Alan Partridge Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge in Mid Morning Matters. Sky

Comedian Steve Coogan has said comic creation Alan Partridge will be the "voice of Brexit" when the character returns to the BBC next year. The actor says the character would have voted to leave the European Union in 2016's referendum.

"Alan would have voted Brexit for sure. Hard Brexit, given the choice. He's a Brexiteer because the Daily Mail told him to be," Coogan told The New European.

Partridge will return to the BBC next spring for a new series.

Explaining why the BBC would take the character back, Coogan said: "It's conceivable, because in this age of Brexit, [the BBC] might think they need to get in touch with the 'Little Englanders' they ignore."

Describing the character as "inept" but "honest and well-intentioned", Coogan added that Partridge "tries not to be sexist, then is sexist. He's the kind of person, a bit like my dad, who tries to impress but it comes out wrong."

Coogan last played the bumbling TV and radio personality on the BBC 15 years ago in sitcom I'm Alan Partridge. The character went on hiatus for eight years, enjoying a revival in 2010 thanks to web series Mid Morning Matters, which was eventually picked up by Sky.

The character then made the jump up to the big screen in 2013's critical and commercial hit Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, before hosting a series of fake documentaries.

Asked about writing the new series, which Coogan says he'll do later this year, the 51-year-old said it was "going to be tough. It's always difficult to make good comedy."

"You always have to work really hard at it. The standard of the comedy on Partridge is so high, that you have to match it, or people go, 'Oh, they've lost it.'. So, you are making a rod for your own back.

"But that's good, because you have to do good stuff, and people like it, and they go, 'Oh! That's brilliant.'"

Coogan has been playing the character since he and writer Armando Iannucci created him in 1991 for BBC Radio 4 spoof series On the Hour. He transitioned to television in 1993 for The Day Today, which was followed by chat show Knowing Me, Knowing You a year later.

I'm Alan Partridge followed in 1997, with a second series airing in 2002.