Alan Partridge is back with a pleaser
THE long-awaited Alan Partridge movie Alpha Papa has landed. And it’s textbook Partridge. Alan’s radio station, North Norfolk Digital, has been taken over by a big media company and renamed Shape. The business plan for reshaping the company involves sacking one of the older DJs. Alan saves his job, but when late-night DJ Pat Farrell is laid off instead, he takes the news badly and takes the station hostage at gunpoint. With Pat refusing to talk to anyone but Alan, Norwich’s most famous TV and radio presenter is called in by police to act as a negotiator, and everyone’s safety is in his hands. Much-loved characters from the hit sitcom I’m Alan Partridge, including security guard Michael (Simon Greenall) and PA Lynn (Felicity Montagu), are by the DJ’s side to help him through the chaos. Lynn finds her own opportunity to shine as the events of the siege unfold. It’s penned by star Steve Coogan (pictured), Armando Ianucci and brothers Neil and Rob Gibbons, the team behind Partridge TV series Mid Morning Matters. All the classic gags are there, providing satire amid the action heist genre. Being on the big screen hasn’t changed Alan – he’s as embarrassing and hilarious as ever as he tries to manipulate the situation to boost his career and seize his chance to return to the spotlight. Alpha Papa is so packed with surprises for the discerning Partridge fan, that to include spoilers would be churlish. While there is action, drama and even romance, Alpha Papa hasn’t put style over substance, or fallen into the trap of using massive special effects and stunts that get in the way of what is pure comedy gold. Partridge fans rest assured, this film is ‘‘back of the net!’’
– ALBERTINA LLOYD Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa opens Thursday.