Alan Partridge fans rejoice! The TV legend has finally been granted another series by the BBC (following his brief dalliance with Sky), and will be returning to a terrestrial screen near you in 2018.
But before then, we’re being treated to a documentary about the 25th anniversary of the Norwich legend, who’s come a long way since he was a fledgling young sports reporter turned chat show host (who never got a second series).
Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How and Whom? will take an in-depth look at Steve Coogan’s infamous comic creation – talking to those involved in bringing him to life as well as showing some classic clips and unseen footage.
To mark the occasion, here’s a brief reminder of some of those oh-so-classic Partridge moments. Tie and blazer badge sets at the ready, people…
1 Partridge at the races (The Day Today)
An early appearance for Steve Coogan’s infamous alter ego as he appears on satirical news show The Day Today delivering his own unique brand of horse racing commentary. Featuring randomly silly comments about the crowd, a toe-curling interview with a jockey in which he asks him why he isn’t at school, and a horse called Two-Headed Sex Beast. We kid you not.
What to quote: ‘Let’s hope that toomfoolery doesn’t escalate into ugly mindless violence’.
2 Alan steals a traffic cone
Aka that moment in which a bored, despondent Alan gets lured into mischief by his hotel worker mate Michael, only to be stopped by the police after his ill-fated attempts to steal a traffic cone. Which leads to him not only being humiliated on his radio show but also having one of those ‘would you like me to lapdance for you?’ moments, traffic cones and all.
What to quote: ‘I’ve got a clean licence…yours is dirty.‘
3 Dan ‘The Man’ Forrest (Knowing Me Knowing You Ep 2)
In which Alan leches all over a foxy agony aunt on his chat show (played by Minnie Driver), only to discover that she used to be a man. Shock and hilarity ensues.
What to quote: ‘You’ve got great big flapping hands like a man. You could be a goalkeeper.’
4 Alan insults the Irish (I’m Alan Partridge Series 1 Ep 5)
In a moment of cringe-making wonderment Alan meets with two executives from Irish channel RTE and single-handedly manages to pull every single stereotype out of the bag in the space of one awkward meeting (‘horses running through council estates, anyone?), while trying to convince them he doesn’t actually live in the Travel Tavern where they’re having breakfast. Not to mention his own unique takes on U2 songs and The Crying Game.
What to quote: (on the Irish potato famine) ‘If it was just the potatoes that were affected, at the end of the day you will pay the price if you’re a fussy eater.
5 Alan sings Cuddly Toy (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa)
Aka that moment from the opening titles of Alan’s big screen debut, in which he effectively ruins Roachford’s 80s classic Cuddly Toy for just about all of us who might ever want to hear it again without the mental image of him singing along to it in the car – before berating a fellow driver and returning to the track without missing a beat.
What to quote: ‘YOUR FOG LAMPS ARE ON! THERE’S NO FOG…!
6 Alan wants a second series (I’m Alan Partridge Series 1 Ep 1)
Having been told by BBC commissioning editor Tony Hayers (David Schneider) that his chat show has been axed, Alan attempts to impress him with a list of alternative programme ideas which range from the risible (Knowing M.E, Knowing You) through to the ridiculous (Arm Wrestling With Chas And Dave anyone?).Some slightly overripe cheese also makes an appearance.
What to quote: ‘Monkey Tennis?’ Although ‘Smell my cheese’ runs a close second.
7 A Partridge In Paris (Knowing Me Knowing You Ep 4)
In an attempt to outdo a lunatic fashion designer on a French-set episode of Knowing Me Knowing You our intrepid talk show host sets about revealing his own collection of ‘sports casual’ wear. We’ll take two of those pastel blue short suits please.
What to quote: ‘The look…imperial leisure.’
8 The ‘Dan’ moment (I’m Alan Partridge Series 2 Ep 3)
Having made a new friend in the shape of kitchen salesman Dan Moody (Stephen Mangan), Alan spots him across a car park and decides to call him. Repeatedly (all together now: ‘Dan! Dan! Dan! DAN!’ Etc). The friendship sadly grinds to an abrupt halt before the episode’s end when Alan discovers Dan and his wife to be swingers, cue his horrified cry of ‘You’re sex people….!’
What to quote: ‘Dan! Dan! Dan! DAN!’ (oh you get the drift….)
9 Alan’s James Bond rant (I’m Alan Partridge series 2, ep 4)
Alan discovers that Michael’s friend Terry has accidentally taped America’s Strongest Man over his copy of The Spy Who Loved Me – and responds as only he can, by acting out the whole of the opening sequence – and getting increasingly annoyed when others try to join in.
What to quote: ‘Stop getting Bond wrong!’
10 Sidekick Simon Winds Alan up (Alan Partridge Mid Morning Matters)
One of the best moments from Alan’s Sky Atlantic show came after Sidekick Simon tried to convince him the Inland Revenue had been in touch, leading him to casually declare his tax affairs on air. Until he found out it was a wind-up – and we suspect from his reaction his colleague won’t be trying that one again in a hurry.
What to quote: ‘You are this to me…you are nothing!’
11 Alan is definitely not driving a Mini Metro (I’m Alan Partridge Series 1 Ep 2)
Alan’s company is in danger of being made bankrupt, but that doesn’t make any difference to his choice of car now does it?
What to quote: ‘I’m not driving a Mini Metro…!’
12 Apology to the Farmer’s Union (I’m Alan Partridge Series 1 Ep 3)
After managing to offend most of Norfolk’s farmers in the space of one radio show, Alan ends up having to apologise to Farmers’ Union rep Peter Baxendale-Thomas (Chris Morris) on his next show – only to end up hurling a string of increasingly ridiculous insults his way (culminating in claims about farmers raising giant chickens and sleeping with siblings) and annoying the local farming community even more. So much so that they drop a cow on him.
What to quote: ‘You feed beefburgers to swans.’
Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How and Whom? airs on BBC Two on Wednesday night at 9pm.