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02nd Mar 2022

WATCH: Steve Coogan is bringing back Martin Brennan for the new Alan Partridge show

Rory Cashin

The Sligo farmer left a huge impression on Irish viewers when he debuted back in 2019.

It has been almost three years to the day since the now-legendary episode of This Time with Alan Partridge aired, in which Alan was introduced to Martin Brennan, a farmer from Sligo who was presented as a lookalike for Partridge.

Across the episode, Brennan very quickly stole the show, before capping it out with a rousing rendition of ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’, complete with a backing band that seemed to appear from nowhere, all much to Partridge’s slow-motion horror.

The character of Martin Brennan has left such a lasting impression for Irish fans of Steve Coogan, there was questions as to whether he’d ever bring the Sligo farmer back.

As it turns out, he will! Coogan has a brand new comedy show – Stratagem! with Alan Partridge – on tour around Ireland and the UK, and one the characters that will be in this mix is none other than Martin Brennan himself!

In the run-up to his comedy tour, JOE had the opportunity to chat to Coogan about Stratagem (as well as pretty much his entire career to date!) and you can check out our interview in full right here:

“There’s a character I did in the last series called Martin Brennan, who was a west of Ireland farmer who looked like Alan Partridge and came on to the show and basically just sort of took Alan for a ride. And Alan wasn’t really aware of it.

“So he’ll be doing the same thing in the live show. So he’ll be there. Although he’ll actually be in all of the shows, although he’s an Irish character, we’re not going to do him just in Ireland, we’ll do him everywhere.

“And Alan will certainly talk about the Irish in a way that he thinks is quite sensitive. But of course it won’t be, it will be insensitive and ignorant.”

As for the history of the character of Martin Brennan himself, Coogan tells JOE that there was a delicate history to his creation:

“There’s a funny thing where if you do a character who is Irish and it appears you’re laughing at him. But in actual fact, I was very careful when I wrote it, because the character is laughing at Alan. Martin Brennan is laughing at Alan, you realise that as the interview goes on.

“I felt like I was being really specific. A specific character from a specific part of Ireland. And because I’m not being generic, I think the Irish will respect it, and that is what happened. And so social media reflected that.

“Because if you do something that’s just lazy and potentially racist, then you’ll get found out pretty quickly. I think it passed the smell test for a lot of people, and also they liked it because if you get something right, people will always say ‘Oh, I know someone like him’, or ‘He’s like my uncle’ or ‘He’s like my grandfather’ or whatever. And that happened, and that is really gratifying. Because it is not risk free when you do something like that.”

Steve Coogan is bringing Stratagem to the SSE Arena in Belfast on 22 April, and the 3Arena in Dublin on 23 and 24 April.

Clip via Chortle

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