Alan Partridge would have undoubtedly been composing a stern letter to the rail operator if those not holding valid first class tickets invaded his first class carriage.
But not Steve Coogan.
Instead, the actor stuck up for passengers on yesterday’s 8.46am Southern Rail journey from Lewes in Sussex to London Victoria.
One commuter grabbed video of Coogan in an exchange with the train’s conductor, who was telling passengers they could not stand in the first class carriages on the ‘ridiculously overcrowded’ train, which saw people packing the aisles.
Another told the Daily Mail: “He was saying that it was outrageous that they should face any penalty and that they should have somewhere to sit.
“He was being very chivalrous defending the other passengers.
“There was one woman who was being told to leave even though she had a lot of luggage and wanted to stay with her bags.
“The train was ridiculously overcrowded with people packed into the aisles and a few passengers had wandered into the first class carriage simply to find a seat or somewhere a little bit more comfortable to stand.”
Though Coogan can be seen in the video, the exchange is not audible, other than Coogan telling the guard he was ‘not being pragmatic’.
Another onlooker said: “The outcome was that the passengers were forced to leave anyway.
“There was a ticket inspector and a guard in the carriage. The guard said to the other passengers: ‘I don’t think the ticket inspector realises who he is.’”
Coogan will soon be back on the BBC as Alan Partridge, in a new series said to ape the format of The One Show.
This Time With Alan Partridge will be ‘a heady mix of consumer affairs, current affairs, viewer interaction, highbrow interview and lightweight froth’, and will air later this year.