Steve Coogan sang ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ on BBC as an in-joke

Steve Coogan as Martin Brennan

Comedy legend Steve Coogan has revealed what led him to sing the classic Irish rebel song ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ during his prime-time BBC show.

The song featured in an episode of ‘This Time with Alan Partridge’ which is a spoof early evening magazine show.

Coogan performed the song in character as Irish farmer Martin Brennan, who was a guest on the show.

Steve Coogan as Martin Brennan

It happened when Partridge was attempting to introduce the final segment of the show – but his look-alike Brennan had other ideas.

Brennan started to sing ‘When You Were Sweet Sixteen’ which may have irritated Partridge but was innocent enough.

He was then joined by a few friends and switched to singing the classic rebel song – all while set next to an icon of the British establishment, James Bond.

It turned out to be one of the most memorable moments of the entire series.

Coogan has now revealed that he sang the song as an in-joke after making a bet with a friend.

He told RTÉ Entertainment: “It was kind of like a little in-joke, a private. I thought ‘I wonder could we get, just for the mischief, an Irish rebel song on primetime BBC One?’, and we managed to do that, hahaha!

“In fact, we got two Irish rebel songs in!”

He went on to explain why the BBC allowed the song to feature in the show.

He said: “It’s an in-joke for us but it works comically because Alan Partridge plays a member of the establishment who is appalled by it, and that’s where the comedy comes from.

“So artistically it’s entirely justifiable, but it also makes me have a private chuckle.”

Take a look at the video below.


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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcallingJoin our community