A feature length version of Alan Partridge has been in the pipeline for years, but according to creator and star Steve Coogan, the timing was never quite right. For those of you out of the loop, Veteran broadcaster Alan Partridge (Coogan) is currently working as a mid-morning DJ at North Norfolk Digital. The station is being taken over by a new media conglomerate, and after a series of unexpected events, Alan finds himself at the heart of a violent siege. Can the radio and TV legend talk down disgruntled colleague Pat Farrell (Colin Meaney), or will this Hectic Danger Day end the career of Norfolk's very own Alpha Papa?
Directed by Declan Lowney (Father Ted), and written by Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons, Steve Coogan, Armando Lannucci and Peter Baynham, Alpha Papa brings back all your favourite Alan Partridge characters and throws a few new ones into the mix. TV to big screen success has eluded many a small screen comedy hero, so it's easy to see why fans of the show might be concerned. Coogan adds fuel to the fire by admitting that the script was only half finished when they started filming, with much of what we see on screen written on the day of shooting. So the fact that Alpha Papa remains consistently funny throughout is as pleasant as it is surprising.
Steve Coogan has never been funnier, and fans of the iconic character will find plenty to enjoy. PA Lynn (Felicity Montagu), on-air rival DJ Dave Clifton (Phil Cornwell) and dim-witted friend Michael (Simon Greenall) get a share of the spoils too, lacing Alpha Papa with great lines and memorable moments. Partridge is the star of the show though, and with Coogan on such fine form, he doesn't miss a trick. The obligatory facial tics, quirky mannerisms and awkward exchanges are all present and correct. You really couldn't ask for more. The icing on the cake? Norwich has its very own action movie. Jurassic Park! AW