Alpha Papa: Alan Partridge film review

The prospect of seeing Alan Partridge on the big screen was very appealing. I fell in love with Alan the moment he burst onto our screens with ‘AHA’. The boyish charm and razor wit, but most of all the way he offended everyone and had a quick temper. It was refreshing to see a polished broadcaster losing it and attacking his guests on ‘Knowing me, knowing you’ or dressing as a zombie in his travel tavern in ‘I’m Alan Partridge’.

This movie focuses on Alan back to being a radio DJ with North Norfolk Digital. I’d previously seen snapshots of him through his YouTube videos, showing him in his element with funny sidekick (Tim Key). Check them out here:

In the movie, he is quite settled in his job, but ambitious as ever, until there are big changes and the radio becomes ‘Shape’. With new management making the difficult decision of sacking Alan or Pat (an Irish graveyeard shift DJ), Alan sees his opportunity and points there finger at Pat. For a short time, the plan seems to be ok until Pat storms a party with a shotgun and takes hostages.

This is terrifying for Alan until the police call on him to step up as negotiator. This is music to his ears and he milks it as ever. A tense radio show entails with Alan and Pat showing their support for the old school. Alan almost seems to be enjoying and agreeing with Pat’s course of action and he relishes the limelight. As usual, just as things start to go well for Alan Partridge, he is brought back down to Earth, where we like to see and laugh at him. Things go wrong and Pat turns on Alan leading to a tense finale on a pier.

I enjoyed the laughs and story but with a lot of comedy films, they can be quite predictable. It would be good to see more Partridge movies or even a new TV or YouTube series for Alan. Steve Coogan’s character is still as popular as ever but it’s going to be a challenge for Coogan to keep him going and keep his life on track.


Jon Exton