Steve Coogan has announced that he is bringing Alan Partridge back to the BBC.
Coogan confirmed: "Alan will be back on the BBC early next year."
Signalling it was more than just a special, he added: "There will be a lot of Alan on TV next year."
Coogan kept tight lipped when asked further about the new format, but said: "He'll just be back on a show. It might be a bit like this kind of show, maybe." He jokingly added: "I'm here to do research."
Aside from appearances on Comic Relief, the character of Alan Partridge hasn't appeared in a BBC programme since Anglian Lives: Alan Partridge, the 2003 mockumentary special, a year after the end of sitcom I'm Alan Partridge.
It was revealed in February that Coogan was planning to make a new show for Partridge, but it is only today that it's been confirmed it is for the BBC rather than the character's recent home of Sky Atlantic.
Speaking earlier this year, Coogan said: "We're doing some more Alan at the end of this year. He'll return to the small screen in a way that we're trying to devise at the moment. We're not quite sure what that is, but we've got a few ideas that I'm going to keep up my sleeve at the moment. But there'll be more Alan, there'll be a regular appearance of Alan and some of the usual suspects."
Today's announcement calls into question whether Coogan is to continue his relationship with Sky. He has made his a number of award-winning Alan Partridge shows with the broadcaster, and brought semi-improvised comedy The Trip to the commercial network.
It was reported recently that Sky is keen to order further series of both The Trip and Mid-Morning Matters with Alan Partridge. Head of comedy Jon Mountague told Radio Times: "Steve is very busy - he is shooting movies at the moment. But I would like to do more. But it will be a while."
Speaking further on The One Show, Coogan was asked if a fourth series of The Trip would be set in Wales. He replied: "I cannot confirm that... as it's not going to happen."
Joshing with presenter Alex Jones, who is Welsh, he then said: "We wouldn't rule it out", before adding "No we will rule it out." He then contradicted himself further, adding: "We might go to Ireland, we might go to America... I don't know where we'll go."
Coogan has recently been busy filming Laurel & Hardy movie Stan And Ollie, which will be in cinemas later in the year.
No other details are currently known about the new Alan Partridge project, but now the news has been announced it is likely the BBC will confirm further details soon. The new show is likely to be filmed towards the end of the year, for broadcast in 2018.