Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)
Alan Partridge is a character played by Steve Coogan that has been around for almost three decades now. Although Alan is considered to be something of an inept broadcaster, often saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, when watching I’m Alan Partridge again recently, I noticed that even though he is supposed be at a career low on the lateshift on rather minor station Radio Norfolk, it doesn’t seem to be that bad a gig.
Alan has the opportunity to talk right up to the news at the start of the hour (when most stations would play about five minutes of adverts and trails before the news), and he can also drive the desk. It might not be much, but it’s steady work, and at least it’s not a TV shopping channel. As the years have passed, Alan has moved to the mid-morning slot on North Norfolk Digital, and still bickers with his rival host Dave Clifton. How long must he have been hosting the morning shift by now, he must be exhausted.
Alan now hosts alongside Sidekick Simon, and well, it’s all digitalised now, but Alan can deal with it, and he really can talk all day. But change is coming. The station is about to be taken over and renamed Shape, and there will be some restructuring. This means that lots of hosts will be let go, and when they’re not sat in meetings all day the new ones will now probably play the same ten songs all day and tell people that they’re listening to the radio all the time in their commitment to provide their blander music mix. It could never happen for real!
Well Pat Farrell, who is one of the hosts, is not happy about this, and he refuses to accept the new format. Who’ll do the travel updates now? Pat decides to hold some of the staff hostage, including Alan, if only other people cared so much. Alan’s close friends Michael The Geordie and his tireless PA Lynn are beginning to be concerned about the situation.
Pat stays on the air while doing this, and if Alan can still competently introduce the new single from Fleetwood Mac in such a tense situation, then that really is the sign of a skilled broadcaster. This leads to a tense stand-off between Pat and Alan, and plenty of people were shot, but at least it gave the station a brief ratings boost, any publicity is good publicity. Hearing all those gunshots probably gave Alan a few flashbacks too, what an awful business. Don’t smile, you’ve been fairly badly wounded!
There was some wondering if there was enough in the Alan character to get a full film out of, but it didn’t do too badly, with a lot of positive reviews, and there was also a terrific joke about Bruno Brookes, so it was a worthwhile project. Extras include a look behind the scenes, a lot of deleted scenes, outtakes, and there was also a book of the script released. And now he’s back on the TV!