Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge
|Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge|
|Created by||Steve Coogan
|Written by||Steve Coogan
|Directed by||Ted Dowd|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||12 (Web version)
6 (TV version)
|Executive producer(s)||Steve Coogan
|Running time||15 minutes approx.
30 minutes approx.
|Production company(s)||Baby Cow Productions|
Baby Cow Productions
(As Foster's Funny)
(As 2entertain Video Ltd.)
Baby Cow Productions
Sky Atlantic HD
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original release||5 November 2010– present|
|Preceded by||I'm Alan Partridge|
|Followed by||Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life|
Mid Morning Matters is a British mockumentary sitcom written by Steve Coogan, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons and Armando Iannucci, produced by Baby Cow Productions and funded by the British arm of Australian lager company Foster's, starring Coogan as fictional radio DJ Alan Partridge. The first of twelve 15-minute episodes was uploaded to the Foster's Funny website on 5 November 2010, and then available on YouTube. Six 30-minute episodes titled Alan Partridge Mid Morning Matters: Special Edition, edited from the web series, began airing on Sky Atlantic HD in July 2012 as part of a deal between producers Baby Cow and BSkyB. A second series was announced on the 1st of July 2014 and will air in 2015 on Sky Atlantic. The new series will consist of 6 episodes.
The show is shot from the perspective of a Webcam in the studio of fictional station 'North Norfolk Digital'. In Mid Morning Matters Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) is back working as a disc jockey, after the failure of his television career. He is occasionally joined by 'Side-kick Simon' (Tim Key) who eventually leaves or is fired due to Alan's gradual dislike towards him. Alan is noticeably annoyed when he discovers that Simon had started guesting as a side-kick on another radio show (Bedtime with Branning). 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 (Pippa Duffy), and quickly develops a crush on her. In the final part of series one, 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 coming in Episode 10 when Alan rebukes Side-kick Simon for his role in a practical joke on him.
Production and TV airing
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, 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 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.
In November 2011, it was reported that the series' producers, Baby Cow Productions, were nearing a deal with BSkyB that could see other Steve Coogan projects produced for Sky1 HD and Sky Atlantic HD. The deal is likely to include rights for Sky to broadcast the TV premieres of the second series, expected online in 2012, and a Christmas special of Mid Morning Matters.
The idea of a deal involving Steve Coogan and BSkyB surprised many, due to his very public antipathy toward media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his company 21st Century Fox, who own a controlling 33% of BSkyB. Coogan, along with other celebrities and crime victims, was the target of an answer-phone message hacking operation allegedly undertaken by News Corporation.
Series one contained twelve episodes that had a varied running time between 10–15 minutes, which have been doubled up to fit into a run of six 30-minute episode slots.
- Wolf, Ian (10 November 2011). "Alan Partridge web series to get TV debut on Sky". British Comedy Guide.
- "In pictures: Alan Partridge makes internet comeback". BBC Norfolk. 31 August 2010.
- "Brand New Alan Partridge exclusive to Foster's". Foster's Funny. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-08.[dead link]
- "Mid Morning Matters series 2 in development". The Complete Alan Partridge. 4 October 2011.
- "Alan Partridge to return with second Mid Morning Matters". British Comedy Guide. 4 October 2011.
- Robinson, James (5 September 2011). "Steve Coogan: Why I won't let News Corp off the hook". The Guardian (London).
- "Alan Partridge's Mid Morning Matters Series 1". ABC Shop. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Alan Partridge - Mid-Morning Matters". Amazon. Retrieved 18 April 2013.