Alan Partridge – Alpa Papa

Small screen British comedy has always had a tough time making the leap to the big screen probably because when you stretch the characters out you realise that they ‘re actually better in small doses. But as any die hard Partridge fan will tell you, you can never have too much of Norfolk’s finest and knowing every episode word for word only comes from some serious repeat watching. Since his inception on the radio some 22 years ago Alan has seen ups and downs and through the various television shows we have all been there with him. Fans have waited patiently for new material of their anti-hero since ‘I’m Alan Partridge’ came to a close and just like buses three come along at once, firstly the ‘Mid-Morning Matters’ webisodes, then the Sky specials and now finally the much talked about movie. So I suppose the question will be is it any good?  Well I can categorically say a big fat yes, the writers have chosen not to fall into the trap of removing Alan to say America (which was rumoured for a while) but to go down the ‘If it isn’t broke don’t fix it’ route and keep Alan in his beloved Norfolk giving it the feel of a feature length episode rather than a big budget spectacular. The story centres around a corporate takeover of the station where Alan and fellow disc jockey Pat Farrell work and after Pat is sacked things take a turn when he returns to the station shotgun in hand and begins a siege. Pat will only communicate through Alan and as things progress Alan lets his ego run away with him and see so much opportunity to turn the situation to his advantage.  It’s a simple enough scenario that lends itself to not only radio segments but some brilliant slapstick and some classic Partridge moments, at times the jokes come so dizzyingly fast that you realise that one viewing might not be enough to catch them all (they run right into the credits so don’t leave straight away). The film never lets up the pace and Coogan, as he always has done, owns the character. There’s welcome support from old favourites Lynn, Michael and of course new sidekick Simon and Meaney is great as the disgruntled Pat. Of course this being Partridge it wouldn’t be the same without a diverse and awful soundtrack to accompany the action, you will never hear ‘Cuddly Toy’ by Roachford again in the same way. With only the odd misstep this is one funny film and I suspect even funnier for fans and by keeping it simple the writers and makers have given us the Partridge film we all really wanted. Is it classic Partridge? Abso-bloody-exactly.


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