Actor and comedian Steve Coogan joined Coldplay on stage for the band’s penultimate show at Wembley Stadium in London Saturday night. Coogan appeared in character as Alan Partridge to sing covers of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” and ABBA’s 1976 hit “Knowing Me, Knowing You.”
For night five out of six scheduled shows at Wembley, Coogan emerged on stage as the erratic talk show host from his BBC sitcom series. Dressed in a flashy red tracksuit with the words “Snow Patrol” stitched onto the back, Partridge joined Chris Martin on vocals while the frontman happily took the backseat, playing guitar and backup.
The surprise performance also included appearances from Jacob Collier, who played piano, and Nicole Lawrence, who assisted Martin on a pedal steel guitar. According to the Evening Standard, Partridge made a few jokes about “Running Up That Hill,” asking the audience and Martin to contemplate what the song’s meaning is.
“Because it can’t just be about running?” he asked.
Coogan’s Partridge character has made references to both ABBA and Bush’s music in the past, most famously with Partridge performing a Bush medley for “Comic Relief” in 1999. “Knowing Me, Knowing You” was also the name of one of Coogan’s many comedy shows on the BBC and featured various ABBA songs.
Although unexpected, the addition of Partridge was not the first time Coldplay surprised fans at their sold-out “Music of the Spheres” tour. For previous Wembley shows, they brought out R&B star Craig David, who played the best of his 2000s hits, and Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia, who honored the late Olivia Newton-John with a cover of “Summer Nights.”