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New series of Alan Partridge saved after speeding actor Steve Coogan gets reduced driving ban

PUBLISHED: 16:54 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:05 14 August 2019

Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan during filming in Norwich in 2013. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan during filming in Norwich in 2013. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan was given a reduced driving ban for speeding after claiming a tougher sentence would force him to cancel his new BBC1 series.

The comedian and actor, who plays the fictional Norwich broadcaster in television shows including I'm Alan Partridge, was clocked driving his Porsche at 36mph in a 30mph zone close to his £4m mansion in Halland, East Sussex.

Coogan, 53, was caught by an automatic camera on the A22 Eastbourne Road on January 8 and faced a three point endorsement on his driving licence.

But he already had nine points from previous motoring offences and a further three points would mean he would have 12 points and face an automatic six-month ban under the totting up procedure.

Magistrates in Crawley decided to hand him a two-month driving ban on August 13 after hearing a six-month ban would force him to cancel an Alan Partridge travelogue television series he is set to make for the BBC.

He said the travelogue, due to start filming in October, sees the comedy character driving to various locations around Britain meeting people.

Coogan told the court: "I'm producing a travelogue follow on TV series where I'm basically driving around Britain.

"The whole nature of the series is that it is a travelogue and it's an artistic thing that he drives and that defines his character.

"You couldn't put him on a train because that's not who he is - it's part of his character that he drives."

He said the camera shots could not be faked because he has to be seen driving the vehicle himself.

He said: "You have cameras mounted on the bonnet then you have other shots where you have a camera mounted on a separate car filming the person in the car driving."

Coogan said his Baby Cow production company has lined up between 15-20 professionals to work on the series who would struggle to find alternative work if he cancelled the series.

The court heard the actor has a history of speeding offences.

Coogan admitted his driving record was not good but claimed he has now taken steps to alter his behaviour.

He received three penalty points.

Magistrates also fined him £750 with £85 court costs and £75 victim surcharge.

Nick Lloyd, acting head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: "It is disappointing that Steve Coogan, who has already a history of speeding offences, has received a shorter driving ban.

"Drivers - whoever they might be - have a responsibility to other road users to comply with the laws of the road. By breaking the speed limit you are more likely to kill or seriously injure others including pedestrians and cyclists."

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