Steve Coogan just avoided a lengthy driving ban because of Alan Partridge

Tom Beasley
Alan Partridge returned to TV screens in 2019 with new series 'This Time'. (Credit: BBC)

Steve Coogan has avoided a six-month driving ban for speeding after telling the court that a hefty absence from the road could scupper an upcoming Alan Partridge series.

The 53-year-old comedian faced an automatic six-month ban after he was caught speeding in January, with nine points already on his licence, Metro reported.

He appeared at Crawley Magistrates Court after being clocked by an automatic camera driving his Porsche at 36mph in a 30mph zone.

Read more: Coogan sticks up for train passengers

Coogan admitted that his driving record was poor, including a speed awareness course just two months ago, but said such a lengthy confiscation of his licence would put the brakes on a new Partridge show for the BBC.

“I’m producing a travelogue follow-on TV series where I’m basically driving around Britain,” he said.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Steve Coogan attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

“The whole nature of the series is that it is a travelogue and it’s an artistic thing that he drives and that defines his character.

“You couldn’t put him on a train because that not who he is – it’s part of his character that he drives.”

Coogan told magistrates that shots of his iconic character behind the wheel could not be faked due to the elaborate camera setup.

Read more: The secret behind Alan Partridge’s appeal

He revealed that production company Baby Cow has hired between 15 to 20 people to work on the project, who might struggle for work if the show had to be cancelled ahead of the planned production start in October.

Ann Schroder, chair of the magistrates bench, said she acknowledged the “exceptional hardship” those crew members would face if the show were to be shelved.

Coogan was banned from the road for two months and handed a £750 fine, as well as paying costs of £85 and a £75 victim surcharge.

Steve Coogan arrives at the London Premiere of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa at a central London cinema, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

He returned to BBC screens as Alan Partridge with this year’s well-received six-episode series This Time with Alan Partridge.

Read more: Coogan says Partridge should make #MeToo jokes

The series was the first Partridge production for the BBC since I’m Alan Partridge concluded in 2002, though the character has been kept alive through collaborations with Sky and the 2013 movie Alpha Papa.

Several books written by the character have also been released.

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