The Comedy Vault – The Alan Partridge Specials.

Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life (Sky Atlantic, 2012)/Alan Partridge On Open Books With Martin Bryce (Sky Atlantic, 2012)

Here are two more Alan Partridge shows starring Steve Coogan that have been released on DVD, under the name Partrimilgrimage: The Alan Partridge Specials. This is a character who has been milked somewhat over the years, but when the milky drips are this tasty, then why not (sorry, I’m beginning to sound like him myself now).

In Welcome To The Places Of My Life, we saw what was essentially Alan’s love letter to East Anglia, especially Norwich. He showed us around some of the special places that have turned him into the man that he is today (although I imagine that his parents helped too somewhere along the way). Now I have been to Norfolk, but not Norwich, so I wasn’t too familiar with some of the places featured.

He really did have a lot of enthusiasm for these places, such as going for a walk in Thetford Forest, ready to get in the mood to deliver more quality radio (and travel updates every 20 minutes). It was the combination of all this that has got him where he is today, hosting Mid Morning Matters on North Norfolk Digital, your blander music mix, and he is very happy with that, honest.

Well, that was textbook. And in Open Books With Martin Bryce (who was actually away and replaced by stand-in Chris Beale), Alan reveals in front of an enthusiastic audience his love for literature, and what inspired him to write his second award-winning autobiography I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan, which has got to be one of the best autobiographies by a host on North Norfolk Digital currently available on the market.

It’s a story worth telling, and there really are some terrific anecdotes shared, no wonder people think he’s bounced back, which he has. He isn’t doing this just to settle scores, there are a large amount of people who are interested in his career. He also took some questions from audience members, who were fans, mostly . Well that was rather awkward. No wonder critics said that this was more top of the drawer stuff.

The Comedy Vault – Anglian Lives.

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.

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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?”).

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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?