COOGAN JOINS WELSH HIPPIES FOR NEW COM­EDY

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - MIKE JONES Re­porter news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

ALAN Par­tridge star Steve Coogan is turn­ing to Wales for his lat­est com­edy drama. The ac­tor/writer has re­vealed that he is work­ing on a new com­edy drama set in a Welsh hippy com­mune in 1969.

Speak­ing at the Ed­in­burgh Tele­vi­sion Fes­ti­val, he told au­di­ences that he was co-writ­ing a script that’s an adap­ta­tion of the Ab­bie Ross book Hippy Din­ners: A Me­moir of a Ru­ral Child­hood.

Coogan told the fes­ti­val: “It starts in 1969 and is set against the in­vesti­ture sti­ture of Prince Charles ar­les in Caernar­fon n Cas­tle – ob­vi­ously sly a very im­por­tant or­tant mo­ment in n the na­tion’s his­tory.”

In Ab­bie Ross’ book, the me­moirs start in n 1972.

But in Coogan’s script, the set­ting has been rolled d back to 1969. It also has a new name – the work­ing ng ti­tle is Far Out.

It’s not known yet if it’s a com­edy edy for film or TV. Co-writer writer Jess Wil­liams’ cred­its in­clude Grantch­ester and In­spec­tor Ge­orge Gen­tly. ntly.

Coogan added: “It has 15 or r 20 char­ac­ters of dif­fer­ent sizes, var­i­ous sto­ry­lines that in­ter­sect. It’s some­thing I am pas­sion­ate about and know will make peo­ple laugh and move them. It’s about class, pol­i­tics and, more im­por­tantly than any of that, it’s about peo­ple, char­ac­ters, sto­ries, hu­man­ity.” Chris­tine Lan­gan, g chief ex­ec­u­tive of Baby Cow, pro­duc­ers of the n new project, added: “It’s very much about ab now even though it’s set in the ’60s and ’70s be­cause it’s about how ide­o­log­i­cally can you live. It’s clear that a lot of peo­ple who grew up on com­munes peo­ple be­came very suc­cess­ful busi­ness peo­ple peo­ple.” Coogan added that he h is fol­low­ing a method simil sim­i­lar to the one he em­ployed on his 2013 film Philom­ena. In that tha Dame Judi Dench played p a woman who searched search 50 years for her forcibly­for adopted ad son. son He played pl the jour­nal­ist jo who w tried to help her find fin him. “It is those t same s or­ganic o and funny things, let­ting the story lead you to­wards poignancy or com­edy. It is about how peo­ple sur­prise you and how you shouldn’t judge peo­ple be­cause you don’t know what their sto­ries are.”

Coogan also said that now was the time for Alan Par­tridge to re­turn to the BBC, af­ter be­ing ab­sent since the early 2000s.

He said: “In re­al­ity, to come back to the BBC felt like what we had done on Sky and on­line ... I think he had changed. It stopped be­ing yes­ter­day’s food re­heated and be­came some­thing that was dif­fer­ent. It sort of proved its met­tle.

“It felt like it had earned its right and felt like it was right to come back to the BBC.”

‘It starts in 1969 and is set against the in­vesti­ture of Prince Charles in Caernar­fon Cas­tle’ – Steve Coogan, pic­tured in Ed­in­burgh yes­ter­day

Coogan as the leg­endary Alan Par­tridge

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