Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan Add Star Power on Final Day of Edinburgh TV Festival

Steve Coogan -  67th Berlinale film festival - Getty-H 2017
Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Coogan unveiled the first footage of his new Alan Partridge comedy, while Grant discussed 'A Very English Scandal' (and the scene his dad couldn't watch).

Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan helped bring the 2018 Edinburgh TV Festival to a close on its third and final day on Thursday.

Coogan, speaking alongside Christine Langan, the former BBC Films head who joined his Baby Cow Productions banner as CEO in 2016, unveiled the first footage from his new BBC series featuring his beloved comic creation Alan Partridge, This Time With Alan Partridge.

The show – due for broadcast in early 2019 – sees the largely incompetent and tactless TV and radio presenter return to the BBC to co-host a fictional breakfast news show, having been eyed by the broadcaster as someone representing the voice of “Brexit Britain” outside of London and the metropolitan elite.

“The BBC thinks they’re underrepresenting a certain area of the community, which is weirdly represented by Alan Partridge,” said Coogan.

Langan on Friday also revealed that Baby Cow had optioned The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah, the autobiography of the celebrated British poet, to turn into a series.

Speaking later in the day, Hugh Grant was part of a masterclass panel alongside director Stephen Frears discussing recent Amazon/BBC hit drama A Very English Scandal, the real-life story of disgraced British politician Jeremy Thorpe.

Grant, who played Thorpe, said that he watched the three-part drama with his ex-military father, who only made it up to the infamous scene in which Grant sneaks into the bedroom of his soon-to-be lover Norman Scott (played by Ben Whishaw) with a large pot of Vaseline.

“He was determined to show his support as always, but only got as far as that scene before saying, ‘I’m really quite tired now,’” laughed Grant, who also admitted he’d taken his father to the premiere of Paddington 2. “Halfway through he said, ‘Is that a real bear?’”

Dominic Treadwell-Collins, the head of TV at Blueprint Pictures, the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri producer who also made A Very England Scandal, claimed that Amazon had told him the drama had been the streamer’s number 2, after Goliath, without offering any viewer figures.

With both A Very English Scandal and Paddington 2, for which he earned a BAFTA nomination, Grant has had something of a renaissance on both the small and the big screens, but he wouldn’t reveal any future plans.

“I like to toy with various projects and producers, like a cat with a half-dead mouse,” he said. “I’m currently doing that with several projects.”