2013 Running time: 90 Certificate: 15 Rating: 5
Alan Partridge Alpha Papa 1S

Synopsis

TV's former King of Chat Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) is now comfortably installed as a daytime DJ in broadcasting backwater North Norfolk Digital. However, he's thrust back into the media spotlight when sacked colleague Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) takes twelve hostages in a desperate protest at the station being taken over by a corporate conglomerate. British TV's finest comedy creation sublimely makes the transition to the big screen in a hilarious outing that sees the return of put-upon PA Lynn (Felicity Montagu), clueless Geordie Michael (Simon Greenall) and long suffering sidekick Simon (Tim Key). Back of the net.

Director

  • Declan Lowney

Cast

  • Steve Coogan

  • Colm Meaney

  • Tim Key

  • Sean Pertwee

  • Simon Greenall

  • Anna Maxwell Martin

Review

It's been more than 20 years since Alan Partridge (Coogan) made his first crassly ill-considered steps as a sports broadcaster on Radio 4's On The Hour.

Two decades on and he's put a lot behind him - a failed marriage, an on-screen fatality on his chatshow, a brutal sacking from the BBC and his unsung success as a role model to John Inverdale.

Alan has grown up. A bit. His fall from broadcasting grace has seen the emergency of a little humility - long gone are the blazer badge, he now drives a Kia instead of a Lexus (or Lexii) and is snugly tucked into a morning DJ slot at North Norfolk Digital.

However, he gets his chance to make an in-front of camera comeback in the most unlikely of circumstances - as the appointed mediator in a hostage situation. It's Dog Day Afternoon. In Norwich.

Fiery Irish colleague Pat Farrell (Meaney) has gone tonto after being sacked by the station's new owners - faceless venture capitalists Shape - seized twelve staff and is holding them hostage. There is only one person he will speak to - Alan.

Possibly the most minutely fleshed out comedy character in the mainstream, AP still offers principal writers Coogan plus Neil and Rob Gibbons the chance to apply deliciously venal character traits to the Partridge template.

Writhe as Alan visibly grows to relish his role and the power it brings as "siege face", squirm as his affection cools for the new target of his lust when he learns she has teenage delinquent sons yet sympathise when he faces down Pat alone on Cromer pier.

Solid gold support has always been one of the hallmarks of the series and dyed-in-the-wool fans will welcome back Montagu's downtrodden PA Lynn and Simon Greenall's sinisterly affable Geordie security guard Michael.

The less charitable will observe that it's more of the same. But if "the same" means this quality of writing - where not a word is wasted or Alan's formidable arsenal of tics wrung out for maximum drollery - then the comedy status quo has never been better served.

Fans will spend their happiest 90 minutes this summer...and those yet to fall under his spell will get a crash course in 22-carat hilarity.

Or as Alan once put it: "Hang onto your sides...they might just split."

Tim Evans

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