Steve Coogan admits there’s ‘quite a lot of me’ in his long-running comic creation, old school radio presenter Alan Partridge.

Norfolk’s most renowned local radio DJ makes his movie debut in Alpha Papa next Friday, but Steve – who has been playing Alan Partridge since he first appeared as a hapless sports reporter on BBC Radio 4 news satire On The Hour in 1991 – has admitted that he didn’t like the character at first.

“Alan 20 years ago seems like a very crude and a little dated now,” Steve told Time Out magazine. “When I started writing it with Patrick Marber and Armando Iannucci, I would get angry.”

“I felt like they were being too cruel and mocking – like pulling the legs off an insect. I feel an affinity with Alan because there is quite a lot of me in him and I use him as a bin for anything that is bothering me. So I’m not satisfied with just curling your lip and sneering.”

But Steve says that despite his eccentricty, Alan has changed over the last two decades.

“He has to reflect the zeitgeist. He was a rather intolerant Daily Mail-reading Little Englander and he has to fit in with the new liberal consensus. David Cameron now at least pretends to like gays. You have to reflect that.”

Alpha Papa arrives in cinemas this Friday.