This is the moment Steve Coogan appeared to stand up for commuters on a packed Southern Rail train – before seemingly demanding that passengers be allowed to travel with him in the first class carriage.
The Alan Partridge star, 52, was filmed exchanging words with a ticket inspector who allegedly told passengers they could not stand in the carriage without first class tickets.
According to Metro, Coogan reportedly said it was ‘outrageous’ that the other commuters were told to leave when there was space there.
One witness said: “He was saying that it was outrageous that they should face any penalty and that they should have somewhere to sit.
“He was being very chivalrous defending the other passengers. There was one woman who was being told to leave even though she had a lot of luggage and wanted to stay with her bags.
“The train was ridiculously overcrowded with people packed into the aisles and a few passengers had wandered into the first class carriage simply to find a seat or somewhere a little bit more comfortable to stand.”
Unfortunately (for the commuters) the comedian’s efforts came to nothing as they were reportedly ushered out of the first class carriage on the overcrowded 8.46am train from Lewes, Sussex, to London Victoria this morning.
The onlooker added: “The outcome was that the passengers were forced to leave anyway.
“There was a ticket inspector and a guard in the carriage. The guard said to the other passengers: ‘I don’t think the ticket inspector realises who he is.'”
It is difficult to hear what Coogan is saying but can be heard telling the guard he is ‘not being pragmatic’.
Southern Rail has been contacted for comment.
Coogan is best known for creating his most popular character, Alan Partridge – a socially awkward and politically incorrect regional media personality.
According to DigitalSpy, he is co-writing a script for a new comedy-drama about Welsh hippies.
He explained: “It starts in 1969 and is set against the investiture of Prince Charles in Carnarvon Castle – obviously a very important moment in the nation’s history
“It has 15, 20 characters of different sizes, various storylines that intersect. It’s something I am passionate about and know will make people laugh and move them.
“It’s about class, politics and, more importantly than any of that, it’s about people, characters, stories, humanity.”
Maybe he just wanted a little more inspiration from all those people stood with him in first class this morning.