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stan and ollie

Steve Coogan doesn't think the 'looming disaster' of Brexit will actually happen

The British comedian and actor has campaigned against Britain’s exit from the EU.

TheJournal.ie / YouTube

ACTOR AND REMAIN campaigner Steve Coogan doesn’t believe Brexit will happen, he told TheJournal.ie.

In an interview to promote his new film Stan and Ollie, in which he stars alongside US actor John C Reilly (the pair play comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy), Coogan spoke about his fears about the Brexit impact, but admitted he thinks the exit is unlikely to go ahead.

“To me, I think [Brexit is] inevitably going to have a negative impact,” Coogan told this website. “I think it sends out all the wrong signals.”

“I don’t think it’s going to happen to be honest,” he said.

Coogan revealed he’s not so much worried about the impact it will have on him as what Brexit will mean for those less well off.

I’m not worried from a personal point of view because I’m in a situation where I’m sort of inured and inoculated against a lot of economic news because I’ve got a financial cushion – but not many people do.

Tomorrow, British Prime Minister Theresa May will face another vote in the Commons on her Brexit deal. If it is voted down – as it is widely anticipated to be – she will have to return next Monday with her ‘Plan B’. 

Steve Coogan has spoken publicly about Brexit before. In October of last year, he paid for buses to take people to London for a mass march that called for a People’s Vote on Brexit. 

In an article he wrote at the time for the Independent newspaper, he described Brexit as a “looming disaster for our country” and said that the public had to be given the final say on it. 

If I wrote this stuff for TV, incredulous commissioning editors would laugh at me. But the zealots in government who want Brexit are putting their desire for a grip and grin in the Oval Office above the protections and benefits being a member of the EU provide us all.

Coogan, who grew up in Manchester, began his career on the show Spitting Image. It was his creation Alan Partridge, a hapless local radio presenter, that turned him into one of Britain’s most important comedians.

Brexit will get a mention in the next Alan Partridge series, which will be broadcast on the BBC this spring.

Coogan’s co-star John C Reilly was less enamoured by the Brexit chat (preferring to give this reporter a rose from his lapel as a way of ending the interview rather than ending it on Brexit), but did pronounce it “a horrible thing”. 

“I hope we never even have to say this word [Brexit] anymore,” said Reilly. “Enough already.”

Stan and Ollie is in cinemas now. Read our full interview with Steve Coogan, John C Reilly and director Jon S Baird on the film here.

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