British comedy legend Steve Coogan has said he considers himself half Irish and revealed that he will be receiving his Irish passport soon.
Coogan is from Manchester, England but his mother came from Mayo and the family would holiday there while he was a child.
Coogan told the Irish Times: “My Irish passport will be arriving shortly. That’s not a joke.”
The star has referenced Ireland throughout his career. Father Ted creators Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews famously appeared in a classic episode of I’m Alan Partridge.
They played TV executives who Partridge tried to schmooze, before things went from bad to worse for him.
Coogan also wrote and starred in the 2013 movie Philomena, which saw Judi Dench play the role of a woman who had given birth in a mother and baby home.
More recently, Coogan played an Irish farmer called Martin Brennan who appeared on Partridge’s show as a look-alike.
Brennan insulted Partridge throughout the segment before performing a medley of traditional Irish songs including the rebel classic ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’.
Coogan revealed that his mother had been worried when that episode aired as she felt her son could be on the end of a backlash from the British public – but she was ‘relieved that people thought it was great’.
He added that he felt the comedy in singing the song was justified, saying: “There was a joke there: I wonder if we can get an Irish rebel song on prime-time television.”
He has previously explained why the BBC were happy to allow the segment to air.
If you have Irish heritage you could also be entitled to an Irish passport and citizenship. Click here to find out more