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Steve Coogan returns with new comic creation - himself

Funnyman Steve Coogan is to return to TV with a new comic creation - himself.

The star, who has appeared in a number of Hollywood movies in recent years, will appear in a new semi-improvised comedy series The Trip.

The BBC2 series sees Coogan and co-star Rob Brydon playing versions of themselves as they take a trip around the north of England to undertake a series of restaurant reviews.

Coogan - whose hit characters have included Alan Partridge and Paul Calf - launched his most recent comedy persona Tommy Saxondale in 2006.

The six-part series is directed by Michael Winterbottom, whose film successes have included The Road To Guantanamo and 9 Songs. He has previously worked with Coogan and Brydon on 24 Hour Party People and A Cock And Bull Story.

In the series Coogan is commissioned by a Sunday newspaper to review half a dozen restaurants but splits from his food-loving American girlfriend with just days to go.

He enlists the help of Brydon to accompany him on the journey as they head off around the Lake District, Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales, discussing life and food.

US star Ben Stiller also makes a guest appearance as Coogan's agent.

Announcing the series, the BBC said: "In the style of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the story is fictional but based around their real personas."

Another comedy to feature in the new BBC2 season is Whites, a series about a chef who is past his sell-by date starring Jonathan Creek actor Alan Davies.