||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (September 2013)|
|First appearance||Radio: On the Hour
Television: The Day Today
|Created by||Steve Coogan, Patrick Marber and Armando Iannucci|
|Portrayed by||Steve Coogan|
|Occupation||Radio and television presenter, conference host|
|Significant other(s)||Sonja (separated)|
|Relatives||Dorothy Partridge (mother)|
Alan Gordon Partridge is a fictional character portrayed by English comedian Steve Coogan and invented by Coogan, Patrick Marber and Armando Iannucci for the BBC Radio 4 programme On The Hour. A parody of both sports commentators and chat show presenters, among others, the character has appeared in two radio series, three television series and numerous TV and radio specials, including appearances on BBC's Comic Relief, which have followed the rise and fall of his fictional career. A feature-length film featuring the character, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, was released in August 2013.
- 1 Character creation
- 2 Character
- 3 Fictional biography
- 3.1 Early years and career
- 3.2 Radio career
- 3.3 The Day Today
- 3.4 Knowing Me, Knowing You
- 3.5 I'm Alan Partridge
- 3.6 Anglian Lives
- 3.7 Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge
- 3.8 I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan
- 3.9 Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life
- 3.10 Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
- 4 List of appearances
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Partridge first appeared in On the Hour in 1991, and was a joint creation by Coogan, Iannucci and Marber. Iannucci recalls asking Coogan to do a voice for a "generic sports reporter". "Someone said, 'He’s an Alan!' and someone else said, 'He’s a Partridge!' Within minutes we knew where he lived, we’d worked out his backstory, what his aspirations were."
While many of his personality defects are apparent in his appearances in shows such as The Day Today and Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, it is largely from I'm Alan Partridge onwards that his creators began to explore his personality in depth, and most of the observations that follow originated in that show.
Partridge is characterised as an insecure, superficial and narcissistic "wally". He is concerned largely with status, the level of his public profile and, to a lesser extent, the ostentatious possessions this allows him to acquire (such as his beloved Rover cars and Bang & Olufsen stereo systems). Despite being a broadcaster, Partridge is socially incompetent and awkward, prone to one-upmanship, embarrassing social faux pas and displays of deep insensitivity to social norms. His thoughtlessness and selfish lack of interest in anything beyond himself exposes an unsympathetic character that is disliked and privately lampooned by many of those with whom he comes into contact.
Among Partridge's few friends are Lynn Benfield, his long-suffering personal assistant whom he regularly humiliates, and Michael, an emotionally tortured ex-soldier from Newcastle upon Tyne. It is notable, however, that he treats even these people with little more than disdain despite expecting complete loyalty from them in return; in the first series of I'm Alan Partridge he does not even seem to be on first-name terms with Michael, who exclusively addressed him as "Mr Partridge" throughout the two series. Alan appears to have a close friendship with Bill Oddie, who even sends him Christmas presents. Partridge is otherwise depicted as being unable to forge genuine friendships or connections with other people, who are, seemingly without exception, repelled by his unpleasant and self-absorbed personality.
Later on in his career, working for North Norfolk Digital, he appears to have a good relationship with Simon, his sidekick on Mid Morning Matters, who he hires after meeting socially in a pub. Initially, Alan seems to be fond of Simon, although he has no problem ridiculing him and making him do menial work (such as changing his business card by pen) especially when other guests are present. The relationship becomes strained after Simon plays a prank on Alan causing him to reveal his tax band on air, and when Alan discovers Simon is working with another DJ he becomes jealous and describes Simon as a "traitor". Sidekick Simon is eventually fired, and replaced by Zoe Scott. Sidekick Simon resumes his tenure at North Norfolk Digital and Alan's sidekick sometime before the events of Alpha Papa.
Partridge is depicted as being a sexually repressed and prudish man, uncomfortable and awkward with overt (or even subtle) displays of sexual or romantic feelings, or what he views as being "perverted" sexual practices. He is particularly disconcerted by homosexuality, and despite describing himself as "homosceptic" at one point appears to entertain homoerotic or bisexual tendencies. This is the subject of numerous running gags in I’m Alan Partridge, in particular his numerous efforts to deny his interest in Bangkok "lady-boys" (whom he describes as "fascinating creatures" whilst insisting that he is merely confused by them and not attracted to them) and a recurrent gag in which he will daydream about performing an erotic dance in a peephole Pringle jumper and a vulcanised rubber thong for a selection of men (usually those who can help further his career in some way, such as BBC Chief of Programming Tony Hayers). Alan spent 182 days living at the Linton Travel Tavern (roughly equidistant between London and Norwich); in his room was a chest of drawers, the contents of the top drawer he took great pains to keep secret. (Armando Iannucci has since publicly revealed the contents of said drawer at Nottingham’s ScreenLit Festival.)
Partridge is quite misogynistic, displaying a tendency to patronise women, who usually view him with some disdain. Despite this, in the second series of I’m Alan Partridge he manages to sustain a romantic relationship with Sonja, a scatterbrained 33-year-old immigrant from Ukraine who is quite devoted to him. Even this relationship, however, is marked by Alan’s open contempt for her, and it is apparent that her affection towards him is largely unreturned and that his relationship with her is mainly based on the boost to his ego that their 14-year age gap provides – an age gap which he is frequently heard boasting about.
Despite his initial discomfort on sexual topics, Alan later, in interviews as well in his book, begins to reveal more about his sexual life, and hosts have had to warn him as he ventures into explicit content. In an interview with Jonathan Ross he states that he used to think the public did not wish to know about his love life, but then later decided that they do. On Mid Morning Matters, it is revealed Alan has suffered from erectile dysfunction, although he blames it on remembering he had not renewed his tax disc having commenced foreplay. It is also suggested that he has taken Viagra, as he warns listeners "not to exceed the stated dose". Alan becomes attracted to Zoe Scott, his much younger sidekick, who appears in later episodes of Mid Morning Matters. She appears to be unaware of his feelings, saying that Alan reminds her of her dad. In the last episode of the series, Alan tries desperately to ask Zoe out on a date, prompting him to wear a bright pink jacket and get a fake tan to appear younger. After the events of Alpha Papa, Alan has developed a relationship with another member of North Norfolk Digital's workforce, Angela, and is seen driving both Angela and her two boys with a speedboat in-tow.
No member of Partridge’s family is shown on any of the series that he appears in; however, his dysfunctional relationship with them informs much of the background of the show. In his early appearances, Alan was married to Carol; although never-seen on screen, she can be heard in the mock documentary Knowing Knowing Me, Knowing You that accompanied the BBC Radio 4 series of Knowing Me, Knowing You first broadcast in 1993. Their relationship appeared to be under a lot of strain. In the Christmas special Knowing Me, Knowing Yule, Alan attributed his rash and erratic behaviour to the fact that Carol had left him for her personal trainer, on Christmas Eve. By the time of I'm Alan Partridge, Alan and Carol are divorced, and while Alan lives in a Travel Tavern, Carol remains in their home with her new boyfriend, who Alan describes unflatteringly as "a narcissistic sports pimp" who apparently enjoys protein drinks.
During their marriage, Alan and Carol had two children — Fernando (apparently named after the song by ABBA) and Denise — neither of whom is ever seen or heard on-screen. During the run of Knowing Me, Knowing You, Alan states that Fernando is studying Politics at Christ's College, Cambridge. The next references to Alan's children are made in I'm Alan Partridge, in which Fernando hangs up on one of Alan's rambling go-nowhere telephone conversations, and in which a staff member at the Travel Tavern mentions that Denise has an oddly similar appearance to Alan. It is also revealed that Denise has a pierced navel, and that Fernando seems to spend much of his time in bed with a succession of girlfriends. In an offhand comment in I'm Alan Partridge, Alan glibly states that he has access to his children, but that they have no desire to see him.
On Mid Morning Matters more is revealed about Alan's parents, particularly his father, with whom he had a bad relationship. He recounts his birthday when he remembers being ' "glad" about his father needing eleven stitches in his head (slipping on cake that Alan had dropped), after he told Alan "he would never amount to anything."
Outside of his all-consuming quest to be on television, his various appearances often demonstrate that Partridge does not possess a particularly rich or detailed personal life. In I’m Alan Partridge in particular, he is often shown to occupy himself with pointless or needless tasks, seemingly just to give himself something to do. This is particularly evident in the first series episode "Basic Alan", over the course of which he walks to a petrol station to buy 12 bottles of windscreen washer fluid for no apparent reason, spends time driving repeatedly around a ring road and purchases a packet of tungsten-tipped screws which he states he has no intention of ever using.
Most of the interests he is depicted as having show him as out of touch with modern society in general; he describes Paul McCartney's band Wings as "the band The Beatles could have been" and getting offended by a performance of the song "Monday Morning" by Scottish rock star Shona McGough on Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge. In "Towering Alan" he claims to have a broad taste in music; he is a fan of Kate Bush, the Electric Light Orchestra, UB40, Def Leppard and particularly ABBA, the music of which is a recurrent theme in Knowing Me, Knowing You. In the second series episode "I Know What Alan Did Last Summer" he enthusiastically plays "air-bass" to the Gary Numan song "Music for Chameleons", and in "Never Say Alan Again" is seen drumming along inside his Lexus to the theme of Return of the Saint which he plays at full volume insensitively at the cemetery whilst having given his assistant Lynn ten minutes to commemorate the anniversary of her mother's passing. Alan is also a fan of the James Bond film series, citing Roger Moore as the best Bond since "no-one could, sort of, wear a safari suit with the same degree of casuality".
The few hobbies he is depicted as indulging in include driving, rambling, birdwatching (a possible explanation for the frequent references to Bill Oddie within the show), skiing and collecting celebrity memorabilia.
Partridge is politically conservative, and his favourite newspaper is the Daily Mail, a right-wing publication which he claims is "arguably the best newspaper in the world" in the episode "Bravealan". He firmly believes in the application of law and order and has a strong stance on criminality, viewing hoodlums and miscreants as "sub-human scum". He also favours the death penalty for treason and murder. Despite these professed views, he appears to have no strong moral compunctions; in one episode he exploits an "all you can fit on a plate" breakfast deal at the Travel Tavern by bringing in a slightly larger plate of his own, a "scam" of which the staff are in fact fully aware but tolerate with amusement. Alan is not a fan of the modern obsession with health and safety, stating on one occasion that political correctness had "gone mad" after being told that naked flames are not permitted on the forecourt of his local petrol station, thus curtailing his plans for a barbecue there. He has admiration for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and believes she was betrayed by her own party when she was forced out of Downing Street, and in 1997 claimed that the Referendum Party had "more integrity than the whole of the other political parties put together."
He has commented on The Troubles in Northern Ireland, stating that he believes both Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness to be very clever men, but also that he does not trust either of them as he believes Adams looks like a deputy headmaster and McGuinness looks like a clown without make-up. He displays ignorance over the issues that unfolded in Ireland, once chastising the Irish over the potato famine with the remark, "at the end of the day, they will pay the price for being a fussy eater", and also completely misunderstanding the lyrics to "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2, believing the song to "really encapsulate the frustrations of a Sunday" (both of these conversations happened in front of two Irish television producers in "To Kill A Mocking Alan"). Alan once caused a security alert at Choristers Country Club by booking a room under the name "The Real IRA".
In an episode of Mid Morning Matters, a Conservative Party member is invited onto the show. Alan has a clear lack of knowledge in the subject areas discussed, although he tries to interject with vague comments when he can. He eventually pressures the guest into admitting that bus fares have increased under the Conservatives after repeating the question "Have you put up bus fares?" several times. Alan sees this as a great victory, and appears to think listeners also share his excitement by telling them they can replay the video online and see someone saying something "slightly different from what they said earlier".
Early years and career
Within his fictional world, Partridge was born to Dorothy Partridge on 2 April 1955 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, and spent his childhood in Norwich. He was often bullied at school, as we find out in an episode of the original Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge radio show when Alan is hypnotised and regressed to his childhood, and reveals he was called "Smelly Alan Fartridge" by classmate Stephen McCoombe – happily for Partridge, McCoombe now has back problems and lives on disability benefits. He claims in his autobiography that this was infantile humour that any self-respecting comedian would have dismissed and that he was particularly sensitive to hygiene issues and if there were anything he did smell of, it would have been Radox and Colgate. In the second series of I'm Alan Partridge, Alan recounts a story about a time he was once caned for having a chalk penis drawn on the back of his school blazer by another student, an incident about which he still feels bitter. The same student also dropped Alan's swimming trunks into a urinal one day at school, despite Alan being his scout pack leader. He appears to have had a lonely childhood, and in a "Rural Alan" special feature (found on the DVD release of Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge) recounts how he would ramble about the Norfolk countryside in solitude, singing his favourite pop songs.
After passing two A-levels Partridge attended the (fictional) East Anglia Polytechnic. He later married Carol, who gave birth to Alan's son Fernando and daughter Denise. Carol left Alan for a fitness instructor (whom Alan claims to be an "idiot" and a "narcissistic sports pimp"), and took the children with her.
Alan worked his way upwards from a position as a DJ on Radio Smile on St Luke's hospital radio, until he left, after arguments with patients. He then began presenting the drive time Traffic Buster show on Radio Norwich, where he stayed for five years and was named sports reporter of the year in 1988. He then became a presenter on the BBC's Scoutabout programme, where he entered into the top eight of BBC sports reporters. Alan soon garnered a slot presenting sports news on BBC Radio 4's On the Hour programme (1991) presented by Chris Morris. On that show Alan suffered from a severe lack of any sporting knowledge and developed a notable talent for mixed and/or nonsensical metaphors.
Alan got his first starring role in 1992 as host of BBC Radio 4's Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge (a spoof chat show with fictional guests). A typical question was "You've just published your autobiography. What's that about?" He managed to offend people on his show who would then attempt to disgrace the host. During his tenure on the show, Alan hit a child genius, unknowingly took cocaine, bribed rent boys, lost his wife's Nissan Micra in a bet, was openly homophobic, forced the resignation of a junior government minister and, in the series finale, his guest Lord Morgan of Glossop died of an apparent heart attack.
There was also a one off spoof-documentary about the show called Knowing Knowing Me, Knowing You. It provided a behind-the-scenes look at how the show was put together and the antagonism between Alan and those who worked for him, as well as giving insight into the problems with his marriage to Carol.
The Day Today
On The Hour transferred to television as The Day Today in 1994, where Alan continued as the inept sports reporter ("This is Sports Desk... I'm Alan Partridge"). Here he bungled his way through a feature on the 1994 FIFA World Cup, gave a colourful report on the previous sporting season, made a complete mess of reporting a recent horse race meeting, and was beaten up by a female martial arts instructor.
Knowing Me, Knowing You
The transition to television was to be a success for Alan, and was swiftly followed by a television version of Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge. The format was largely the same as the radio show, with the addition of a house band under the directorship of Glen Ponder (played by musical comedian Steve Brown). In the sixth episode, Alan accidentally shot dead one of his guests (Forbes McAllister) on air while examining one of the duelling pistols owned by Lord Byron. He was cleared of any wrongdoing by an internal BBC investigation. The show featured an Alan Partridge tie and blazer badge set which, like the Alan Partridge face mask, was produced but never marketed – instead the famous "Tie and Blazer Badge Set" was printed on a T-shirt and included as part of a boxed set of videos released towards the end of the 1990s.
In reality, Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge was a huge success; in the fictional world of Alan Partridge, it suffered from terrible ratings. This was because of "poor scheduling" (the show was aired at the same time as News at Ten on ITV) and Alan's PA, Lynn, claimed that "the ratings started poorly and went downhill from there".
Despite poor ratings (in-universe) Alan later hosted a Christmas special, titled Knowing Me, Knowing Yule, which was made only because it was in his contract. One of his guests was the (fictional) director of programming at the BBC, Tony Hayers (later to become Alan's nemesis, played by David Schneider). Alan, with a characteristic lack of subtlety, was seen probing for a new series of Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge. However, the show was an unmitigated disaster for Alan, as his attempt at product placement was blatantly exposed, and the show climaxed with Alan punching both a man in a wheelchair and Tony Hayers (twice) with his hand inside a roast partridge. After punching Hayers for the first time, Partridge begged "please don't take my chat away from me", then after punching him a second time declared "I'll never work in broadcasting again". Mick Hucknall of Simply Red then played the show out. It was clearly the beginning of the end of his time at BBC television. He was "kept on the books" for a short while, but after a particularly harrowing meeting with Hayers at the BBC cafeteria (which involved assault by cheese) he was left in no doubt that his BBC TV career was over.
I'm Alan Partridge
Partridge next appeared in I'm Alan Partridge (1997), a look behind the scenes of his rapidly failing career. In this television series, he is seen having gained a slot on the fictional Radio Norwich. He continues to cause offence, this time mainly to his listeners. He also has a bad relationship with his colleague Dave Clifton (played by Phil Cornwell), whom Alan occasionally insults while introducing him on his show (for example in "Alan Attraction", Alan says "Here's a man who indeed won't be killing anyone with syphilis"). However Dave usually gets the better of Alan except in "Basic Alan" where he tells Dave to "fuck off" after he torments him over a recent incident with a traffic cone. Dave is stunned by this and lays into Alan by claiming that "dead-air is a crime and that it is terrible that he has to fill it with swearing on his show". Alan's comeback refers to the correct time (7.01am) and that it is Dave's show and he is merely a guest whom Dave has failed to control, adding: "Read the smallprint on your cone-tract". By this stage in his life Alan had been kicked out by his wife and, after wandering around a John Menzies for five hours in a state of depressed homelessness, Alan had been forced to take up residence in the equally fictional Linton Travel Tavern, which he chose because it is "equidistant between London and Norwich". The first episode featured Alan meeting Tony Hayers, begging for a new series on the BBC. Hayers was not impressed, and Alan had to wrap up his production company Peartree Productions (a reference to the Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas"), firing all its staff including Jill (whom he had feelings for and had a one-night stand with, albeit unsuccessfully). During his time at the Linton Travel Tavern, we discovered more about Alan's failed marriage, his children and his obsession with "Bangkok Chick Boys" (ladyboys). In "Watership Alan" he was crushed by a dead cow after insulting farmers on his show, and in "To Kill a Mocking Alan" he was nearly kidnapped by his "number one fan", a crazed stalker called Jed Maxwell.
In the final episode, Tony Hayers died after a fall from a roof, and one of Alan's old friends, Chris Feather, took over as head of programmes at the BBC. However, at the decisive moment when the new executive was about to sign a five-year contract, he keeled over and died, forcing Alan to forge the dead man's signature.
The programme itself is not presented as a documentary, but during the in-character commentary on the DVD release, Alan explains that it is in fact a "post-documentary"; all the events depicted in the series took place, but everyone in the show, apart from himself and his personal assistant Lynn Benfield (played by Felicity Montagu), were actors hired to portray them "after they had actually occurred".
Alan's next appearance was in a 1999 half-hour special filmed for Comic Relief in which Alan started to lose the plot, foreshadowing his mental breakdown in the second series of I'm Alan Partridge. In a simulcast between BBC Two and Radio Norwich, Alan appears incoherent and incapable of keeping track of the format of his own show. A second Comic Relief appearance followed in 2001, showing him interviewing a boxing manager, played by Peter Kay. Eventually, this resulted in Alan taking on one of the boxers in the ring and being beaten by the boxer, the manager and his friend Michael.
Coogan was apparently reluctant to continue playing the character, but returned for a second series of I'm Alan Partridge in 2002.
In the second series Alan was temporarily living in a caravan while waiting for his new house to be built. Despite his five-year contract with the BBC, Alan claims to his old school teacher "Sweaty" Frank Raphael in "The Talented Mr. Alan" that there was "bad blood" between them and they were "bitter bastards", plus every profession has its "shits", so they had to let him go.
Alan returned to radio, securing the "third best slot on Radio Norwich", presenting Norfolk Nights, a big leap from his former timeslot of 4am to 7am, when he presented Up With the Partridge. Alan also presents a military-based quiz show called Skirmish on the (fictional) cable station UK Conquest, and has a deal with Meteor Productions to make the Crash! Bang! Wallop!... What a Video / Scum on the Run series of car-crash videos.
In the period from his time at the Linton Travel Tavern to his residence in the temporary "static home", Alan suffered a mental breakdown and put on weight, or as he put it, was "clinically fed up" and "repellent to women for two years". This collapse culminated in Alan driving a Vauxhall Vectra to Dundee in his bare feet while gorging himself on Toblerone (in a similar incident, Alan recounts throwing all his tax receipts off a ferry). However, by 2002, his life was firmly back on track, save for the odd glitch. He even had a Ukrainian girlfriend called Sonja, who was 33 years old – 14 years younger than him (a point Alan emphasises with the smug exclamation, "Back of the net!", whilst miming kicking a football). Alan mentioned documenting this period in his life a fictional autobiography, Bouncing Back.
Memorable moments of this series include Alan dry-vomiting his way through a speech about fireplaces after impaling his foot on a spiked fence; mistakenly getting involved with swingers; attacking a six-foot stuffed Beefeater bear; his summing up the entire opening of The Spy Who Loved Me in less than a minute during a failed attempt at a 24-hour Bondathon; Lynn's baptism at her Baptist church and, of course, the pulping of his autobiography which, despite taking up four weeks of his life to write, simply wasn't selling well (partly because every anecdote ended with the phrase "Needless to say, I had the last laugh"). Unfortunately, Alan tells us, it seems the public was more concerned with buying gangster autobiographies like Bad Slags.
The second series saw a move away from the drier and more realistic style of the first, a move that was at odds with more recent sitcoms, most notably The Office. This led to it being less well received than the first. Surprisingly, producer and co-writer of the series, Armando Iannucci states in the commentary to his own DVD of The Armando Iannucci Shows, that he had recently re-watched the second series of I'm Alan Partridge, and describes it as "terrible". On the DVD commentary of the second series of I'm Alan Partridge, Steve Coogan appears surprised at the over-the-top style he used to play Alan in the 2002 series, calling it "big acting".
Steve Coogan's profile on the BBC Comedy website talks of another series featuring Alan Partridge, entitled I'm Still Alan Partridge. However, this was in fact the provisional title for I'm Alan Partridge series 2.
In 2003, Alan again returned to the screen in a half-hour special of Anglian Lives (also known as "Anglian Alan"), a fictional regional BBC show. This was presented by Ray Woollard (Peter Baynham, who had appeared previously in I'm Alan Partridge as the voice-box-using executive from the boat holiday company in "Watership Alan") and "Digital Dave", and was basically a sycophantic look at Alan's career, past and present; the credits listed it as being executively produced by Alan himself and produced by his company, Apache Productions. It shed more detail on Alan's hatred of London, his Toblerone addiction, and his future.
Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge
In August 2010, it was reported that Alan Partridge would make a comeback series online for lager company Foster's. On 8 October 2010, it was announced that the new show, entitled Alan Partridge's Mid Morning Matters, would premiere on 5 November 2010 on Foster's comedy site, http://www.fostersfunny.co.uk . In a press release, Steve Coogan announced, in character:
"I am delighted to announce that after years as a regional broadcaster on North Norfolk Digital my groundbreaking radio segment, Mid Morning Matters, will now be accessible to a potential audience of billions via the World Wide Web (www).
That it has taken Foster's to help realise my dream of joining the information superhighway is a damning indictment of the established broadcasters whose shabby treatment of me on Sept 10th 2001 was frankly shabby. I made dozens of calls the next day, all of which were ignored.
My appreciation must go to Armando Iannucci and Baby Cow for ignoring the lies, God bless them. In the meantime I look forward to 'hanging out 'n' chillin' with the MySpace generation."
After the six episodes aired online, in December 2010, Armando Iannucci confirmed on Twitter that "there will be 6 more Alan Partridge Mid Morning Matters starting in February." This series started on 4 February 2011, as episode 7, and ran every Friday until episode 12 on 11 March 2011.
In Mid Morning Matters, Alan again works as a disc jockey, this time on the fictional station 'North Norfolk Digital'. He is occasionally joined by 'Side-kick Simon', played by Tim Key, who after Episode 10 is fired due to Alan's gradually developing dislike towards him. Alan is noticeably annoyed when he discovers that Simon had started guesting as a side-kick on another radio show (a late night comedy show). Much of the comedy surrounding Simon was his failure to grasp political correctness on sensitive issues which Alan would have to cover for when Simon slipped. After his departure, Alan recruits a new side-kick, 'Zoe', and quickly develops a crush on her. In the twelfth and final episode of Mid Morning Matters, Zoe reveals she is going travelling for three months, much to Alan's disappointment. The episode ends with a shot through the window into the recording booth as Zoe hugs Alan and gives him a kiss on the cheek; there is no sound and it is unknown what Alan has said to warrant this reaction. This is a rare low-key ending to an Alan Partridge series with the high point culminating in Episode 10 when Alan scolds Side-kick Simon following a practical joke on Alan.
In Episode 3, released on 18 November 2010, Alan invites listeners to vote for "simply the best of Norfolk" (who is the best person Norfolk has produced?) in which he makes reference to Bernard Matthews ("he is tantalisingly close to producing the ten-pence turkey, now there's a thought..."). Matthews died a week later, on 25 November 2010.
Following the series, Alan appeared again as part of the Red Nose Day 2011 set for a one-off show akin to the Mid Morning Matters arrangement, and here Side-kick Simon reappears in his former capacity. Here, Alan interviews a nun over whom he sneezes blood by mistake. The series was written by Steve Coogan, Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons and Armando Iannucci.
On 4 October 2011, co-writer Neil Gibbons announced on his Twitter feed that a second series of Mid Morning Matters was in development. On 10 November 2011, it was reported that the rights to the current and future series of Mid Morning Matters were to be acquired by Sky to be shown on Sky Atlantic.
I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan
On 22 July 2011, Armando Iannucci announced on his Twitter feed that "Alan Partridge [had] delivered his autobiography to the publishers". The book was published in the UK by HarperCollins on 29 September 2011, and is entitled I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan. It is available in hardcover, paperback and ePub formats. An unabridged audio version recorded by Steve Coogan in character as Partridge was released on CD and downloadable audio formats also in 2011. Alan Partridge promoted the autobiography on ITV's The Jonathan Ross Show show on 1 October 2011. It was met with positive reviews, the Telegraph commending its index as "one of the top five indexes of all time", and was a commercial success.
Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life
In this one-hour special, which aired on 25 June 2012 on Sky Atlantic, Alan takes the viewer with him on a tour of Norfolk. "From the Riverside Leisure Centre, Norwich City Hall and his local newsagent to the luscious expanse of Thetford Forest, Alan explores the key landmarks and natural beauty spots that have led some people to call Norfolk the 'Wales of the east'." It was stated, by several critics and newspapers, that the show was highly anticipated, was generally well received by fans and critics, and received a BAFTA nomination. 
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
In August 2004 a small piece appeared in the Metro newspaper which claimed: "Steve Coogan got the green light from a US studio to play the spoof DJ on the big screen." Coogan reportedly said: "It's always been my plan to make Alan go global. It's what he lives for really, not just doing the show on Radio Norwich."
In April 2005, Coogan's production firm Baby Cow announced that an Alan Partridge movie was in the pipeline. It was later revealed the film would involve an al-Qaeda siege. Due to the sensitivities of such a storyline after the 7 July 2005 London bombings, the project was put on hold.
In 2005, Armando Iannucci, who helped Coogan create Partridge, said he did not want to be involved in any movie spin-off, saying: "Steve wants to do an Alan Partridge film, but I couldn't bear to go through that again. For me, the idea of spending two more years in a room with that voice is more than I can take". However, in later interviews, Iannucci became more positive about the idea.
The movie's screenplay was written by Steve Coogan, Armando Iannucci, Rob Gibbons and Neil Gibbons - plus Peter Baynham - with the story taking place in Norwich, where North Norfolk Digital, Alan's employer, is taken over by a huge media conglomerate and renamed Shape.
The film was directed by Declan Lowney and has been co-produced by French company studio StudioCanal and Coogan's own production company Baby Cow, with support from BBC Films and the BFI Film Fund.
List of appearances
- On the Hour (BBC Radio 4, series) 1991
- On the Hour (BBC Radio 4, series) 1992
- Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge (BBC Radio 4, series) 1992
- Knowing, Knowing Me, Knowing You (BBC Radio 4, spoof documentary) 1992
- The BAFTA Tech Awards (with Patrick Marber) 1994
- The Day Today (BBC Two, spoof news series) 1994
- Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge (BBC Two) 1994
- Christmas Night With The Stars (BBC Two, included 'A Christmas Ramble' sketch) 1994
- Comic Relief (BBC One, with John Thomson) 1995
- Knowing Me Knowing Yule with Alan Partridge (BBC Two, Christmas special) 1995
- The Big Snog (live show in support of gay rights) 1996
- I'm Alan Partridge (BBC Two, series) 1997
- Clive Anderson: All Talk (BBC One, spoof interview) 1997
- Election Night Armistice (BBC Two, political satire show) 1997
- 1998 BRIT Awards (ITV, presenting award for Best Video to the 'not unattractive' All Saints) 1998
- Steve Coogan Live: The Man Who Thinks He's It (live show) 1998
- Stephen Fry's "Live from the Lighthouse" (Channel 4, spoof interview with Simon Pegg as an AIDS charity worker and Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher) 1998
- Comic Relief (BBC Two, half-hour special featuring Bryan Ferry; Partridge sings a Kate Bush medley) 1999
- Comedy Awards (performing a duet with Elton John) 2000
- Comic Relief (BBC One, featuring Peter Kay) 2001
- I'm Alan Partridge (BBC Two, series) 2002
- Anglian Lives (BBC Two, spoof career retrospective - also featuring Peter Baynham) 2003
- Cream of British Comedy (Live Show; a DVD of the show includes Radio Norwich extras such as Alan meets Roger Daltrey.) 2005
- Comic Relief (BBC One, monologue; KMKY-style (fictional) interview featuring Simon Pegg) 2005
- Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge and Other Less Successful Characters: Live (Live tour; Alan was a featured character in the tour shows, in which he was revealed to have become a life coach.) 2008
- Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge (Foster's Funny/Sky Atlantic, new Alan Partridge web/TV series) 2010–present
- Comic Relief Mid Morning Matters (BBC One, Comic Relief Special of Mid Morning Matters) 2011
- The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV1, spoof interview with Jonathan Ross promoting his autobiography) 2011
- The Richard Bacon Show (BBC Radio 5Live, spoof interview with Richard Bacon promoting his autobiography) 2011
- Under 1 Roof (charity show appearance) 2011
- Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life (Sky Atlantic, special) 2012
- Alan Partridge on Open Books with Martin Bryce (Sky Atlantic, special) 2012
- Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (Feature film) 2013
In March 2015, Partridge was nominated by the public and media as a potential replacement for Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC motoring show Top Gear, following Clarkson's high-profile suspension from the programme. As of 19 March 2015, some 30,000 people had signed a petition on campaigning website change.org in support of Coogan's character as the new host.
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