Ask my family or friends, I, for the most part am a placid man. A man who is happy to acquiesce to the ebbs and flows, the peaks and troughs of life's tumult. There are few things that rile me, and I consider myself a peaceful sort, who would, for the most part, balk at the prospect of any sort of physical confrontation, considering it deeply unwarranted. However, if anyone were to ever stand before and challenge my assertion that Alan Partridge is the greatest comedic creation that this world has ever seen then I would lunge at them with a blood-curdling scream and start to pummel them with a shoe.
The character, played by Steve Coogan, and created in 1991 for the BBC radio sketch show, On The Hour, the character is relatively unique in modern comedy in that, he has been constantly reinvented through various different formats and shows rather than gaining notoriety through being associated with one particular television show. It is perhaps I'm Alan Partridge that Coogan's character is most prominently remembered for, however there were only two seasons of this, in 1997 and 2002, before the Coogan left the character for a hiatus of around ten years. After a successful return in 2011 with several short online videos, Alan Partridge returned in a new series for Sky Atlantic entitled, Mid Morning Matters, and in a feature film, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
However there had been rumours over the past couple of years that a new series for the BBC - the channel for which the character was created and where the most beloved Alan Partridge series were created - was in production. Well it was confirmed that a new series was in development, scheduled for release this year and recently, while appearing on WTF with Marc Maron, Steve Coogan stated that the show, entitled This Time With Alan Partridge will air next month.
The show is set to be a parody of evening magazine shows, like the One Show, and Partridge will be joined by a male and female co-presenter. The sitcom's focus will be on current events such as Brexit and the Me Too movement.
While the character started off as a narrow parody of small 'c' conservative England, since returning in 2011, thanks in part to the acquisition of new writers, he has been reinvented as someone who is trying to more meaningfully and correctly engage in issues, as someone who is trying to embrace the 'PC' culture he once loathed.
“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,'” Coogan said in discussion with Maron.
“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.
“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.”
“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,” he explained.
Needles to say, it will almost certainly be excellent.