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Steve Coogan sang Come Out, Ye Black and Tans on prime-time TV as `private bet'

Steve Coogan as Sligo farmer Martin on BBC One's This Time with Alan Partridge

STEVE Coogan has revealed he sang rebel song Come Out, Ye Black and Tans on prime-time BBC as a "private bet".

The English actor and comedian, who has Irish parents, performed an impromptu version of the song on the spoof chat show This Time with Alan Partridge last March.

Coogan appeared as both Partridge and Sligo farmer Martin Brennan in the episode.

Martin shocked the host when he performed Come Out, Ye Black and Tans, followed by a verse of The Men Behind the Wire.

Afterwards, Partridge said: "Oh my god. That was like an advert for the IRA."

"As someone who is half-Irish, I was hoping that my fellow Irishmen would appreciate it and they did," Coogan told RTÉ Entertainment.

"It was kinda like a little in-joke, a private bet - I wonder could we get, just for the mischief, an Irish rebel song on prime-time BBC One and we managed to do that. Hahahaha. In fact, we got two Irish rebel songs in."

Coogan, who spent summers in Mayo as a child, added that there was no resistance to the idea from the BBC.

"It's an in-joke for us but it works comically because Alan Partridge plays a member of the establishment who is appalled by it and that's where the comedy comes from so artistically it's entirely justifiable but it also makes me have a private chuckle," he said.

This week, Sinn Féin's Dessie Ellis dismissed criticism of his joining supporters chanting the rebel song at the Dáil election count at the RDS.

The outgoing TD joined about a dozen supporters in the count centre in singing.

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