Anglian Lives (BBC2, 2003)
Here’s another comedy show that features the Alan Partridge character, and this was shown a few months after the second and final series of I’m Alan Partridge ended, squeezing a little more out of the idea. Anglian Lives was essentially a parody of regional TV (although this was around the time when regional programming was starting to become rather scarce). The host was Roy Woolard.
Alan was chosen to be profiled for this series, because not only has he had a fascinating career, but he is also from Norwich, and he is rather proud of that. There were some clips from his career shown, including his time as a sport commentator, and I thought that it was rather odd, as I didn’t remember seeing some of them. But this was because they were taken from the unaired pilot and Mini News segments of The Day Today from almost a decade earlier.
By 1994, Alan was at the top of his pinnacle according to TV Quick, which was a great endorsement, and even the bigwigs at the BBC couldn’t deny that he was definitely delivering quality content. But, as every famous figure comes to know, for every peak, there is a trough, and not long after this, he was out of work, and he became rather fond of Toberlone. As we found out in this very candid interview though, he eventually rebuilt his career.
Soon, he was hosting the early-morning slot on the award-winning Radio Norwich. He turned all of his remarkable story into his autobiography Bouncing Back, which he read extracts from, and he continued to be confused by why this wasn’t a best-seller. As well as questions from the host, there were also some asked by computer “Digital Dave”, although Alan couldn’t make out most of them (“any nine people?”).
He also showed us his TV memorabilia, and revealed his plans for the future, including a science-fiction novel, along with what he thought about the current state of TV, and he was also pondering whether to have a curry after the show. His reputation now fully restored, he finished off by doing that thing where he almost walked off before the end, meaning that the credits ran with him awkwardly stood there in the dark. Why do people do that?