Alan Partridge is back in a brand new podcast and while comedy fans might be saying "A-ha!" actor Steve Coogan has revealed that the content isn't just about making us laugh.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy about his famous comedy character Alan's new Audible Original podcast, From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast, Coogan explained that the sadness in the character of Alan is also a vital part of him.
"I like the fact that when you're not in a room full of people where you have to make everyone laugh at the same time, you can be more nuanced and subtle. You can have pathos," he said.
"When you're doing the podcast you're not constrained by (having to make an audience laugh at the same time), so you can have moments that are just sad and go 'It's okay, it doesn't all have to be funny'.
"Or it can be funny in a bittersweet way. And also if you've made people laugh you can just have a moment that's just painful and maybe not funny."
The comedian added that his favourite part of the character is the sadness, because Alan not being happy and comedic all the time is more "authentic".
"That's my favourite stuff, where there's sort of a poignancy and pathos. That's my favourite stuff because it's sort of... I don't know why but it makes me laugh not at him but it makes me laugh at the pain somehow, because it feels somehow authentic and familiar. It's a really weird thing when you feel sorry for someone and it's funny."
Coogan added that he thinks it is "really delicious" when you find the "sweet spot" that is a balance between happy and sad emotions in comedy – and he's certainly demonstrated that talent with Alan Partridge.
18-part podcast From the Oasthouse features Alan enjoying the sound of his own voice, as ever, as he tries to track down an online troll. A couple of other familiar characters are also featured, including Alan's long-suffering assistant Lynn Benfield (Felicity Montagu).
The series is free for Audible members and also free with Audible's 30-day trial if you're thinking of giving the service a try.
Coogan also revealed to Digital Spy that Alan's recent BBC TV series This Time will be back for another round of awkward encounters, saying that the team is "in the middle of writing another series of This Time".
"We're shooting at the end of the year. We're scrambling to get it together," he said. "It will be broadcast next spring, sometime."
From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast is available to download now from Audible.co.uk.
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