Steve Coogan’s revels in the role of the fading one-time talk show host now graveyard shift local radio DJ Alan Partridge. The Partridge character has evolved over 20 years, a period in which he has seen his star rise and fall – courtesy of killing a guest on live TV.
Now languishing on North Norfolk Digital, Alan’s egocentric world goes onto full spin cycle when the station is taken over by a media conglomerate with new ideas about programming and ‘talent’. Being the conceited, petty character that he is, Alan quickly seizes the opportunity to secure his own job at the expense of friend and fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney). So far so good, for Partridge. Unfortunately, no one has acknowledged Farrell’s sociopathic tendencies and when he returns to the station with a shotgun, the writing of Armando Iannucci, Neil and Rob Gibbons and Coogan himself really starts to crackle.
With a hostage situation in full swing, Partridge is in his element; though his role in Farrell’s downfall bubbles just under the surface – leading to much guilt-ridden squirming. If you doubt that the awkwardness of Partridge can justify 90 minutes of screen time, think again. This is a fitting feature outing to enduring comic creation.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Thursday BBC2 at 11.05pm.