Steve Coogan

The Parole Officer

Interviewed by Jane Crowther

Were you ever tempted to do "Alan Partridge: The Movie"?

It was mooted very early on and it would have been easier and more straightforward to get the go-ahead for that kind of film. But I'd done what I wanted to do with Alan Partridge on television and the only real incentive to do a film would have been financial. That's a good incentive but it's not enough. Creatively it wasn't what I was interested in.

Was it helpful having another writer, Ben Miller, in the cast?

Whenever you work with anyone who has another hat as a writer, it actually helps a lot because when you come to try to resolve script problems people don't just ask you to do it. Ben had a lot of suggestions and that was useful.

You do quite a few of your own stunts. What was your scariest moment?

Dangling between two buildings on a wire 100 feet up. That was quite scary, but exciting. Actors say they do their own stunts for the integrity of the film but I did them because they looked like a lot of fun!

Were you nervous of carrying a film on your own?

Yes, because I know what I'm quite good at is being annoying and funny for half an hour. I always find it easier to portray myself as being unlikeable and idiotic; to actually play a character that is likeable and engages the audience is far more difficult. It's a more subtle kind of challenge.

"The Parole Officer" is released in UK cinemas on Friday 10th August 2001.