I'm Alan Partridge (1997–2002)
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Alan Wide Shut 

Alan's house is finally finished and he gives each of the builders a leaving present - a copy of his book "Bouncing Back", which has not sold well at all and is due to be pulped. Sonja is ... See full summary »


Armando Iannucci




Episode cast overview:
Steve Coogan ... Alan Partridge
Amelia Bullmore ... Sonja
Simon Greenall Simon Greenall ... Michael
Felicity Montagu ... Lynn Benfield
Rob Brydon ... Baptist Fan
Phil Cornwell ... Dave Clifton
Danny Cunningham Danny Cunningham ... Builder
Simon Ludders ... Builder
Tim Dantay Tim Dantay ... Builder
Julia Davis ... Kate Fitzgerald
Rebecca Front ... Tessa McPherson
Michael Wardle ... Gordon
Tony the Pulper Tony the Pulper ... Himself


Alan's house is finally finished and he gives each of the builders a leaving present - a copy of his book "Bouncing Back", which has not sold well at all and is due to be pulped. Sonja is keen to move in with him as her flat is being demolished to make way for an office block, but Alan is wary of commitment and prefers to "come to an arrangement". Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

16 December 2002 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


Although the story treats the pulping of thousands of unsold copies of Alan's book as a humiliating failure, this is actually a common occurrence in the publishing industry. Even with famous best-selling authors, publishers can overestimate the demand, print too many copies, retailers fail to sell them all and they are returned and pulped. A 2002 Guardian article (the same year this episode was made) stated that almost 10% of newly published books end up being shredded. See more »


Alan Partridge: [Lynn is going to be baptised] How will they get you up to the font? They'll need four men to lift you.
Lynn Benfield: No, no, it's not a font, it's a special pool that they lower you into.
Alan Partridge: Right, and if you sink, you're a Baptist, and if you float... you're evil? It's touch and go.
See more »


References Kojak (1973) See more »


Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick
Written by Ian Dury and Chaz Jankel
Performed by Steve Coogan
See more »

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User Reviews

Season 2: Funny but the "sillier" and "bigger" situations lose the more subtle character focus that made season 1 so good
19 October 2009 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Alan is bouncing back. His BBC show never quite materialised but he now has the 3rd best slot on Radio Norwich, a daytime military history quiz show programme on a minor cable channel, his house is being renovated and he landed himself a girlfriend some 14 years older than himself. Despite this his book sales are not doing great, his "best friend" is Geordie Michael (who now works the night shift in a local garage) and his attempts at video and television work.

In The Loop may not have been perfect but it did remind me that Iannucci is a great writer and that I should catch up on some of his work that I missed or didn't give enough attention to first time around. Alan Partridge fell into that group and I found that season 1 of the show was a great expansion from the chat-show format of the character's previous vehicle "Knowing Me Knowing You". Season 2 sees Alan "bouncing back" but not in any way that could justify his ego, but just enough of a way so that his ego is fired. We already know that this doesn't take much because Partridge is a very little man but ideas of his own importance and fame that aren't supported by his talent or his appeal and this is a big part of the show being funny because, while he is a monster that I would cross the street to avoid, he is still very funny.

Season 2 manages to be funny and entertaining for the majority of the episodes but it doesn't quite nail it in the way the first season did. The main problem with it is that the situations appear to be bigger, drawing on external forces rather than coming from within Partridge himself. This is not totally the case because a good chunk of it does keep true to this approach but the change is noticeable and it all feels a lot "bigger" and more obvious. I agree with some viewers who watched it the first time round when it was screened next to The Office and must have felt even less subtle and more like a broad comedy than it does standing on its own.

The supporting characters hurt it a little bit as well because they are generally not as well used as in the first season. The builders appear to be the natural replacements for the hotel staff – characters that can essentially "play it straight" while the scene reveals more of what a c**k Partridge is. This doesn't happen as well here as it did in season 1 and indeed the builders are underused as characters. Likewise many of the "new" minor characters don't really deliver in the way their equivalents did in the first season. Coogan remains good though even if the material is a little less subtle. He still convinces totally as Partridge and he copes well with the "bigger" comedy such as running round as Bond etc – this works despite it feeling silly when I prefer more subtle and character laughs. Support from Montagu and Cornwell remain good because they make their characters work well while also allowing the material to affect Partridge. Greenall's Michael is a funny character who has made it across from season 1; only problem I had was that he was a character in himself rather than one that allowed us to focus on Partridge – personally I think it would have been better to have lost him as well and put more effort into the new characters.

Overall season 2 is a funny and entertaining season but, while it does much of the same good stuff that season 1 did, it does generally come over as "bigger" and a bit sillier in its plots and situations. This creates bigger comedy moments with broader appeal but do lose the proximity and convincing pain of Partridge as a character, giving fewer opportunities for the character to work as well as it did in the previous season. Not to be sniffed at and still a good season but it is very much the lesser of the two seasons.

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