Alan Partridge’s guide to film, music and women

Cashback! Norwich's finest broadcaster is returning to your TV screens.

Steve Coogan flies high as Alan Partridge
A-ha Image Picture Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Norfolk’s finest export since Colman’s mustard is back on TV for one night only. 

Yes, Alan Partridge returns to broadcasting tonight to co-host the TFI Friday Christmas special with Chris Evans. It’s been a rocky career for the man who once sat at the helm of the BBC’s Knowing Me, Knowing You chat show. That came to an abrupt end in 1995 when Alan accidentally shot dead restaurant critic Forbes McAllister live on air.

Obscurity in local radio followed before he was briefly thrust back into the limelight after a siege at the offices of North Norfolk Digital (as documented in movie Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa).

Ahead of Partridge’s triumphant comeback – and his return to Mid Morning Matters in 2016 – here are some words of wisdom from the broadcasting icon on everything from sex to drugs and cinema.


On film

“One of my favourite Mid Morning Matters phone-ins asked listeners to name the sexiest female celebrity with a man’s name – eg: Glenn Close, Sean Young, Billie Holiday, Sam Fox, Boy George. The correct answer was, of course, Daryl Hannah and this was her finest work, despite it erroneously suggesting a mermaid’s tail turns into legs when it gets dry. Don’t remember that from my biology textbooks!”

On music

“Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell, a song in which she complains that they ‘paved paradise to put up a parking lot’ – a measure which actually would have alleviated traffic congestion on the outskirts of paradise. Something which Joni singularly fails to point out, perhaps because it doesn’t quite fit in with her blinkered view of the world. Nevertheless, nice song.”

On women

“I’m not a raver, I’m straight. I’ve got a girlfriend. She’s only 33 – cashback! Between you and me, there are things I do with Sonja that I would never have done with my ex-wife Carol. Occasionally, I dost venture south. And when I go south, I gotta say, it’s like a breath of fresh air. But two years ago I was a mess. I put on weight, I had breasts… I was repellent to women.”

On fatherhood

“I looked up at the starry night and knew what I must do. I closed my eyes and began to sing very, very quietly, for the first time, to my infant son. ‘There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando, They were shining there for you and me…’ I also have a daughter, whose birth invoked similar feelings.”

On friendship

“Dan’s a fantastic man, he really is. I was talking to him earlier and he asked me what kind of phone I had and I said a Motorola Timeport. And he said, ‘that’s saaad, you want to upgrade’. I said, ‘so do you – to a new face’. He nearly soiled himself! He said he was laughing so hard he had Kenco coming out of his nostrils.”

On depression

“I have mental health problems. I won’t bore you with the details, but I drove to Dundee in my bare feet after buying the rights to K-9, the robot dog on casters from Doctor Who.”

On the secret to public speaking

“Quick tip for yourself. If you’re ever doing an after-dinner speech, you say ‘My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, sorry I’m late, I just popped to the toilet. And while I was there, I saw some graffiti and it said I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.’ Straight away you’ve got them by the jaffas.”

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