Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters (Sky Altantic, 2012-2016)
Around the time that I’m Alan Partridge ended, a lot had been happening in the life of our favourite inept TV and radio presenter. He had the third-best slot on Radio Norwich, and he also hosted the very exciting game show Skirmish that was often repeated on UKTV Conquest. Maybe it wasn’t high profile, but it was steady work. But almost a decade on from this, where was Alan now?
In 2010 a new series launched online, and then it was later shown on Sky Atlantic (the first Partridge series that wasn’t made for the BBC). Now I don’t want this piece to descend into Partridge quotes and odd jokes about local radio and the like, but it is hard to resist really. Alan is now embracing the modern age and works for North Norfolk Digital, a rather small-time station perhaps, but as it’s available online it has the potential of an audience of millions from around the world.
His new show was called Mid Morning Matters to reflect the timeslot. Now as this of course is on the radio, they are able to put it on TV because there is a webcam in the studio, and the highlights are then compiled for the show. Alan handled most if it, jingles, phone calls, timechecks, travel updates. He can’t do it all by himself though, and we don’t want him to get to carried away do we, so he now has a posse.
Alan was usually accompanied by “Sidekick Simon” (is it time to say “Simon, bid again, Simon!“?). This is where most of the humour comes from as he is an example of the “oh Alan you’re so great, I think everything you say is really funny” type of co-host, although Alan never really warms to him. They also discuss the big news of the today, and well, the banter could undoubtedly be described as “great”, they definitely fulfilled their quota, as I imagine that the regulator has a specific amount that has to be met at that time of the day.
There were a lot of important topics covered such as “who is the best person from Norfolk?”, and the listeners couldn’t wait to get involved by text, email or fax, this really was top notch stuff. Alan would also occasionally have a guest in the studio, and you can imagine how well that went, as they were subjected to his unique interviewing style. Oh, it’s just another average day in the North Norfolk Digital studio.
There were two series, and this led into the film Alpha Beta, where having to put up with “your great music mix” all day finally sends Alan spare and he causes a big mishap at the station. The show has been released on DVD, and bonus features include a few amusing outtakes. After a few more shows for Sky, Alan recently returned to the BBC (along with Simon) with This Time (which is planned to be reviewed too).