptors Gavin Fulcher and Nic Dutton. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

The actor who portrays Alan Partridge has said he was “flabbergasted” by the character’s new effigy in Norwich city centre - and has called for it to be made a permanent fixture.

A statue of Alan Partridge is placed outside The Forum. The statue was created by sculptors Gavin Fulcher and Nic Dutton.  Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020A statue of Alan Partridge is placed outside The Forum. The statue was created by sculptors Gavin Fulcher and Nic Dutton. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Steve Coogan has played the bungling comedy character for almost 30 years, across a rich variety of programmes, radio shows and - most recently - a podcast.

And the actor, who has arguably created Norwich’s most famous fictional son, has now reacted to news of the giant bronze statue which emerged in front of the Forum on Thursday.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Coogan said: “I was flabbergasted. I heard rumours about it but it surpassed my expectations - it is quite magnificent.”

He added that while he could not speak for the character, who he described as “a different person”, he said he would be keen to see it placed “somewhere prominent.”

He added: “He wouldn’t want it to be seen as a joke, he would want it to be seen with a certain amount of reverence.

Filming of the feature film Alan Partridge Alpha Papa at Cromer Pier. Actor, Steve Coogan shooting a scene holding a gun.
 Picture: Antony KellyFilming of the feature film Alan Partridge Alpha Papa at Cromer Pier. Actor, Steve Coogan shooting a scene holding a gun. Picture: Antony Kelly

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“Perhaps next to a war leader like Montogomery or Churchill, or maybe in front of Norwich Town Hall [City Hall], which of course is a magnificent building.”

Meanwhile, a Twitter account with more than 240,000 followers dedicated to the character - but not verified as his official account - has also issued a statement on the statue.

‘He’ wrote: “Although this is completely unauthorised, having taken counsel, I am happy that the statue’s attitude and stance are correct.

“If the people of Norwich and surrounding areas want to memorialise me in sculpture, then as long as it is rendered in alpha brass with a low zinc content and not, say, a duplex brass, I grant my consent and will instruct my legal team to resheathe their daggers.

“I was further concerned the statue would be a compound resin with gold paint applied. These fears have also been allayed.

“If my statue can in some way act as an Ambassador for Brass, and encourage just ten children to take up a brass instrument, it will be an upbeat ending to an otherwise dreadful year.”


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