“Smell my cheese!”
Just one of the many classic one-liners Norfolk’s prodigal son, Alan Partridge, has come out with over the years, helping him transform from washed-up, over the hill TV presenter into a cult comedy character.
And now, after a while away, AGP is returning to our screens as soon as next month in the form of an exciting new series.
Titled This Time with Alan Partridge, the six-part series will be a comedic take on The One Show, and will see the former DJ take on some of the hottest topics of the day, including the #MeToo movement.
What could possibly go wrong?
Steve Coogan – who created Alan back in the 90s – confirmed the news in a recent podcast with fellow stand-up Marc Maron.
“What we do is we have him trying to jump on the bandwagon and say, you know, he says ‘Hey! I’ve made mistakes, I’ve stood on the side of the sidewalk and slow hand-clapped while I watch a woman try to parallel park, you know, and I feel bad about that. And now if I saw a woman doing it now, I would shout instructions’.”
“He’s sometimes ignorant and prejudiced but he tries to do the right thing. Early on we made him too predictably conservative a bit like shooting fish in a barrel – a caricature,” Coogan continued.
During his conversation with Maron, Coogan talked about the new show and where Partridge is in his life.
“We’ve just finished a new TV series which starts next February.
“It’s another Alan Partridge series but this one is like a magazine type show. So it’s like a sort of a morning thing with a female and male co-presenter.
“I’m really excited about the show, it’s a thing where Alan tackles serious topics like the whole Me Too – there’s a whole episode about that. That’s such a difficult topic for anyone to talk about for anyone to say anything about, but if you’re doing a character it weirdly gives you this licence to – you can get things wrong in a big way and it’s fine because it’s him doing it.
“You’re not sanctioning or agreeing with what he’s saying, you’re saying ‘this guy gets things wrong’ so you have licence to do it. And this is the crucial thing, because you’ve got a comic character he can say stuff that you go ‘that is so off message’ but sometimes he can say stuff that’s true that I can’t say. So the fool can point something out that everyone secretly knows to be true.”
Coogan added: “You’re not saying that he’s right and you’re not saying that he’s wrong. It allows you to sprinkle a little humanity on arguments that are atrocious.”
The show marks Alan’s return to TV following the collapse of his 90s chat show, Knowing Me, Knowing You, which came crashing down when he shot a guest on air.
Coogan said his alter ego has come a long way since then, when he was ‘too predictable’.
“I don’t like to use comedy to attack people who don’t have any power. Some people do that and I don’t like it.
“Are you laughing at a prejudice or is the prejudice why you’re laughing? Intuitively that’s what I want to do.”
“He’s sometimes ignorant and prejudiced but he tries to do the right thing. Early on we made him too predictably conservative…a bit like shooting fish in a barrel – a caricature. Whereas now we do him as someone who realises that he’s got to get ‘on message’. He’s struggling to do the thing he’s supposed to.”
I’m sure the series will be great, but it will take some beating to trump his legendary football commentary.
Images via BBC