“ Genre: Television - I'm Alan Partridge / Theatrical Release: 1997 / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Tristram Shapeero, Armando Iannucci / Actors: Steve Coogan ... / DVD released 2002-11-25 at 2 Entertain Video / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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I'm Alan Partridge sees us following the life of Alan (played to perfection by Steve Coogan) following on from his successes of Knowing Me, Knowing You (his award worthy tv chat show) as he now continues on with his rather limited success and tried to build himself up to be at the top of the entertainment game.
Currently living in a Linton Travel tavern Alan is seen working with his PA named Lynn (great worker but no affection) as he tries to rebuild his entire life following on from his wife having lost him and his loss of his chat show. It's not all bad for Alan as he hosts his graveyard slot radio show "Up With the Partridge" as part of the team at Radio Norwich and we hear of Alan's tv game show named Skirmish and it's huge success.
The show is a comedy based on the interactions between Alan and those around him and in my opinion is so funny due to Alan's huge self belief and the fact that he is so forthright with things no matter what the consequences as we see with lines like "that was just noise" as he speaks to Michael (one of the hotel staff who is very Geordie) or as he tells a couple of Irish tv producers that the Irish potato famine is only to be expected if you are going to be such picky eaters.
This is a comedy I simply love and I think that Coogan plays the part of Alan Partridge to perfection and hope he does come back for more series (other than this one and series 2 which are both available to date) as this is a comedy character who has so much more to give and could create much more comedy gold. Six great episodes of an excellent comedy series that for mainstream audiences was maybe a little dark and so never got the kind of recognition that it deserved but if you want to see a comedy show where you may cringe but will be laughing too. Able to be picked up for about £5 online nowadays I highly recommend that you pick this little gem up and sit down, strap yourself in and prepare to laugh, cringe, feel sympathy and more as you watch what Alan himself would describe as lovely stuff.
I'm Alan Partridge follows the life of a failed TV chat show host, Alan Partridge, and the ups and downs he faces in attempting to get his TV career back on track. In a period of rebuilding, Alan comes to terms with the break-up of his marriage, and subsequently finds himself "temporarily" residing at the Linton Travel Tavern. As DJ of the early morning show on Radio Norwich, he feels now is the time to get his feet back into the door at the BBC. Alan flirts with success, romance, new friends and opportunities and even the wrong side of the law through six episodes on this DVD.
1- A Room With An Alan- Alan goes house hunting and has the chance to promote himself at a BBC lunch
2-Alan Attraction- What better way to spend Valentine's Day than taking your date to an Owl Sanctuary
3-Watership Alan- Alan is asked to star in a promotional video for canal boat holidays and his forthright views of farmers gets him trouble.
4-Basic Alan- Alan is forced to occupy himself and relieve hours of boredom.
5-To Kill A Mocking Alan- Alan pitches to Irish TV producers and meets his No.1 fan
6-Towering Alan- Alan goes to a funeral and some tragic news may lead to Alan getting back on TV.
Throughout the series, Alan is assisted by his put upon PA, Lynn, and enjoys moments of quality interaction with the staff of Linton travel tavern. Continually mocked by the breakfast show DJ, Dave Clifton and often struggling to interact with "real people", Alan moves effortlessly from different awkward situations and is often on the losing side with his battle against "the world".
Partridge is flawlessly played by Steve Coogan. He brilliantly portrays the weaknesses of a TV career man gone wrong. His utter contempt for the general public is clear to see as Alan fights hard to be back on our screens. Felicity Montagu plays Lynn; the busy, always on call, PA of Alan. Her loyalty to her rude employer is commendable and she shares fantastic screen time with Alan. Other major roles come in the shape of Susan (Barbara Durkin), Sophie (sally Philips) and Ben (James Vance). All are staff at the hotel and take great pleasure in pushing Alan to his limits. Simon Greenall plays the wonderfully endearing Michael, a Geordie odd-jobs man for the hotel. Alan finds a friend in Michael as they share interesting Army stories and also a night of criminality with a cone. Coogan calls upon friends from The Day Today and Brasseye as Chris Morris, David Schneider and Kevin Eldon star as characters in the series. Simon Pegg also appears as do the creators of Father Ted (they play the Irish TV execs in Ep.5)
The DVD includes 2 commentaries, one with Coogan and the other two writers (Peter Baynham & Armando Iannuncci) and also a slightly strange commentary from Coogan and Montagu as Alan and Lyn. Also featured are over 20 minutes of deleted scenes, extended scenes along with cast and crew biographies and a photo gallery.
After 13 years since in initial broadcast, I'm Alan Partridge still stands up as one of the greatest modern sitcoms. His hapless existence provides the viewer with many moments of hilarity and also times of great awkwardness. It may not be for everyone but for fans that don't own this DVD, this series is a must buy. With a 12 certificate, its pretty un-offensive (on the whole!) but may not suit everyone's idea of comedy. But for most, Alan Partridge is a true comedy legend....it's just a shame he doesn't know it!
I'M ALAN PARTRIDGE: COMPLETE BBC SERIES 1 (1997)
Sitcom I'm Alan Partridge series one first aired on BBC2 in 1997 producing 6 episodes. The series is written by Steve Coogan, Armando Iannucci and Peter Baynham. It's a bizarre series that's slightly dark and may make uncomfortable viewing for some. The show features "Alan Partridge" (Steve Coogan) as an inept, social outcast, who lacks any kind of personality/ charisma and has the unnerving ability to upset almost anybody in his path, not necessarily always intentional just his unwitting warped outlook that differs from the average human being. "I'm Alan Partridge" although the first series is the follow up to show "Knowing me, Knowing You" in which Partridge (Coogan) was a TV host. This series "I'm Alan Partridge" has two elements to the show, firstly Partridge trying to resurrect his BBC TV career with numerous suggestions for shows including "Monkey Tennis" and secondly his almost real life viewing on his day to day activity. And his attempts to reunite his mundane, dull lifestyle.
CAST AND CREW
Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan)
Alan Partridge played by Steve Coogan, could be depicted as the most unfashionable, embarrassing man to walk the earth! Not an unlike able man however with every breath and every move he makes (Sting) he offends. Not necessarily in a malicious manner just because of his inept ability to adapt and function in normal society. What makes him so funny is he often is unaware what effect his actions are having on others. Alan, believes him to be some kind of superstar, and lives off his past glories, not that they are glorious in anyway or even that notable. Alan previously worked as a sports reporter, before obtaining his own TV chat show called "Knowing Me, Knowing you" and came synonymous with his catch phrase "Ah-Ha! And his attire. This Series Alan now a Pre breakfast slot DJ on Radio Norwich is divorced and living in a Travel Tavern, he is lost and trying to fill the void in his life with menial tasks. Aside from this you watch his Journey of unsuccessful attempts to get a second series on the BBC
Lynn Benfield (Felicity Montagu)
Loyal downtrodden PA Lynn is Alan's long-suffering aid, she organizes Alan's life without exception from running his menial errands to cooling him with a hand fan, is she thanked for it? Is she ever! Lynn a quiet unassuming shy sort, is the only person that can seem to tolerate Alan's behaviour, and is always willing to drop things to aid his side. Overworked and under paid, Lynn has the patience of a Saint. Aside from her role in Alan Partridge Felicity has starred in Nighty Night, Doc Martin, Surburban Shootout, and many other minor roles.
Michael (Simon Greenall)
Michael a likeable simple man with a heavy barely understandable Geordie accent works at the Travel Tavern and be-friends Alan. They share many stories together about Michael's time in the British Army, but with his unrecognisable accent often becomes incoherent giving Alan the opportunity to mock his so called friend. Although maybe Alan's only friend, you get a feeling he only likes him, as he needs the company. Often insulting Michael at every opportunity, unknowing to his simple non-malicious self. Simon has appeared on impression shows with John Culshaw.
Dave Clifton (Phil Cornwell)
Another DJ on Radio Norwich, often seen at the start or end of the episodes, likes to mock Alan whenever possible theirs an obvious hatred between the pair mainly down to jealousy on Alan's behalf as Dave has a better slot on the Radio, the pair trade insults and jibes with the luckless, witless Alan always ending up on the receiving end. Phil Cornwell a comedian has appeared in Dead Ringers, Stella Street and Big Train and a few minor film roles.
Susan Foley (Barbara Durkin)
Susan is the friendly blonde attractive manager of the Linten Travel Tavern. A likeable character who always wears a smile, A calm exterior often fronted by the look of boredom with Alan's frequent attempts of flirting and awkward conversation. Alan has his eye on Susan, and appears very tactless and clumsy in front of her much to her annoyance. I like Susan you have to respect the way she puts up with awful Alan's antics. You might recognise Susan (Barbara) from programmes such as 'Roger Roger' 'Heartbear' and many other small roles.
Sophie (Sally Phillips)
Sophie is a receptionist at the Travel tavern, she has no regard for Alan whatsoever, and equally Alan has no time for her believing to be the centre of her laughter, which he is. While the professional Susan wears a smile in front of him, Sophie cannot help but laugh, and is often seen leaving the situation unable to refrain from her hysterics. You might recognise Sophie (Sally Phillips) from many other comedy series, such as 'Smack the Pony' and 'Rescue Me' also had a small role in 'Bridget Jones' Diary.
Ben (James Lance)
Ben also works at the Tavern as a porter and Sophie's boyfriend. Alan is jealous of Ben's good lucks and social standing, not to mention as he has a girlfriend. At times Alan tries to be-friend Ben, but Ben has no interest in Alan whatsoever, which makes rather awkward viewing between the pair. Alan realisation of this just incenses him further, so in an attempt to get one over on the loveable Ben, Alan tries to cause problems for the lovebirds. James Lance has had many roles in other comedy series such as Smack the Pony, Moving Wallpaper, Teachers and the Book Group.
SERIES ONE - OVERVIEW
Series one is a Journey of downs and more downs for poor old Alan, a broadcaster on Radio Norwich's early morning pre breakfast slot, listened to only by farmers and butchers. He is dissatisfied with his life. Alan as a minor celebrity makes appearances at small local and corporate events. But this is still not enough to fill the voids in his life. Divorced, ageing and living in a Travel Tavern, you follow Alan's dull meaningless empty lifestyle, whose only friends consist of his PA Lynne (Felicity Montagu) and Travel Tavern worker Michael (Simon Greenall) also both social misfits. Socially unaware Alan finds it difficult to interact with normal society, he lives of his past achievements still regarding himself to be something special, which could not be further from the truth, he is rude, obnoxious, sexist and a bigot. In fact if it were not for his Personal Assistant Lynn, his day-to-day escapades would not be so coherent. Alan needs to resurrect his TV career his self-loving attitude craves to be back in the public domain so persists on pitching numerous unsuccessful awful ideas to the BBC's head of light entertainment. Will Alan get his Second series........
1. '''Room with an Alan''' -- Alan now hosts "Up with the Partridge", an early morning show on Radio Norwich. Living in the Linton Travel Tavern Alan is desperate to return to TV so he can afford a new house. A good opening to the new series leaves you wanting more.
2. Alan Attraction -- Valentine's Day sees Alan going out on a date. Facing Bankruptcy, Alan is forced to buying a new car.
3. Watership Alan -- Alan is subject to the local Farmers fury after making unsympathetic comments on his radio show. Alan gets attacked whilst making a corporate video. This episode is a must watch, very funny indeed.
4. Basic Alan -- Alan becomes disillusioned and increasingly bored, trying to find ways to occupy his time, comic genius this episode there are no actual gags or jokes just comic presence, and the ability to laugh with or at the character.
5. To Kill a Mocking Alan -- Alan hosts an afternoon with "Alan Partridge" at the Travel Tavern. Later is faced by his biggest and somewhat obsessive fan Jed. Possibly the best episode of the series, makes uncomfortable watching at times, you just want to give poor old Alan a shake!
6. Towering Alan -- Judges a local vegetable competition. A death at the BBC gives Alan a ray of light for a second series on the TV, but will he get it? Good ending, this leads nicely on to Series two.
Commentary by Alan Partridge and his PA Lynn Benfield:
The first audio commentary is done in character and has an air of humour attached obviously in matching the style of the series itself, Alan is his infamous abusive self and Lynn takes all the shots! You feel the script is improvised and fairly sparse at times but it does just about work. It's a good idea and in places pretty funny, Alan uses a lot of jokes to cover over the cracks and gaps which there are many. It's not the best commentary you will see but it does add a little to the DVD.
Commentary by Steve Coogan, Armando Iannucci and Peter Baynham:
The second commentary is much more controlled and informative. The team of writers form to share their vast knowledge of the series and are able to know scene from scene with ease. Writers Coogan, Iannucci and Baynham team up to give great insight sharing many facts about the characters and information about the filming and set location. Further more clarification of the jokes and quips are given. Much more enjoyable that the first commentary. Adds more depth to the DVD.
Add-On Alan (Out-takes and deleted scenes):
Unused Alan (an improvised deleted scene):
The deleted scenes are when jokes have gone wrong or too far! Due to Alan nature he overdraws things after the punch line so these are show. Often when the jokes have gone wrong such as Lynn often forgetting her lines or her words muddled.
The deleted scenes also give the impression that a lot of the material is improvised whether intentionally or not. It's always humorous to watch out takes and good to see different scenes but in truth there is not much depth, but certainly watch able.
Cast and crew biographies - as detailed above
Photo gallery - Of cast and crew and scenery.
Scene selection - Select the scene you wish to view
Director: Dominic Brigstocke
Certificate: 12 years and over
Screen : Full screen 4:3
Languages: English - Dolby (2.0) stereo
Duration: 3 Hours
Currently on Sale for £5 on Amazon, which is a Bargain! This will not be to everybody's taste it can be awkward and uncomfortable to watch, it's not your traditional humour, as in funny lines and gags thrown at you. Your laughing at the character himself and his funny mannerisms, a supposedly unlike able man but you end up empathising with him and his lifestyle. You warm to him which what makes this so enjoyable and believable to watch, and you so want him to succeed...Ah-HA!!!