Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge is a fictional television and radio presenter played by Steve Coogan, an English comedian. Alan was invented for the BBC Radio 4 programme On The Hour, as a parody of sports commentators and chat show presenters. He is an arrogant and unsympathetic person, disdaining other people and showing little interest in anything that lies outside his own aspirations.

Alan was born on 2 April 1955 and grew up in Norwich. He had an unhappy childhood, since he was bullied at school, especially by Steve McCombe, who called him ‘Smelly Alan Fartridge’. This unpleasant memory was revealed by Alan himself, when he was hypnotised and brought back to his childhood in the second episode of his radio programme Knowing Me, Knowing You With Alan Partridge.

In 1991, Alan made his first appearances on national radio as a sports presenter on the BBC Radio 4 news programme On The Hour. As this programme parodied current affairs broadcasting, it was not surprising that Alan soon turned out to lack any sporting knowledge. One year later, he became the host of Knowing Me, Knowing You With Alan Partridge. This chat show parody was named after the song Knowing Me, Knowing You by the Swedish band ABBA, which exerted strong influence on Alan. The fact that he named his son ‘Fernando’ (the title of another ABBA song) shows Alan’s admiration for the group as well.

After his success in radio broadcasting, Alan began his television career in 1994 in The Day Today, a parody of news programmes in which Alan is in charge of the sport reports.

This show boosted his television career and a television version of Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge was soon broadcast. In 1997, I am Alan Partridge showed Alan after his return to Radio Norwich, where he worked before his national radio career started and now presents Up with the Partridge between 4:30 am and 7 am. Meanwhile, he has broken up with his wife Carol and lives in the Linton Travel Tavern, a cheap motel where his only social contacts are the motel’s staff and his personal assistant Lynn.

In 2002, the second series of I am Alan Partridge was aired. One year later, Alan made his last television appearance in Anglian Lives, a flattering analysis of his past and present career.

In 2005, Steve Coogan announced that he intended to make a film featuring Alan Partridge, who once again tries to make a comeback. However, his attempt is foiled by Al Qaeda terrorists besieging the BBC building. Because of the London bombings in 2005, the idea of making a film was dropped. At the moment, the film is under development in an American studio and is to come out in 2011.

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