Perhaps it’s testament to the timeless power of Steve Coogan’s character, Alan Partridge, that people can’t stop quoting his most famous catchphrase, but last night, when the actor was on the red carpet for his latest movie Philomena, the ‘Ahas!’ just kept coming.

Watch Dench and Coogan in the trailer for Philomena

It didn’t help that his previous film was Alpha Papa, which saw Alan Partridge become the pride of Norfolk if he wasn’t already – with his involvement in an incredibly newsworthy radio station siege.

Philomena, though, isn’t a comedy; it tells the touching story of a political journalist (Coogan) who feels compelled to help a women search for her long lost son after she was forced to live in a convent. This woman – the titular character, Philomena – is played by Dame Judi Dench, who posed alongside Coogan on the red carpet.

“Philomena is an exceptional woman and this story is about her fortitude, and her strength and her faith,” she said of the woman behind the true story. “If we were all as strong in our convictions as Philomena then we wouldn't have much to worry about." (Mail Online)

So far, the film has been a hit with the critics. “We prepared ourselves for an emotional explosion-not for physical violence, but for that of a bursting heart-and yet, when the time came, that is not what happened. Frears put the pin back in the grenade, as it were,” said The New Yorker.

Time Magazine heap praise on the film’s director, Stephen Frears. “Frears, in fine form at 72,” they write, “has proved himself a modest master at juggling the serious and the silly in such actors' showcases as The Queen and Tamara Drewe; and the script by Coogan and Jeff Pope, brims with bright dialogue.”

Philomena hits cinemas on November 1st in the U.K; November 22 in the U.S.

Steve Coogan and Judi Dench
Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in Philomena