Is this the time for Alan Partridge

Arts editor Scarlett Rowland comments on the recent return of comedy legend Steve Coogan

Scarlett Rowland
18th March 2019
Image- Flickr- Leo Reynolds

From his TV shows, radio shows, books, and films – there’s something about Alan Partridge that I just can’t seem to get enough of. Created by comedy geniuses Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci, who also wrote UK classic The Thick of It, Alan Partridge is a cult classic character, and although I was surprised to hear of his return to screens, I have not been disappointed.

Coogan returns in his portrayed of Partridge in new show This Time with Alan Partridge, a spoof current affairs programme, with Partridge taking after from a host who is unwell. Rather than cutting to the clips they normally play, This Time shows what happens when the cameras aren’t broadcasting the presenters.

Even though there is a huge back catalogue of other Alan Partridge content, This Time has been put together in such a way that if you'd never encountered the bizzarre character before, you wouldn't feel like you were missing out on anything. Frequent hints to previous jokes read like new content to unknowing minds, and add an extra layer of humour to those of us who are in the know.

My highlight of the episodes are the musical intros and outros of Alan Partridge’s reports, with Partridge for some unknown reason deciding to record his own background music with him singing. The result is equally terrible and hilarious.

Some critiques I’ve read are that that format of the show allows it to become repetitive and boring as the weeks go on. However, now being half way through the series it seems clear to me that each episode is focusing on different characters and topics – perfectly mimicking shows like This Morning or The One Show, so that it could be your daily evening news show.

Although there are many differences in the episodes, there is one portion of the show which has become repetitive – the joke that the screens don’t work. I understand that a key part of the humour the show is the awkwardness and delayed reactions; however, this joke ran dry in the first episode.

Despite this, the show is certainly a success, and I am looking forward to the next half of the season. I can only hope that the rumours of a second season already being in the works are true. Episodes air on BBC One, Mondays at 21:30. I can’t recommend a better way to start your week.

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