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Why Alan Partridge is returning to 'restrictive, stifling' BBC

Fri, 23 Feb 2018


The Brexit-loving spoof presenter has a new BBC TV series. What changed his mind?

It is fair to say that the TV presenter and North Norfolk Digital radio DJ, Alan Partridge, and his former employer, the BBC, did not part on the best terms. He once wrote that he hoped for a world without “famine and war and the BBC”. So it has come as a surprise to many TV industry watchers that the character, played by Steve Coogan, has been given a second chance with the broadcaster, some 27 years after his BBC debut. Partridge’s new show, This Time with Alan Partridge, a current affairs series, began filming this month. It will be a heady mix of consumer affairs, highbrow interviews and lightweight froth, the BBC says.

It’s the latest step in Partridge’s evolution from chatshow host to heavyweight broadcaster. His most recent documentary, Scissored Isle, for Sky in 2016, looked at the divide between the “haves and the have-nots, or haven’ts”. Coogan, who created Partridge along with director Armando Ianucci and writer Patrick Marber in Radio 4’s On The Hour in 1991, has said the new series will cover Britain in the age of Brexit, something Partridge almost certainly voted for.

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