Now the station is about to be taken over by a Conglomerate and when Alan learns that his new bosses intend to get rid of one of the older DJ’s he persuades them to keep him and fire his middle-aged colleague Pat who does the ‘graveyard’ shift in the wee small hours of the morning. Pat, recently widowed and probably totally unemployable elsewhere, loses the plot and stages an armed siege at the Radio Station and refuses to negotiate with the Police and insists that ‘his best mate’ Alan acts as the go-between.
Alan Partridge is a comic phenomenon in the UK : an iconic fictional inept character that has been something of a national treasure since he first appeared as a bumbling Sports Reporter on BBC Radio in 1991. He went on to host his own parody television talk show ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You ….with Alan Partridge’. As fast as he rose, his fictional career also plummeted rapidly and by the 1997 having lost his national TV gig he was forced to eat humble pie and settle for a job as a DJ on a local radio station in his home town of Norwich. ( Note to non UK readers : very pretty cathedral city that is a boring as hell in a county that Noel Coward famously described as ‘very flat’)
This is an hilarious quintessentially Brit comedy that is a total delight. Partridge is the creation of gifted actor/writer Steve Coogan who along with fellow writers Rob & Ned Gibbons, Peter Baynham & notably Armando Iannucci have over the years so succinctly developed such a unavoidably lovable character. What is so refreshing is the fact that the transition to the big screen completely maintains Partridge’s low level brand of humor and resisted in making it a grandstand over-the-top manic piece that is the norm when TV characters break out.
It is undoubtedly the most perfect vehicle for Coogan’s talents to shine forth. Despite his extremely impressive body of work, he has yet to make the leap into movie stardom, and although he may well deserve too with this, it is way too steeped in everything British for it to even find an audience in other markets, let alone his place amongst the Hollywood ‘A’ list. In the UK where every adult can quote at least one of Partridge’s inane and silly quips, it will reinforce Coogan’s reputation as a major comic actor, and come Awards time he will be adding to the numerous ones he has already won playing Partridge on the TV.
Already available on DVD via Amazon in the UK but no plans for a US Release until 2014. Watch this space .