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Sunday Bloody Sunday. What a great song. It really encapsulates the frustration of a Sunday, doesn’t it? You wake up in the morning, you’ve got to read all the Sunday papers, the kids are running round, you’ve got to mow the lawn, wash the car, and you just think ‘Sunday, bloody Sunday!'
~ Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge is a comedic character who is a parody of British television personalities. Partridge is an inept broadcaster whose inflated sense of celebrity drives him to treachery and shameless self-promotion.

He is portrayed by English actor Steve Coogan.

Personality

Alan suffers from a great deal of character flaws. He is pedantic, egotistic, rude and neurotic, and prone to making deeply embarrassing faux pas and attempting to belittle other people, often with limited success. His conversational skills are poor and he tends to focus on extremely trivial or inane topics; as a results, he often bores, or embarrasses himself in front of, whomever he talks to. Alan also harbours strong grudges towards people who have wronged him in the past. He is somewhat delusional, as evidenced by his constant, false claims that he has "bounced back", despite having fallen from a lucrative television career at the BBC to the third-best slot on Radio Norwich. As a result of these traits, he has few friends. The only friend we regularly see him interact with is Michael, an almost equally neurotic character; nevertheless, their friendship is clearly an imbalanced one, as Michael never addresses Alan by his first name, and Alan has a tendency to patronise or criticise Michael. Alan also cites media personalities such as Bill Oddie and Sue Cook as friends. He appears to take the people closest to him for granted, treating his loyal personal assistant Lynn with contempt and never reciprocating his girlfriend Sonja's fondness for him, valuing her only for sex.

Alan is a sexually repressed man whose attempts to charm women usually result in him embarrassing himself and offending them. He is also homophobic, although he described himself as "homosceptic", and slightly xenophobic, although he would object strenuously to claims he is a racist. Alan is also a snob and enjoys making fun of regional accents, particularly that of John, a Mancunian builder he employs. His political views are conservative, and he reads The Daily Mail, which he describes as "arguably the best newspaper in the world". Alan is extremely proud of his car, a Lexus, and prone to boast about his income and possessions.

History

On The Hour transferred to television as The Day Today in 1994, where Alan continued as the inept sports reporter. Here he bungled his way through a feature on the 1994 FIFA World Cup, gave a colourful report on the previous sporting season, made a complete mess of reporting the recent horse racing tournament, and was beaten up by a female martial-arts instructor. The Day Today was a success and it was shortly followed by Knowing Me, Knowing You… with Alan Partridge being transferred to television. The TV version was largely the same as the radio show, although the TV version now had a house band under the directorship of Glen Ponder. The show had a number of different features, including “Knowing me Alan Partridge, Knowing you Another Alan Partridge” in which Alan met someone who shared his name. Knowing Me Knowing You… with Alan Partridge didn’t do will in the ratings, and in the final episode Alan shot dead Forbes McAllister (who was one of his guests) live on air while examining one of Lord Byron’s duelling pistols. However Alan was cleared of any wrong doing. Alan claimed that the reason for the poor ratings was “poor scheduling” as the show was on at the same time as the News at Ten. The Show was referred to as KMKYWAP for short.

In 1995, Alan hosted a Christmas special of KMKYWAP, humorously titled Knowing Me, Knowing Yule. One of his guests was the director of programming at the BBC, Tony Hayers (later to become Alan's nemesis). Alan, with a characteristic lack of subtlety, was seen probing for a new series of KMKYWAP. However, the show was an unmitigated disaster for Alan, as his attempt at product placement was blatantly exposed, and the show climaxed with Alan punching both a man in a wheelchair and Tony Hayers (twice) with his hand inside a turkey. After punching Hayers for the first time, Partridge begged "please don't take my chat away from me", then after punching him a second time declared "I'll never work in broadcasting again". Mick Hucknall of Simply Red then played the show out. It was clearly the beginning of the end of his time at BBC television. He was "kept on the books", as it were, for a short while, but after a particularly harrowing meeting with Hayers at the BBC cafeteria (which involved assault by cheese) he was left in no doubt that his BBC TV career was over.

After Knowing Me Knowing You… with Alan Partridge Alan went back to Radio Norwich. He continues to cause offence, this time mainly to his listeners and also his colleague Dave Clifton. Alan’s wife had now left him for a fitness instructor and kicked him out of their house. After wandering around a John Menzies for five hours in a state of depressed homelessness Alan took up residence in a Linton Travel Tavern, he chose it because it is "equi-distant between London and Norwich". After Alan’s meeting with Tony Hayers which resulted in the end of Alan’s career at the BBC, Alan then closed down his production company Peartree Productions and sacked everyone working there (it was either that or downsize his car, an idea Alan refused to entertain).

Alan was pleased to find out that his old friend Chris Feather was taking over as head of programmes at the BBC after Hayers died after a fall from a roof. However, at the decisive moment when the new executive was about to sign a five-year contract, he keeled over and died, forcing Alan to forge the dead man's signature. A post-documentary was made about Alan’s life after KMKYWAP, it was called I’m Alan Partridge. Despite Alan’s 5 year contract he was forced to leave the BBC as a result of “Bad Blood”.

Alan's next appearance was in a 1999 half-hour special filmed for Comic Relief in which Alan started to lose the plot. A simulcast between BBC Two and Radio Norwich, Alan appears incoherent and incapable of keeping track of the format of his own show. A second Comic Relief appearance followed in 2001, showing him interviewing a boxing manager. Eventually, this resulted in Alan taking on one of the boxers in the ring and being beaten by the boxer, the manager and his friend Michael. Alan was then “clinically fed up” which culminated in him putting on a lot of weight and driving a Vauxhall Vectra to Dundee in his bare feet whilst gorging on Toblerones.

Trivia

  • Alan Partridge was created for the 1991 BBC Radio 4 comedy programme On The Hour, a spoof of British current affairs broadcasting, as the show's hapless sports presenter.
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