According to Steve Coogan, impersonating the outrageously quotable, devilishly arrogant and complete social dim-wit Alan Partridge, is ‘fucking like pulling teeth’. Which is a view that he doesn’t try conceal in this two part program about his tour of Australia. However he has also confessed that if he wasn’t doing other things he’d ‘go mad’, which is why, for the tour, he brought along the rest of his gang of satirical and complex characters. Including the drunkard ‘Paul Calf’, the tart ‘Pauline’, and the apparent sex pest, ‘Tony Ferrino’.
But a key focus of this program is the toll that performing, publicity and pressure have taken on Coogan, as you will see when he whinges on the way to radio interviews like a dog going to the vets, (although if I had to do 70 interviews in 1 week I would feel the same). You can look forward to Coogan not pursuing the rock’n’roll tour antics we may have expected, and instead taking off to the outback for a good spot of self-reflection.
Also included are the problems and stresses that come with tour organising, like Steve’s painfully precise placing of chairs; wandering microphones; material falling flat; jet lag; and home sickness, all of which are encountered.
Even though we only get to see short clips of Steve’s performances, it is clear how masterfully he has perfected his characters, as well as overall act. This is most obvious in one of his radio interviews, where he is asked to take on Alan and ring up a sports commentating firm and ask for a job, which is done seemingly effortlessly (and hilariously). That is mainly why I would praise this program, for highlighting how talented Steve Coogan really is, and that he is not just a one trick partridge.
So if you’re prepared to watch Steve Coogan do such thrilling activities as; reject kisses from women; meet members of The Who and only have a brief chat, and travel by himself, then stick with this program, as it will probably interest you. Maybe.
Steve Coogan: Stand Up Down Under is on Sky Atlantic HD on Tuesday 6th August at 9pm