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Declan's over the Moone about new Partridge film

He once described the Irish as "toothless simpletons" . . . "and men in platform shoes being arrested for bombings".

So it must come as a shock to smug presenter Alan Partridge to learn that an Irishman is to direct the big-budget movie version of his hit TV series.

Wexford's Declan Lowney will be behind the camera for The Alan Partridge Movie starring comedian Steve Coogan and penned by comedy writer Armando Iannucci, amongst others.

The Diary can reveal that it was Declan's work on Chris O'Dowd's new Irish sitcom Moone Boy which helped him get the movie gig.

"Steve's company co-produced Moone Boy and he came over for the first week of filming to play a fish factory owner called Frank Feehily. We'd already done a TV film called, Cruise of The Gods," Declan (below with Coogan and O'Dowd) told me when he was back in Dublin this week.

But it was Armando Iannucci's reaction to seeing early edits of Moone Boy which got him the job.

"Chris O'Dowd is very clever and his sitcom is brilliantly funny. Moone Boy is going to appeal to so many people both in Ireland and England," he said.

I bumped into Declan at the Gaiety Theatre on Thursday night at Fiona Looney's new comedy Greener.

One wonders could there be a part for cast member Deirdre O'Kane, another star of Moone Boy, in the Alan Partridge movie which begins shooting in the autumn.

Incidentally, Steve Coogan's parents are Irish, and unlike Alan, he loves us dearly.

Indo Review