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Born in Manchester in 1965 to a sprawling Irish Catholic family, Steve Coogan could have used his verbal dexterity to pursue a successful career as a middle of the road impressionist.
However, having provided voices for Spitting Image, he began to carve a niche as a character comic.
Paul Calf, a drunken Mancunian halfwit and his promiscuous sister Pauline, began as live comedy acts before exposure on TV.
In philistine sports commentator Alan Partridge (initially in The Day Today), Coogan found a character strong enough to spin off into two series: Knowing Me, Knowing You and I'm Alan Partridge.
Not even the relative failure of crooner Tony Ferrino has dented Coogan's appeal, which now extends to the US Box Office thanks to his lead role in Around The World In Eighty Days.
He also starred in the film A Cock And Bull Story and launched another successful TV creation in Saxondale.
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