Thankfully, for all our sakes, not to mention Alan Partridge, Steve Coogan has decided to not pull the plug on his alter-ego any time in the near future. What started out as a brief stint as a spoof sports reporter on the BBC Radio 4 program, On the Hour, has led to a comedic empire that Coogan acknowledges he finds “endlessly fascinating”. Post radio, Partridge moved to TV becoming host of his own BBC chat show, Knowing Me, Knowing You…with Alan Partridge.
Unfortunately, his chat show career was cut short when he was dismissed from the BBC partly for punching Chief Commissioning Editor Tony Hayers in the face with a stuffed partridge and partly because his programmes were of a low standard, delivering ever-declining ratings. After a series of appearances here and there, it wasn’t until 2010 that Partridge returned to his radio roots as a disc jockey on North Norfolk Digital radio’s 4th best time slot. So successful was Partridge’s Mid-Morning Matters that there is now talk of adapting the online series for a possible return to television where it all began…the BBC.
While it seems like Partridge may have been on an extended leave of absence since the early 2000’s, he’s been busy. The recently released autobiography, I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan is long overdue and has renewed Coogan’s interest in keeping him alive. Coogan recently told Mark Lawson with BBC Radio’s Front Row series that “The only reason I revisited Alan was because I wanted to and he makes me laugh. I think he’s funny. Alan is endlessly fascinating to me because he’s contemptible and I care about him, simultaneously.”
Nothing says British comedy like a contemptible character you care about.